Saturday, July 25, 2020

Ian Copestick writes

Nothing Noble

A very great man once said,
"Every life viewed from the inside
is a series of defeats." I can't remember
who it was, maybe Jack Kerouac,

Jimi Hendrix. It doesn't really
except it's true. Things just
often go wrong, as another great
once said, in his suicide note.

He was right, but his reaction was
There's nothing noble about
not giving in, and coming out
of the
other side wiser and stronger,
that's the way that greatness lies.


  1. Jack Kerouac (Jean-Louis Lebris de Kérouac, 1922–1969) was one of the leading Beat writers of the 1950s-1960s. His 1957 novel, "On the Road," inspired later generations of American writers. He died at 47 from an abdominal hemorrhage caused by a lifetime of heavy drinking. Jimi Hendrix (born Johnny Allen Hendrix, 1942 but renamed James Marshall Hendrix in 1946) was one of the most influential guitarists ever, though his mainstream career only lasted 4 years. He died of asphyxia while intoxicated with barbiturates after aspirating his own vomit in 1970. Neither was a suicide. And neither of them was the great man who said the famous quotation. In his "Benefit of Clergy: Some Notes on Salvador Dali," George Orwell (Eric Arthur Blair, 1903-1950) claimed "any life when viewed from the inside is simply a series of defeats." He did not kill himself either but died of tuberculosis when an artery burst in his lungs. However, the British comedian Tony Hancock (Anthony John Hancock, 1924-1968) did kill himself with vodka and amylo-barbitone tablets and left more than one suicide notes; one of them said, "Things just seemed to go wrong too many times."

  2. Thanks, Duane. I couldn't remember who said the quote, but I would never have guessed Orwell (another favourite of mine.)


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