They say you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover. And you certainly shouldn’t buy a book purely because of its cover, especially when that book is written in a language you don’t understand.

Which is, of course, exactly what I did. Anybody fancy translating 214 pages of Dutch?


 Hubert Lampo’s Dialogen met mijn Olivetti (1980)

Hubert Leon Lampo (born in Antwerp, September 1, 1920 – died in Essen, July 12, 2006) was a Flemish writer and one of the founders of magic realism in Flanders.

His most famous book is “De komst van Joachim Stiller” (“The coming of Joachim Stiller”, 1960), in which a mysterious person, named Joachim Stiller, appears as a redeemer, under circumstances reminiscent of the death of Jesus. Other themes that occur in Lampo’s work are the myths of Orpheus and the Holy Grail.


Extract taken from Wikipedia (this being the season of goodwill I left a small donation).

As was the case with John Peel and his book “The Olivetti Chronicles”, I feared I might not find any photographic evidence of the “Lampo Olivetti”. Initial searches revealed a tantalising glimpse of one corner of a typewriter pad …


 And a tantalising glimpse of a wedge …


But eventually I came across not one but two photographs …


.. that show not one but two typewriters in Hubert Lampo’s study, December 5th 2003 …


Images originally published at  and reproduced here with the kind permission of Patrick Mahieu (who is pictured in the above photos).

Even better, Patrick responded to my quest for the “Lampo Olivetti” by sending me two pictures of an earlier typewriter owned by the author …


An Olivetti 84 electric typewriter which is a forerunner to the Tekne 3. According to the TWDB the ’84 was manufactured in the years 1961 to 1964.


Thank you Patt!