Thursday, 26 October 2006

Great composers

If you put “Beethoven, Mozart and Tchaikovsky” into Google, you get around three hundred references; at the very top of the list is a link to the third post in Other Men's Flowers, which I posted in January 2004.

I would be rather proud of this prominence were it not for the fact that the item, consisting of a couple of perceptive and interesting comments about these three composers, wasn't actually written by me: it was nothing more than a quotation. Thus was established the shameful practice, which I still follow, of publishing second-hand material .

Come to think of it, the second post in OMF was one explaining how I stole the title of the blog from somewhere else, and the very first was a parody which I had written thirty years earlier, pretending it was by a famous writer.

So the strapline for the description which appears at the head of the page should be Mostly Re-cycled Unoriginality. It is so easy to copy the clever things that have been written by others; I greatly admire bloggers who constantly strive to think of something new to say in every post, but have never felt the urge to take this approach. I fear, too, that if I tried to add thoughts of my own to other people's someone would say of me: Your work is both true and original. Unfortunately, the parts that are true are not original, and the parts that are original are not true.

Needless to say, I didn't compose that comment. I think was Edgar Allan Poe, but it may have been someone quite different.

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