Why do you have to destroy full lyrics notebooks? Space concerns or contractual obligations or compulsions or?


Because of the possibility, however remote in the near term, of somebody besides me getting their hands on them: at that point, they’ll “share” (=make publicly available forever) them. To me personally the publication of people’s work posthumously without their explicit permission is horrifying – obviously, there are plenty of social evils worse, I don’t think people who read Kafka are monsters, it’s human to want to read stuff by people whose writing you like. But I personally don’t read Kafka: he explicitly asked his friend to destroy his stuff. (Some people like to assert that there’s an ambiguity here but I don’t find the case at all persuasive and consider it a self-serving argument: “I want to read it, so I choose the reading that suits me,” essentially.) I won’t read any Salinger that gets published in the coming years unless he left explicit consent for publication. I am pretty hardcore about this. For myself, although I never expect to be Salinger or Kafka level famous/important, I know there’s enough people who, while fine people, would do math that said “at the end of the day, I don’t care what JD thought, I want to read these, and what does he care now anyway, he is either in the grave or the afterlife and this stuff doesn’t concern him any more.” Which is a totally tenable position by the way, just one I don’t share.  For me it’s a personal autonomy issue, which I think survives the grave, so destroy I must! I am a chicken about it though, because I’m sentimental, so, for example, I still have the Tallahassee notebook and most of the WSABH ones and if I get raptured today then whoever loots my office will “share” the stuff that wasn’t good enough to for me to personally share, and if I catch wind of it in Valhalla, then my soul will grieve, but no-one will care, because most people don’t care anyway and besides that the living can’t hear the moans of those that grieve in Valhalla.