Monday, November 07, 2016

Thoughts on 'A Place of Truth'

Smith-Corona Silent


Post-Script: I enjoyed this documentary more than I expected; not only because typewriters play a central role, but also Ms. Mott's story is compelling, as is the life of the for-hire street poet. As I hinted at in my typecast, to blog via typewriters is one thing (tantamount to an amateur snapshot shooter wielding a camera); but to type for a living on the streets, that's the real deal.

But there's more involved than the machines themselves; poets like Mott are true writers, despite the venue within which they work. They love the written word and see themselves as carrying on in the tradition of mainstream literature, despite their working setting seeming far removed from academia.

I'm not certain professional street typists have gained the recognition they deserve as an important part of the typewriter renaissance; Abby Mott's blog deserves more recognition, be sure to visit.

Be sure to visit the film's website, and make an effort if you can to watch it.

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Blogger Richard P said...

I'm looking forward to seeing this film but haven't just yet. I'll return to your review once I've seen it!

9:53 AM  
Blogger Richard P said...

OK, I watched the film and also enjoyed it very much. There is something incredibly romantic about Abi Mott's whole project—also melancholy and a bit scary, but it is indeed "a place of truth." I like the scene where Abi is asked by a woman whether she's gone to school for this or whether it's a hobby, and she answers that it's pretty much her life right now.

In researching my book I, like you, was interested to discover that there's a network of street poets, and that there's often a lineage of inspiration that you can trace back to specific people in SF or New Orleans.

I think the typewriters are more than just a tool for these poets. They are essential to the spontaneity and daring and focus that are part of the process—it just wouldn't be a place of truth without these writing machines.

Abi Mott's Instagram is here:

7:51 PM  

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