The Aardvark Speaks : essence, effervescence, obscurity. Established 2002. A weblog by Horst Prillinger. ISSN 1726-5320

January 11, 2006


I used to be able to just write. Of my early poems and short stories, there is always only just one version. I never revised. I never saw the need to revise. The stories or poems just flowed out of the pen, and they seemed to be perfect the way they flowed out.

These days I revise and rewrite all the time. With most things (including weblog entries) I go through at least five rewrites. It seems impossible to get something out right the first time. I wonder how I did it back then.

Still, I just went through some of my old poems and found that most of them weren't really very good. I think I'm writing better stuff these days, though my opinion on that might change in 15 years from now.

I checked whether the old poems would be better with a few revisions or rewrites, but I found that I just couldn't revise or rewrite them. They seem to refuse any changes. They are just "as is". Any change seems to change the meaning, or make them even worse. They're perfect in the literal meaning of the word "perfect": per being Latin for "through", "from beginning to end", and facere meaning "to make". In other word, all work on them has been done, nothing more can be added; they're finished.

They're pretty bad, but also perfect. I wonder if this can serve as some kind of parable.

Posted by Horst on January 11, 2006 07:02 AM to books & bookkeeping | Tell-a-friend

lucid said on January 12, 2006 05:24 PM:

"They're pretty bad, but also perfect."
I wonder if this can serve as some kind of excuse.

dieter said on January 12, 2006 05:43 PM:

Of course, it can be used as some kind of excuse. However, I also know the real unpleasant situation that you are confronted with a dissatisfying result. And there is just no way you can possibly improve it.

laura said on January 15, 2006 06:08 AM:

It's a lot easier to criticize than to write something yourself. Horst, I wish to see Haldur pop up to greet the New Year. He can tell us a little parable, m'oose-ce-pas?

Javier said on January 15, 2006 11:37 PM:

True. Better not revising old writing. I had a strange feeling when I do it. I don`t like it so much, but I don`t want to change it too much either...
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