my good friend and colleague carl malmquist just released a new edition of his authoritative monograph, homicide: a psychiatric perspective.
i was struck by the acknowledgments as well as the text. first, carl recognizes up-front those he met as homicide defendants and patients in his work as a forensic psychiatrist. when they don't omit them altogether, sociologists often fail to acknowledge research participants until after they have thanked everyone from their second cousins to their realtors.
second, carl's acknowledgments begin with this little gem from mark twain's huckleberry finn:
... there ain't nothing more to write about, and i am rotten glad of it, because if I'd a knowed what a trouble it was to make a book I wouldn't a tackled it, and ain't a-going to no more.
i've read these words before, of course, but somehow they seem more salient these days. if you are currently struggling to put a book or a dissertation out of its misery, i'll bet they seem a little salient to you too.