Publish and be sad

March 3, 2016

Kevin O’Gorman offers 10 tips on securing your first academic publication (“How to get your first academic paper published”, 23 February). There is an older view of publishing, from an age that believed that novelty was not the only goal, and that hiring scholars to write unread books to satisfy the demands of a philistine government slavishly following the mantras of managerial thugs was intellectually and morally dishonest. It is best expressed by Lewis Carroll in his poem Poeta Fit, Non Nascitur: “Then proudly smiled that old man/To see the eager lad/Rush madly for his pen and ink/And for his blotting-pad –/But, when he thought of publishing,/His face grew stern and sad.”

Q. H. Flack

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