Martin Gardner’s Desk: A humble desk, generations of genius

When is a desk something more than just a desk? I recently had the honor of touching a writing desk with a history. This desk was given to the prolific and talented writer Martin Gardner when he was a young child. All his books were written on this humble assemblage of wood. Martin Gardner was a true Renaissance man, writing on such topics as math puzzles, the OZ series of books, skepticism, book reviews and “Alice in Wonderland”. This simple desk, battered, scratched and worn, is proof that it isn’t the technology or the tool that makes for great writing. It is the mind of the writer. While computers may make writing faster and easier, it can not make writing any better than the writer.

Hoping inspiration rubs off!

I was glad to see this desk, now in the procession of James Randi, had written pages from his new book “A Magician in the Laboratory” resting on it. Randi told me that he had asked Martin Gardner if he could have the desk after Gardner died. Gardner’s son sent the desk to Randi. Randi assured me that the desk will go back to the Gardner family when Randi is finished using it. I certainly hope that for many more years Randi will enjoy the literary treasure that is Martin Gardner’s desk. The desk is given a place of honor in the Issac Asimov library in Randi’s home. When is a simple writing desk more than just a desk? When it has been the supportive tool of genius.  

And why IS a raven like a writing desk?

Passed on from Gardner, to inspire another genius, The Amaz!ng James Randi. His latest work rests comfortably on the desk.

Categories: Friends, James Randi Educational Foundatioin - JREF, Skeptic, Travel

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4 replies

  1. that is such an interesting story!!!


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