I am always pleased when I run into examples of how successes in art and accomplishment need not necessarily begin very young ages. It's not so much that I hold out any particular hope of achieving artistic greatness in the years before me, but simply that it gives one a bracing feeling that Things Can Still Happen. While, on the other hand, whenever I run into yet another mention of some insufferable prodigy composing his first pieces at the age of five, I want to kick the next child I see. Fortunately, the next child I see is likely to be my own, and will certainly be doing something reassuringly child-like rather than composing odes or sonatas or some such nonsense.
All of which is to say that I am rather charmed to run into Jerome K. Jerome's quoted recollection of his writing of Three Men In A Boat (To Say Nothing of the Dog): "I remember only feeling very young and absurdly pleased with myself."
Jerome was thirty when Three Men In A Boat was published in 1889, and I think we can forgive him for feeling absurdly pleased with himself as a result.
Dashed Off V
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