Thoughts on Writing from Horace

[The following spent a week in incubation.]

tu nihil invita dices faciesve Minerva:
id tibi iudicium est, ea mens. siquid tamen olim
scripseris, in Maeci descendat iudicis auris
et patris et nostras nonumque prematur in annum
membranis intus positis: delere licebit,
quod non edideris, nescit vox missa reverti.

-Q. Horatius Flaccus (Horace), De Arte Poetica, ll. 385-390

You will say or do nothing with Minerva unwilling: You have judgement and that mind. Nevertheless, whatever you will have written at that time, let it go under the ears of the judge Maecus and your father and myself, and let it be pressed into the ninth year within placed papers: it will be allowed to blot out what you do not spread abroad, but the voice sent out does not know how to be returned.

An interesting passage to be contrasted with blogging, a medium wherein a thought is no sooner had, a word no sooner written, a passage no sooner composed than it is distributed to the world to be judged and criticised by all, along with its creator.


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