taking a book off the brain

Can you send me about fifty fast-writing youths, with an easy style & not averse to polishing their labors?  If you can, I wish you would, because since I have been here I have planned about that number of future works and can’t find enough time to think about them separately.–But I don’t know but a book in a man’s brain is better than a book bound in calf–at any rate it is safer from criticism.  And taking a book off the brain, is akin to the ticklish & dangerous business of taken an old painting off a panel–you have to scrape off the whole thing in order to get at with due safety–and even then, the painting may not be worth the trouble.

Herman Melville, writing to a friend.

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2 Comments

  1. Suzy Coulter

     /  October 22, 2011

    This is so very true about us that have so many books on the brain. Pieces written down are edited endlessly and rarely ever put together. We are afraid they might not be worth the trouble.

    Reply
    • Ah – but I think they are worth the trouble, Suzy – someone will enjoy and like to read these stories. And, of course, we all have a story.

      Reply

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