more substantial than fame
...Thoreau's Journal: 28-Oct-1853

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 Merrimack 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, filling the man's wagon,—706 copies out of an edition of 1000 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.


Kathy said...

Brilliant! Fame is highly over-valued and this puts it where it belongs..firmly tongue in cheek.

michael jameson said...

having to buy back your own work !??, i purchased a copy of something i wrote,it left such a sour taste in my mouth that i would mention it! as i have just done here !?. michael jameson oldantiqueguy@hotmail.com