Writing every day – 2011-09-09 01:50 (last update: 2011-09-12 08:00)

An ag(e)ing hacker — Luca Saiu's blog

Writing every day

I’ve been remembering the Latin phrase Nulla dies sine linea (no day [shall pass] without [writing] a line) for years now. Until a couple of minutes ago I was sure it was a motto by Gabriele d’Annunzio1 (1863-1938), who despite the sheer beauty of some of his prose and poetry was quite revolting as a person — the kind of artist that you cannot quite declare you admire without adding all sorts of qualifiers and disclaimers. Annoying but necessary. You know, it’s about your reputation, and here I’m not kidding: that guy was a lot worse than just a histrionic asshole (which he also was).

Thinking again, if somebody uses Latin just for aesthetic reasons, usually that’s already enough for setting off my asshole detector alarm. (And I even used to be good at Latin! I’ll have to write about that once.)

Do I sound grumpy?

If you have met me you know that I’m much less aggressive than my blog persona — well, the truth is that I don’t even have a cover to blow: in real life I’m definitely more clumsy than intentionally rude, but my opinions are indeed critical and aggressive.

What was I saying...? No day without a line. Now I’ve checked: the sentence is not by d’Annunzio. Instead it was (mis)attributed to some other Ancient artist by Pliny the Elder, who of course wrote and spoke Latin back when it was a living language, so it wasn’t—

Digressing again. No day without a line. Yes. I know that I won’t really follow the maxim, but actually the idea feels surprisingly natural to me, even if I was never good at keeping a regular schedule.

The experience of writing with this system shouldn’t be particularly “new” to me, even if I’ve never kept a blog before: right now I’m editing the text in Emacs as I always do anyway when writing essentially anything; a M-x compile once in a while for calling my testing script, et voilà. The charm of seeing your text beautifully rendered isn’t lost to me, but at this time I could hardly call it new: I use LaTeX every day, and I’m not a beginner with Texinfo either.

So, where’s the difference? I think it’s just the idea of a public that makes all the difference, even when the public is hypothetical. A pretty powerful idea.

— Luca Saiu, 2011-09-09 01:50 (last update: 2011-09-12 08:00)

Tags:
d-annunzio, english, latin, meta, myself, very-bad-literature

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Luca Saiu

The opinions I express here are my own and do not necessarily reflect the beliefs or policies of my employer, or for that matter of anyone else. In case you felt that the public statement of my thoughts threatened your warm sense of security and your emotional stability, please feel free to leave at any time.

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Footnotes

(1)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gabriele_d%27Annunzio