Nonumque prematur in annum

Horace advised in, Letters to Piso, that once we have written we let our work rest.  “Put your parchment in the closet and keep it back till the ninth year.”

While these lines (386-390, Art of Poetry) are often interpreted as guidance towards quality, they also highlight the proper length of a thing (with a dash of Horace’s characteristic mockery).

A breath is half a chorus. Twelve hours turns a tide from high to low. A carronade is much shorter than a long gun.

The time it takes to write our work is as long as it takes. Speed is not admirable.

Side-step imposed narratives about writer’s block by casting time as part of the writing. The value of the Sun King’s soup tureen is the price that someone is willing to pay for it. The value is set by the act of payment.

The time it takes to write our work is the time it takes. The time we give is part of the writing, not a measure of the work nor a ruling of ourselves as failing or otherwise.

 

… 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 uox missa reuerti.

Sharp

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