Engels didn’t mind reflecting on the great pleasure of taking a crap:

Now I can shit in peace and then write to you in peace … Damn, there’s somebody sitting in the lavatory and I am bursting’ (MECW, vol 2, p. 411).

In the end he realised his (occasionally good) efforts at poetry would go the same way:

I doubt very much if my poems will have a big sale; more likely they’ll have a stinking one, since they are going for waste paper and bumf (MECW, vol. 2, p. 427).

At least they would have good company, joining none other than the Prussian king, Friedrich Wilhelm III:

I hate him, and besides him I hate only perhaps two or three others; I hate him with a mortal hatred, and if I didn’t so despise him, the shit, I would hate him still more’ (MECW, vol. 2, p. 493)


Or rather, what is the favoured metaphor? Some use birthing: an article or a book has a wild moment of fertilisation, a long process of gestation, and then has an easy or difficult birth, with post-natal joy or depression, obsessive care over the well-being of the offspring. Others see writing as an extension of themselves, a part of their soul embodied in the work, an item of identity. If it’s attacked, one gets defensive, depressed, angry and vindictive. If praised, you love the whole world. As for me, finishing a book is like having a really good, bowel-emptying, back-unloading, toilet-bowl filling shit. You know the feeling: the shivering, bone-rattling, almost orgasmic dump. And it feels damn good to get rid of it. Spare a though for me, then, in about four days when I hope to finish the fifth volume of Criticism of Heaven and Earth. After ten years, the series will have a total of more than 2000 tightly printed pages.

And Deane Galbraith over at the Dunedin School is starting to sound remarkably like another blogger who used to be in the blogosphere …

Once again from those anal Danes: Du ligner en røv der er træt af at skide.

Translated: You look like an arse that’s tired of shitting.