its hypaethral character
...Thoreau's Journal: 29-Jun-1851

I thought that one peculiarity of my “Week” was its hypaethral character, to use an epithet applied to those Egyptian temples which are open to the heavens above, under the ether. I thought that it had little of the atmosphere of the house about it, but might wholly have been written, as in fact it was to a considerable extent, out-of-doors. It was only in a late period in writing it, as it happened, that I used any phrases implying that I lived in a house or lived a domestic life. I trust it does not smell [so much] of the study and library, even of the poet’s attic, as of the fields and woods; that it is a hypaethral or unroofed book, lying open under the ether and permeated by it, open to all weathers, not easy to be kept on a shelf.

1 comment:

michael jameson said...

thoreau was self taught!! i do not think of classrooms or pouring over scholars books!, these were honest observations! comparative reflections of nature and man!,nature came out on top every time!and so it should as pure as it is!,that is not how one schooled just in the class would see it!,one who takes his humbleness from nature is seen as such but will never be rewarded in his time!. michael jameson oldantiqueguy@hotmail.com