Henry David Thoreau on ‚Walking‘

Henry David Thoreau wrote on 10. January 1851 in his Journal in a true romantic and transcendentalist manner:

“ I have met with but one or two persons in the course of my life who understood the art taking walks daily – not exercize – the legs or body merely – nor barely to recruit the spirits but positively to exercise both body & spirit – & to succeed to the highest & worthiest ends by the abandonment of all specifics ends.- who had a genius, so to speak sauntering- – And this word saunter by the way is happily derived ‚from idle people who roved about the country (in the middle ages) and asked charity under pretence of going à la sainte terre,‘ to the holy land – till perchance the children exclaimed There goes a sainte terrer a holy lander- They who never go to the holy land in their walks as they pretend are indeed mere idlers & vagabonds- (two leaves missing).“

(Henry David Thoreau: Journal, Vol. 3: 1848-1851, Princeton University Press, 1990, 176, idiosyncratic spelling retained)

Who would not want have so much time at hand as Thoreau who as a surveyor walked the hills and valleys of Concord county professionally? Still, a fine statement of Thoreau’s habit of turning something ordinary – the German Alltag – into something extraordinary, holy, spiritual.

Ein Gedanke zu “Henry David Thoreau on ‚Walking‘

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