While poor Goldsmith was thus struggling with the difficulties and discouragements which in those days beset the path of an author . . . .
– Washington Irving, “Oliver Goldsmith”
He heaved a discouraged sigh, and said, “It seems to me that this race is hard to please.”
There it was, you see. He didn’t seem to know any way to do a person a favor except by killing him or making a lunatic out of him. I apologized, as well as I could; but privately I did not think much of his processes–at the time.
– Mark Twain, “The Mysterious Stranger”
Two months ago I assembled quite a lengthy list of maybe’s, but now, most have them have simply blackened out to nope’s. It is not pig-headedness, but mere cool appraisal, if I report that I do not find fault in the music which I have sent. But, that’s as may be: it is others who are benefiting from the performances and the prize moneys. I wish them well.
As I have found my circumstances this August, some of them unusual in either kind or degree, not conducive to completion of the Shakespeare scena, I reached the regretful decision to push it off again. This may look like writer’s block, but I believe it to be otherwise–I have the materials ready to be shaped. The time is out of joint. My catalogue is deep enough that a Plan B for next month’s date at King’s Chapel is not at all difficult to form.
Some of my difficulties might readily be solved, if I could teach at a college; but I have repeatedly found my attempts there, too, rebuffed. I do not think there is any hope to be nurtured on those lines, not though I was told at the conclusion of my pre-concert lecture on 19 August that I ought to teach. Talent for teaching, and a proven facility in composition, won’t get me anywhere there.
Triad is currently facing fresh challenges, but I am confident we shall meet and crush them.
However, Thursday is our first choir rehearsal of the season, and I have pulled music aplenty. The rehearsal will be fun.