life is everything
...Thoreau's Journal: 18-Oct-1856

Men commonly exaggerate the theme. Some themes they think are significant and others insignificant. I feel that my life is very homely, my pleasures very cheap. Joy and sorrow, success and failure, grandeur and meanness, and indeed most words in the English language do not mean for me what they do for my neighbors. I see that my neighbors look with compassion on me, that they think it is a mean and unfortunate destiny which makes me to walk in these fields and woods so much and sail on this river alone. But as long as I find here the only real elysium, I cannot hesitate in my choice. My work is writing, and I do not hesitate, though I know that no subject is too trivial for me, tried by ordinary standards; for, ye fools, the theme is nothing, the life is everything. All that interests the reader is the depth and intensity of the life excited. We touch our subject but by a point which has no breadth, but the pyramid of our experience, or our interest in it, rests on us by a broader or narrower base. That is, man is all in all. Nature nothing, but as she draws him out and reflects him. Give me simple, cheap, and homely themes.


michael jameson said...

man has always thought nature is nothing, food at best, without it he dies!, go on kill nature and it will kill you! and it will win in the end! and we wont even admit it! why? because as long as there is enough for me in my life " i dont care" that is mans secret attitude till the end!, but dont tell anyone they dont want to know that we are that stupid!. michael jameson

vanjulio said...

The writer's reward is his work alone. Almost every profession rewards only through the appreciation of others and monetary compensation. The work is done as a means for some other end result, not in and of iteself.

But the writer shares directly the glory of the highest elements of the spirit, which need legitimacy from no one.