Writers take note.

Found at the Vocabula Review:

It seems that it would be wise for the writers of the present to renounce for themselves the hope of creating masterpieces. Their poems, plays, biographies, novels are not books but notebooks, and Time, like a good schoolmaster, will take them in his hands, point to their blots and erasions, and tear them across; but he will not throw them into the waste-paper basket. He will keep them because other students will find them very useful. It is from notebooks of the present that the masterpieces of the future are made. Literature, as the critics were saying just now, has lasted long, has undergone many changes, and it is only a short sight and a parochial mind that will exaggerate the importance of these squalls, however they may agitate the little boats now tossing out at sea. The storm and the drenching are on the surface; and continuity and calm are in the depths.

— Virginia Woolf, How It Strikes a Contemporary

While you’re there, you might enjoy a nice article about famous last words.

I just love the idea of Time as a good schoolmaster. History is nothing if not pedantic. Look at what fools we once were, as we work harder at being better fools today. Great books as squalls on the oceans of time? You’ve got to love it. But I also love Karl Marx’s last words: “Last words are for fools who haven’t said enough.”

Few people would accuse me of that. I talk too much.

But I suppose there’s a downside to that. It was funny, after writing about Metafilter as an arena of forensic discourse, to read another academic use it to trace reactions to the poor guy who only wanted a handjob. It does pay to be careful what you say.