Saturday, July 27, 2013

Noticed in Coleridge

This week I happened to open Biographia Literaria to the end of Chapter XI, "An affectionate exhortation to those who in early life feel themselves disposed to become authors". The chapter closes with a quotation from Herder, in German but translated in a footnote. The English runs
With the greatest possible solicitude avoid authorship. Too early or immoderately employed, it makes the head waste and the heart empty; even were there no other worse consequences. A person, who reads only to print, to all probability reads amiss; and he, who sends away through the pen and the press every thought, the moment it occurs to him, will in a short time have sent all away, and will become a mere journeyman of the printing-office, a compositor.
It sounds to me a fine argument against blogging, particularly the last clause. Oh, dear.

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