Wednesday, 11 May 2011

Dribbling or spouting

After our last meeting I made the mistake of asking Angharad (who had organised the discussion on blogs) whether she was a Wilde or a Trollop.  It wasn't until I had finished the question that I realised how impolite it sounded.  However, behind the question were two anecdotes. 

Look up prolific writers online, and you'll find that Anthony Trollope wrote 3000 words a day.  Or 10000.  Or 8000.  As ever, it depends on the website.  The figures vary, but the message is always the same.  Anthony Trollope spouted words.  It was a talent that enabled him to churn out bestselling novels, while keeping down a full time job and inventing the postbox.

Oscar Wilde by contrast, once commented "I was working on the proof of one of my poems all the morning, and took out a comma. In the afternoon I put it back again."

Obviously, writers fall between the two extremes, but given the nature of blogs, I guess that bloggers need to be more Trollopes than Wildes.

Sadly, I'm more of a dribbler than a spouter - hence the limited entries here.  This tendency has been enhanced by an abundance of long weekends recently.

However, at the last researchers' discussion meeting, I asked people to provide links to blogs they thought might be of interest.  Angharad suggested Lorcan Dempsey's blog "On libraries, services and networks".   Liz Chapman provided a link to the Awful Library Books.  “Fill a large earthenware crock with urine…”  Visit the blog to find out what to do with it.  Or to learn more about the contents of the book "Pleasure from Insects"


  1. Anthony Trollop invented the post box? Well, Lewis Carroll (kind of ) invented proportional representation, I guess you don't just have to have one talent in the world...

  2. Not to be too picky, but you have the wrong URL for the "Awful Library Book" blog :-).


  3. Mark - thanks for pointing that out. Now corrected.

    Liz - interesting. I knew Lewis Carroll was a mathematician but didn't know that he played a part in electoral reform.

    Apparently, Queen Victoria loved Alice in Wonderland and asked for all the author's works. She ended up with a load of learned articles on set theory.

  4. Well, I for one am glad that exchange has now been immortalised for posterity on a blog :-)

    For me the most impressive thing about Trollope's substantial daily wordage is that he apparently managed to do a lot of his writing whilst commuting by train... However, I think Wilde would definitely have been the better tweeter!