The Mantra & The Typist

What is it like to be a translator for a Tibetan lama? Anne C. Klein reveals the source of the language magic.Anne C. Klein

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© Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum

When I was four, my parents acquired a black Royal typewriter with round shiny metal keys edged in chrome. The clicking keys, the flashing fingers, and in those days, the smacking sound of key against paper commanded all my attention. Words created with such potent sound and swift motion, I surmised, must have compelling power. Power for what, I could not yet know.

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