PROGRAM OF THE GLORY I.
In a classroom full of giggling and whispering children the teacher hardly noticeable irritated murmuring: ".... where does this ....switch ....these new computers ....be patient pupils, be patient, silence! ....I'll find it soon .... hmm ....It should at least have a serious manual ....I'll try this ...."
"Stop that, you're making my chips ache!"
Teacher clearly sighs with relief: "Oh, well, got it .... well children, let me to introduce to you the new POSV 2004 computer. It is designed to provide advice on your future professions. So, dear computer, will you tell our pupils how to choose?"
"Of course! Now get out!"
"Well, I'm leaving, but don't boast too much. You might look silly because this is an elite class of highly talented pupils....."
"They did not get their talent from you! Did they?"
A door slams, a moment of silence.
"Well then -- You are that little geniuses?"
Chuckling and pushing, the classroom replies: ".... yes!.. yes!.. yes!.. yes!..."
"Now, let us begin. We shall skip plumber, decorator, baker, mechanic, sales clerk and driver. I hope you have the highest ambitions ....dreams...."
Tiny, blond girl in the first desk: "I want to become a famous composer!"
"Well, Chopin composed his first polonaise at the age of eleven. At the age of twelve, Mozart composed a 558-page opera; before he died at 35, he had spent fifteen years of his life traveling and giving concerts. Nevertheless he died a complete loser; no one even knows where his grave is. Paganini's bodily remains traveled for fifty-six years before they were properly buried. Beethoven started playing concerts at the age of eight. His father who forced him into music by using corporeal punishment and locking him up in a room to practice for hours. Puccini had to wait until he was forty-two for his first success, and right after that, the first version of the now famous opera Madame Butterfly flopped. Bizet in fact died from disillusionment when his now-celebrated opera Carmen was jeered. Just in case someone wants to envy them for their joy from music, let me remind you that Beethoven, and Paganini were both deaf in old age.... Does anyone else want advice?"
Small boy, great hair, comical voice: "I want to become a writer."
"So -- It took Heller nine years to write his first bestseller, Shaw achieved his first success after ten years of writing without a trace of response; his first four novels were rejected approximately sixty times. Balzac spent part of his life as a manufacturer of trash novels under various pseudonyms and even thought of suicide. Jules Verne became a slave of a twenty-year contract he had signed with his publisher to write two novels each year. He could not write fewer, nor could he write anything other than his fantastic sci-fi novels. Dickens died of exhaustion. London lived in constant peril was finally ruined. Dostoyevsky was sentenced to death. Dumas was permanently in debt, and spent twelve to fifteen hours a day writing...." Comical voice reply: "But they were famous; many people knew them!"
"Well-- Balzac spent his nights shut in a room writing for eight hours by candlelight. All night long. To avoid falling asleep, he drank about fifty thousand large cups of coffee during his lifetime. The fate of a writer is loneliness. Do you want to be alone? Can you stand it? While others slept or had fun, he wrote, budgeling his brain for thoughts, just to have something to offer next morning. Who reads those books now?"
Comical voice with resignation: "But they were praised at that time."
"Well, one example for all who were torn to pieces by critics -- a quote from Tennessee Williams' memoirs: Should we assess this play by reviews it received, it's remarkable that it survived on stage for two or three months -- and abroad, one theater included it in its program for six years -- but here the critics dismissed the piece with malice that distressed me so much that I ended up in a psychiatric clinic."
Big, fat, self-confident boy: "I shall be an inventor."
"Edison had this to said about sleep: 'Four hours of sleep is a must, five hours is comfort, and six hours is idleness.' It took him three years to invent the electric bulb, and a court case about his invention lasted fourteen years. It cost him two million dollars before he finally gave up. He said: 'I want people to forget that my name was ever associate with electricity.' Many inventors had to defend their inventions in court.... They spent more time defending themselves against parasites than doing their own work. Diesel spent thirty years developing his engine and when he finally proved its advantages to the whole world, he decided to make a pile of money from his invention. His miscalculations led to bankruptcy. He finished his life by jump into the sea from a ship that was taking him as an honorary guest to an opening of a new engine plant based on his invention, but owned by some strong corporation. Gutenberg's first printing press was smashed to pieces. He was constantly penniless and landed in prison because of debts he incurred printing the Bible. His invention became the property of the man who loaned him the money. Morse struggled thirteen years to invent the telegraph. When it was ready at last, he had to beg, as did many before and after him, for someone to use that invention. He almost starved before his request for government support was granted. Fleming had to wait ten years before penicillin was used, and it was the war that helped him...."
Fat boy in tears: "But some certainly did become rich."
"I would not rely on that too much."
(to be continued)