Where is there an end of it? | All posts by alex

Poetry, copyright violation, and OOXML

Perhaps it is best to start with something high-minded, in view of what may follow.

Some people have asked me where I got the title of my previous blog ("There is no end, but addition") from. In truth I asked my wife. I had researched blog titles; I knew what was required, and so asked for something "a little bit poncey and up itself". Naturally, she suggested a T.S. Eliot quotation "There is no end, but addition". Now in continuance of that tradition I offer a new blog title from the same poem, part II of The Dry Salvages (pronounced sal-vay-jez), from Four Quartets.

 Where is there an end of it, the soundless wailing,
The silent withering of autumn flowers
Dropping their petals and remaining motionless;
Where is there and end to the drifting wreckage,
The prayer of the bone on the beach, the unprayable
Prayer at the calamitous annunciation?

    There is no end, but addition: the trailing
Consequence of further days and hours,
While emotion takes to itself the emotionless
Years of living among the breakage
Of what was believed in as the most reliable—
And therefore the fittest for renunciation.

Now, I have to be careful to limit the length of this quotation, as I know for a fact Faber & Faber scour the web looking for copyright violators. And (I did hint we might come down from being high-minded) talking of copyright violation I notice some of the dafter quarters of the web have published the ISO/IEC 29500:2008 (OOXML) text. Now, while not many people know for sure what ITTF do to a text when they prepare it for publication, one thing they do do for sure is to put a copyright statement on every page. So what we have witnessed is a brazen act of copyright violation. The boobies have even been so good as to boast about the bandwidth requirements their crimes have occasioned (no further questions, m'lud).

Even now, I can hear those Geneva lawyers licking their lips over this one ...