Wednesday, September 05, 2007



Mark R. Peattie, Foreward to Donald Culross Peattie, A Natural History of North American Trees (Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company, 2007), p. xiii:
For there was and is, to my knowledge, no work quite like it, and it follows my father's own dictum to all aspiring writers: write the book that you're longing to read, but can't find anywhere.
The risk of following this advice is that you'll end up with only one reader of your book, yourself. But maybe that's not a bad thing. Montaigne (Essais 2.18, tr. Donald M. Frame) asks:
And if no one reads me, have I wasted my time, entertaining myself for so many idle hours with such useful and agreeable thoughts?

Et quand personne ne me lira, ay-je perdu mon temps, de m'estre entretenu tant d'heures oisives, à pensements si utiles et aggreables?

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