Remington SL3

Posted in Book Reports, Undogegorized by chamblee54 on December 28, 2012







In 1978, Tom Robbins had a problem. Another Roadside Attraction and Even Cowgirls Get the Blues had gone commercial, and the unwashed public demanded product. It is not known what was on his mind, but there was a need for another Tom Robbins novel. The result, Still Life With Woodpecker, has a gee whiz typewriter as a character.

The device is the Remington SL3. It is possibly the love child of the Remington Rand. That name was borrowed by Alisa Zinov’yevna Rosenbaum, more profitably known as Ayn Rand. This is the last gasp of the typewriter, before the species qwertioped into word processed obsolescence. Today, writing devices are a computer staple. Gimmicks like cut/copy/paste are assumed to have been around forever, but were startling innovations when SLWW was being whipped into shape.

So Tom claims that the Remington SL3 was the progenitor, or maybe the janitor, of SLWW. A blogspot writer, there is a girl in new york city, says I WANT A REMINGTON SL3. …aka, the greatest prologue ever, written by Tom Robbins for “Still Life with Woodpecker”: “If this typewriter can’t do it, then fuck it, it can’t be done.

This is the all-new Remington SL3, the machine that answers the question, “Which is harder, trying to read The Brothers Karamazov while listening to Stevie Wonder records or hunting easter eggs on a typewriter keyboard?” This is the cherry on top of the cowgirl. The burger served by the genius waitress. The Empress card.

I sense that the novel of my dreams is in the Remington SL3–although it writes much faster than I can spell. And no matter that my typing finger was pinched last week by a giant land crab. This baby speaks electric Shakespeare at the slightest provocation and will rap out a page and a half if you just look at it hard.” Seriously. Early Christmas present? Marriage proposal? Just wanna get me on your good side in case you ever need me down the line? Remington SL3. Circa 1980.

PG is getting the unsettling thought that the Remington SL3 is the product of an overactive imagination. There is a tumblrblog, a youtube channel, and a soundcloud song all named Remington SL3. The name is not taken yet for twitter, although that can change at any instant. Did REM write a song, “ington SL3”? Is this a carrot topped put on?

This was written like David Foster Wallace. Pictures are from The Library of Congress.







One Response

Subscribe to comments with RSS.

  1. […] and the current occupant. TER novels hold up well to second helpings. PG has redone Cowgirls and Woodpecker, the books that made TER a star. (Bad rhyme alert) There is the fun of seeing bits of verbal derring […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: