“Childhood is not the happiest time of one’s life, but only to a child is pure happiness possible. Afterwards it is tainted with the knowledge that it will not last, and the fear that one will have to pay for it.”
“We did no English at Westminster. In my seven years there I never wrote so much as one essay. . .No compulsory prose was extracted from us at school, but an annual excursion into verse was demanded.”
And we homeschoolers are so worried that we might leave out some essential subject, such as algebra or essay writing. Mr. Milne seems to have learned to write well enough.
“Osmond (a bicycle racer) was my only hero. . . Osmond —a beautiful name. I think that as A.A. Osmond I should have written much more dashingly.”
Did you ever think that with a different name you might be somehow poised for greatness? I’ve never heard of any serious scholar or writer named Sherry. I like my name, but it’s such a frivolous-sounding one.
On waiting as a writer for inspiration: “For myself I have now no faith in miraculous conception. I have given it every chance. I have spent many mornings at Lord’s hoping that inspiration would come, many days on golf courses; I have even gone to sleep in the afternoon, in case inspiration cared to take me completely by surprise. In vain. The only way I can get an ‘idea’ is to sit at my desk and dredge for it.”
NaNoWriMo participants take note. Would-be writers in general take note.
“I like writing, by which I mean I like putting down certain words in a certain order.”
Three sentences later: “I hate writing, by which I mean I hate the business of putting down words with a pen. Unless I can get some sort of ‘kick’ out of them, I can hardly bring myself to the drudgery of inking them in.”
Ah, yes, ye olde love/hate relationship. Milne’s a good writer. I’m glad the love won out.
Milne’s autobiography is not available on Amazon. I had Eldest Daughter borrow it for me from the Baylor Library because I couldn’t find it anywhere in Houston. Not can’t-live-without-it literature, but it was worth the the effort and the miles.
And now you know what I’ve been reading, in addition to Moby Dick, or All You Ever Wanted To Know About Whales and Whaling, Good and Evil, Revenge, Justice, and Mercy in Only Six Hundred and Eight Pages (with illustrations).
Coming soon: My Struggle to Find and Conquer the Great White Whale.