For struggling writers, from the Goncourt brothers.

‘Why did we not write, day by day, at the beginning of our career, an account of that hard and horrible struggle against anonymity, that Passion with abuse at every station of the cross, that public sought after and forever slipping through our fingers, that future towards which we marched with resignation but often also in despair, that fight of impatient and feverish will against time and seniority, one of the great privileges of literature. No friends, no connections, every door shut in our face, and our money all spent on books. That conspiracy of silence so well organised against all those beginners who want to eat the cake of publicity; that sadness and weariness that comes from rolling the rock of Sisyphus for years on end. That monotonous, uneventful spiritual agony, written down while it was happening, would have made an interesting and instructive page of our lives; a page which nobody can write from memory because a little success, the discovery of a publisher, the earning of a few hundred francs and the smell of a little incense cure one so quickly of the past and banish it so far away. A ray of sunshine today is enough to heal the sores and wounds of yesterday. A little climb wipes out the memory of that dreadful, drawn-out Golgotha, those choked-back tears, those mute and hidden sorrows.’

– from the Journals of Edmond and Jules de Goncourt

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