A small edited excerpt from one of my heroes
After getting my degree I worked for a few years in functional analysis. I bought a copy of Frederick Riesz’s Collected Papers as soon as the big, thick, heavy, oversize volume was published. However, as I began to leaf through, I could not help but notice that the pages were extra thick, almost like cardboard. Strangely, each of Riesz’s publications had been reset in exceptionally large type. I was fond of Riesz’s papers, which were invariably beautifully written and gave the reader a feeling of definitiveness.
As I looked through his Collected Papers, however, another picture emerged. The editors had gone out of their way to publish every little scrap Riesz had ever published. It was clear that Riesz’s publications were few. What is more surprising is that the papers had been published several times. Riesz would publish the first rough version of an idea in some obscure Hungarian journal. A few years later he would send a series of notes to the French Academy’s Comptes Rendus in which the same material was further elaborated. A few more years would pass, and he would publish the definitive paper, either in French or in English.
Adam Koranyi, who took courses with Frederick Riesz, told me that Riesz would lecture on the same subject year after year while meditating on the definitive version to be written. No wonder the final version was perfect.
Here's the whole thing. Worthwhile to read and internalize some of the lessons.