To Orwell Today,

Dear Jackie,

I loved reading about Orwell's typewriter and seeing the photos of your grandfather's same-like Remington. My oldest son was a writer and collected typewriters as well. He had a '30s model Remington #5 in his collection and was very proud of it.

His two typewriter essays are still available online (Why I Use a Manual Typewriter by Kevin McGowin).

I really do enjoy your website and would like to know the type of camera that you used for all the wonderful photographs.

Best regards,
Robert McGowin

Greetings Robert,

I'm so glad you enjoyed reading about Orwell's typewriter and how I'm connected to it through my grandfather's typewriter - they both being the same model of portable Remington. I find it so godincidental that the typewriter I learned to type on was the same kind as the one used by one of the most famous authors in history to type a book I've now spent a fifth of my life studying. I'm also amazed that I have that very typewriter - my grandfather's same-like-Orwell's - here in a corner of my office where I do my present-day typing - although on a computer keyboard now.

I did a Google search and read your son Kevin's two typewriter essays:


I was very sad to read, at the end of the second essay, that you lost him to an accident two years ago. It must be a great consolation for you that he has left his legacy of writing.

I agree with him totally regarding the advantage of publishing one's writings online, ie "it offers a bit more exposure than the dusty hard copy on a library shelf which, when its quarter is up, is regulated to the bindery and the even dustier and less-frequented anonymous stacks."

People often ask me why I don't write a book "Orwell Today" instead of putting everything online and it is for the very reason of "exposure". I've bought enough good books on the "discard" and "remaindered" table to realize that mine could end up there too - waiting to be picked up by that rare someone who was interested enough to pay for it when others had obviously not been (and even then, only at a reduced price). I'd rather what I write be read than gathering dust somewhere or recycled into pulp from whence it came.

Also, the advantage of publishing online is that the whole world can read it - after coming across it from an interest in that topic to begin with, or from stumbling upon it during a search for a related interest, as was the case with you, through your interest in typewriters.

Millions more people are exposed to George Orwell's writings online than would be if his books were strictly found in schools, bookstores and libraries, and that would no doubt please him very much. He wrote because he had something important to expose, and through the "speakwrite telescreen" he is getting maximum exposure.

Thank you for letting me know you're enjoying the writings on my website - and the photos. The camera I use is a Canon 33mm-film Sure Shot 80u with a little zoom lens. It's fully automatic - just point and shoot. I've never used a digital (don't like them) even though everyone says they're great. I prefer to look through the lens and snap - and see what I've caught on film later when I get it developed - not there on the spot like an instant replay, all the while missing out on seeing things through the lens of my eyeball. Most people don't understand that kind of thinking - but I'm sure your Kevin would - devotee as he was to the manual typewriter.

All the best,
Jackie Jura

PS - I have a son named Kevin too (and my husband's name is Robert)

conversation continues: MEETING ORWELL THROUGH BOOKS

Jackie Jura
~ an independent researcher monitoring local, national and international events ~

email: orwelltoday@gmail.com
website: www.orwelltoday.com