In "Finding Time to Write" Peter Davison tells about the author of Ship of Fools:

... Katherine Anne Porter spent a lifetime writing floods of letters on blue paper, to anyone who would listen, about the outrages visited upon her by visitors and interrupters. Nearly every letter complained that nobody would leave her alone to write. Once the letters were written, she would escape to the next party, the next interruption....

Along similar lines, Thomas Jefferson complains in a note to Charles Thomson (9 January 1816):

... My greatest oppression is a correspondence afflictingly laborious, the extent of which I have been long endeavoring to curtail. This keeps me at the drudgery of the writing-table all the prime hours of the day, leaving for the gratification of my appetite for reading, only what I can steal from the hours of sleep. Could I reduce this epistolary corvée within the limits of my friends and affairs, and give the time redeemed from it to reading and reflection, to history, ethics, mathematics, my life would be as happy as the infirmities of age would admit ...

Maybe the answer can be found in J. R. R. Tolkien's The Hobbit, early in Chapter II when Bilbo suddenly discovers that he is late:

"That leaves you just ten minutes. You will have to run," said Gandalf.

"But —," said Bilbo.

"No time for it," said the wizard.

"But —," said Bilbo again.

"No time for that either! Off you go!"

Good advice for commencing any difficult and important adventure in life.

(Davison's essay appears in the Phi Beta Kappa newsletter "The Key Reporter", Vol. 66, No. 3 (Spring 2001); see And see for the collection of Thomas Jefferson's papers at the Library of Congress; this one is in Paul Leicester Ford's "Works of Thomas Jefferson". Also see ^zhurnal 12 March 2001, 3 March 2001, 6 Feb 2001, 8 Dec 2000, 30 Nov 2000, 5 May 2000, 23 Aug 1999, etc.)

Tuesday, May 29, 2001 at 05:54:27 (EDT) = 2001-05-29


(correlates: PowerDistortion, AntiQuaintances, Hold this Thought, ...)