Saturday, April 02, 2005

"It hauds me sair down"

The computer is back with a new hard drive (200GB) and a DVD burner. I have managed to find several dozen saved folders of pictures and texts, many music images, most of my uni work, some of Erika's art work (she has most of it here anyway). I have loaded up some Mp3 I had on disk but am getting back into things slowly.
This hard drive crash has been a pretty devastating thing really. I have learnt a lot about documenting and archiving. I will never take the hard drive for granted again. It can all be gone in a flash.....Such is life I suppose.
I read recently of Thomas Carlyle who spent 5 months writing the first volume of his book 'The French Revolution', leant it to John Stuart Mill whose maid burnt it to start the fire. Here are his thoughts on loss and perserverance:

To James Fraser
7th March 1835, Chelsea

"My Dear Sir,
The miserablest accident (as we name such things) of my whole life has just befallen me; almost the only accident of any magnitude I had ever to complain of. I learned last night that my whole First Volume, by the silliest oversight and mistake (not on my part or my wife's), had been destroyed, except some three of four bits of leaves; and so the lavour of five steadfast enough months had vanished irrecoverably; worse than if it had never been! I can be angry with no one; for they that were concerned in it have a far deeper sorrow than mine: it is purely the hand of Providence; and, by the blessing of Providence, I must struggle to take it as such, - in which case (as I trust you to understand) it would not be loss but gain. That first volume (which pleased me better than anything I had ever done) cannot be written anew, for the spirit that animated it is past: but another first volume I will try, and shall make it, if not better or equal, all that I can. This only is clear to me: that I can write a Book on the French Revolution; and that, if I am spared long enough alive I will do it."

Thomas Carlyle

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