Wednesday, August 27, 2008


“But it is better to fail in originality, than to succeed in imitation. He who has never failed somewhere, that man cannot be great. Failure is the true test of greatness. And if it be said, that continual success is proof that a man wisely knows his powers — it is only to be added that, in that case, he knows them to be small.”—Herman Melville

This blog has been on (unplanned) hiatus recently due to vacation and then a very busy work schedule. However, when I ran across the above Melville quotation for the second time in less than two weeks (today on the Maud Newton Blog, previously while reading White Heat, Brenda Wineapple's excellent book about the friendship between Emily Dickinson and Thomas Wentworth Higginson), I took it as a sign. As Miss Dickinson put it:

Success is counted sweetest
By those who ne'er succeed.
To comprehend a nectar
Requires sorest need.

Read the full poem.


Blogger Jim H. said...

I've been re-reading Bill Holm's "The Music of Failure," which makes a similar point. It is a wonderful book.

9:12 AM  
Blogger Jim H. said...

Stewart Brand, founder of The Whole Earth Catalog, reportedly had this saying on the wall of his office: "Fail Early."

9:15 AM  
Blogger Greg said...

I'll have to have a look at Holm's book. And the Stewart Brand quote is excellent. Maybe it should be "Fail early and often." Thanks, Jim!

12:34 AM  
Blogger Fitzgerald said...

I love that Emily Dickinson poem, and it is so true that we all have to fail to understand what it means to succeed.

1:53 AM  
Blogger Greg said...

Thanks for stopping by & for the comment, Fitz!

1:14 PM  
Blogger Malnurtured Snay said...

He's got a blog!

9:50 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...
it contains the poem new york olympia,the poetic composition exhibition of orthodromic retrospection and the play
between inner cosmic and supernatural

3:38 AM  

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