For a year or two past, my publisher, falsely so called, has been writing from time to time to ask what disposition should be made of the copies of A Week on the Concord and Merrimac Rivers still on hand, and at last suggesting that he had use for the room they occupied in his cellar. So I had them all sent to me here: and they have arrived to-day by express, piling the man's wagon, seven hundred and six copies out of an edition of one thousand, which I bought of Munroe four years ago, and have ever since been paying for, and have not quite paid for yet. The wares are sent to me at last, and I have an opportunity to examine my purchase. They are something more substantial than fame, as my back knows, which has borne them up two flights of stairs, to a place similar to that to which they trace their origin. Of the remaining two hundred and ninety and odd, seventy-five were given away, the rest sold. I have now a library of nearly nine hundred volumes, over seven hundred of which I wrote myself. Is it not well that the author should behold the fruits of his labor? My works are piled up in my chamber half as high as my head, my opera omnia. This is authorship. These are the works of my brain....
--Henry David Thoreau, journal entry, October 28, 1853
Monday, August 20, 2007
Something More Substantial Than Fame
Stumbled on this in my files when rifling them for poems. Since the strumpet is ever striving to provide evidence on her high-concept literary ruination blog, it seemed fitting to pass these sentences on: