Robert Frost wrote of Thoreau, In one book he gave America the best of all we had Henry David Thoreau is best known as the American author of Walden who wanted first hand to experience and understand deeply the inspiring connection between man and nature He built a humble cabin by his own hands beside Walden Pond with tools borrowed from his Concord neighbors andRobert Frost wrote of Thoreau, In one book he gave America the best of all we had Henry David Thoreau is best known as the American author of Walden who wanted first hand to experience and understand deeply the inspiring connection between man and nature He built a humble cabin by his own hands beside Walden Pond with tools borrowed from his Concord neighbors and sustained by the fruits of the bean field sown in his garden and those resources yielded up to him by the wilderness He seeks to transcend inauthentic, everyday life in Concord and awaken his soul to the beauty and harmony of life by living mindfully in every moment in the pristine woods of New England in 1845 I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived, Thoreau writes He is profoundly wise and an earnest reading of Walden yields within its pages the power to change one s perspective for the better through a deeper recognition of the wholeness, harmony, simplicity and radiance of life This First Edition of the Classic Masterpiece Series by WordsworthGreenwich Press also includes Thoreau s essay on Civil Disobedience which shaped influential thinkers who followed like Tolstoy, Gandhi and Martin Luther King, Jr An Introduction to Thoreau by David B Lentz adds value by providing context, clarity and perspective to this genius American literary work.
The tale of a man who dared to live in his parents backyard and eat dinner with them, and then lived to write about it. Compelling.
A naturalist, a transcendentalist or an individualist? Thoreau’s principles could be labelled with the previous statutory concepts and yet none of them would suffice to provide a full description of him. He struck me as a man who didn’t want to be restricted by category; he chose experience and common sense as modus operandi to lead a deliberate lifestyle and to reach his own conclusions without meaning to inculcate them on others.Walden is the result of Thoreau’s minute observations that [...]
This book alerted me to the fickleness of my own opinions.At first it all seemed rather nice "the majority of men live lives of quiet desperation" and all that. But then I found out about the doughnuts.Apparently every so often Thoreau would walk down the road to the nearby town where his Mum lived and she would treat him to doughnuts. Thoreau in Walden doesn't mention the doughnuts, instead detailing the amount of beans he grew but for me the doughnuts torpedo the project in three ways.Firstly [...]
Henry David Thoreau is best known as an American writer and transcendentalist who wanted first-hand to experience intuitively and understand profoundly the rapport between man and nature. In a sense Thoreau is Adam after the Fall living East of Eden as a bachelor in a humble cabin built beside Walden Pond by his own hands with tools borrowed from Concord neighbors and sustained by the fruits of a bean field sown in his garden and with resources granted to him by the wilderness. He wants to trans [...]
I often credit this book with my philosophical awakening. Thoreau presents a criticism of modern life, technology, economy, and wasteful culture from the perspective of one who has simplified his life and experienced something much closer to real independence than any other modern man. Some have criticized him for not being truly and completely independent - he lived on Emerson's property, he visited friends for the occasional dinner, he washed his clothes at his mother's house - but I think the [...]
Walden: I take issue with a wealthy man living in a shack for a period and pretending that living one mile from town and having his mother do his laundry qualifies him to advise mankind to "sell your clothes and keep your thoughts."An experiment in simplicity, getting close to nature, I'm all for it. But when your experiment ends in a renewal of your previous lifestyle, how can you advise others to make changes that would leave them in the position permanently?
How many a man has dated a new era in his life from the reading of a book!This month, two hundred years ago, Henry David Thoreau made his way into the world. Thus it seemed like a good time to revisit his thorny classic, which filled me with such contradictory feelings the first time around.This time, I was struck first by how current Thoreau’s book reads. A vegetarian before it was fashionable, or even respectable; a pioneer of nature writing and conservationism; a godfather of activism and p [...]
Walden is not for everyone. This is why it is so accurately and justifiably cherished by its admirers, and so ridiculously and criminally misunderstood by its detractors. The critics of Walden levy ad hominem after ad hominem against Thoreau, as if the utmost specifics of his experience detract from the purported "arguments" he puts forth about the absolute means everyone "must" live their lives. Clearly his meditations on cherishing solitude are false, because he did enjoy company every now and [...]
So as part of my reading challenge for this year (mislabeled as being done in 2016, not 2017), I'm re-reading books 'everyone' loves (everyone being just a general consensus, not literally everyone) and which I hated / didn't like / was unmoved the first time I read it. This March's book was Walden. 1. I don't know when I first read this. I think it was in Grad School 1.0, but it might have been as an Undergrad 2.0. No idea. 2. Shameful admission, I don't think I ever read the entire book the fi [...]
I listened to the audiobook of this and unfortunately the narrator made it somewhat unbearable to listen to, but I did complete both Walden and the essay On the Duty of Civil Disobedience. I found Walden to be a pleasant telling of Thoreau's departure from society and living freely in the woods of MA. I enjoyed his philosophies with one in particular; where one can live easier, less stressed and freer when one has less to procure or work for. Civil Disobedience was a bit more fascinating and qui [...]
I first read Walden in perhaps the most ideal set of circumstances possible -- for an entire semester my first year of college, in a highly popular seminar made up of 20 first year students and a brilliant professor of intellectual history. All of the students had been chosen at random from among those interested in the course, and we felt lucky to have been selected. Each class, the professor would ask us to do a close reading of the next chapter, plus re-read all the preceding chapters, and th [...]
Here's the thing: I like what Thoreau did here, and I agree with many of his philosophical points, and I hate giving up on books. That said, dude was pompous and long-winded. I've been trying to read this for about a month, but it has become that archetypal High School Summer Reading Book. You know, the one that you hate but is looming over you from the moment you get out of school until you finally look up the spark notes the morning of the first day that fall before the bus comes. I stopped re [...]
THIS BRO. I had a crush on Hank (or his modern-day counterparts) several times over in college. I am really glad I outgrew that phase. His self-contradictory, misrepresentative memoir of living a mile out of town on Walden Pond is one of the most aggravating, arrogant things I've had to read in a while. (For reference to just how REMOTE and NATURAL this setup truly was, remember that it's where Amy fell through the ice in Little Women, so the walk back to Concord wasn't too long or she would hav [...]
I actually got to visit Thoreau's cabin for my brother's birthday this April. Despite it being below freezing the mosquito's had already started to breed. When we approached the pond we were engulfed in a cloud of them. I could almost hear them singing with delight as they began to feast. Almostrhaps intermittently between screams. (As a side note I would like to say that I am terrified of bugs. Especially the flying ones that like to bite) In denial of the adject horror I was experiencing due t [...]
Escritos no século XIX, tanto Walden (Walden ou a Vida nos Bosques) como Civil Disobedience (A Desobediência Civil) continuam a fazer todo o sentido à luz dos conhecimentos e experiência que adquirimos ao longo de mais de século e meio de tempo decorrido.Ao partilhar connosco a sua experiência nos bosques de Walden, onde viveu dois anos isolado, Thoreau pretende mostrar-nos uma via alternativa; uma outra forma de viver, mais conscienciosa e em harmonia tanto connosco como com a Natureza [...]
Thoreau is kind of a brat. I'm sorry! I understand and appreciate his commitment to shedding material goods, living off of his own labor, valuing the natural world, etc. But every time he describes conversing with someone else, he comes off as painfully condescending, whether he's just marveling at the purity of their simplistic minds or smirking at a family that's had him over for dinner, who seem, to him, far too burdened with their material possessions. He rarely describes the hardships encou [...]
I have espoused the belief in the past that, like Ayn Rand, Thoreau is just one of those writers that turns his readers into insufferable assholes for weeks afterwards. Ears clapped shut 'neath clammy palms, one feels driven to flee this politically adverse duality. Thus, I have never read "Walden". Until now.It's easy to mock Thoreau--if you've never actually read the work. For all his seeming pretensions and the empty, wrong-headed criticisms leveled against him as "the guy who lived in someon [...]
Man this book was tedious as hell. There were a handful of cute thoughts and clever poeticals strewn throughout this sucker but mostly it's just some obnoxious dude going "Yo have you ever looked at a bird?" for a coupla hundred pages. It's like hanging out with someone who's on mushrooms when you're not."Snipes and wood-cocks may afford rare sport, but I suspect it may be nobler game to shoot oneself."Yeah okay, you first dude.
I like nature, like to read people's experience with it. Not so much about the details of building a $28 cabin to live in it. So for that, I give Walden 2 stars, but Civil Disobedience gets 4. This is a must read, and I feel still very relevant! I can't wait to share it with friends. So, splitting the difference and granting this read 3 stars.
Yes, I am an English teacher who had never read WALDEN. I did not have certification to teach American Lit, so I ignored all American lit until Twain. So, sue me! :)Reading Thoreau as an old woman gives me a distance to measure his enthusiasms against the realities of the world over time. He's insufferably smug, for sure. But he's observant, passionate, willing to study and learn. But I doubt he'd ever change any of his youthful sure-ities for the uncomfortable uncertainty of a long life with ex [...]
I read this for one of my university English courses.Okay, so coming to the end of "Walden" (we didn't read "Civil Disobedience"), I was just completely unimpressed. Thoreau is so redundant and he contradicts his own ideas multiple times. The plot of the book (if you can even call it a plot) focuses on Thoreau's experience living on his own for two years, supporting himself solely and living off of the land near Walden Pond. This experiment was meant to prove that he could be self-sufficient wit [...]
I really had no clue what to expect when I picked this book up. I had never read it, and was only introduced to Thoreau through a grad course reading requirement of his. I fell in love then and this book continued that love. While many of his ideas are now cliche, to think that he was speaking them at a time when it was unheard of is incredible to me. There were many "ah ha" moments, when I realized things about everyday life that had not been clear to me before. Ideas about living simply and th [...]
"I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, to discover that I had not lived. I did not wish to live what was not life, living is so dear; nor did I wish to practice resignation, unless it was quite necessary. I wanted to live deep and suck out all the marrow of life, to live so sturdily and Spartan-like as to put to rout all that was not life, to cut a broad [...]
For every thoughtful and insightful comment, of which there are many, there are about 10 pages of disorganized, stream-of-consciousness prose. Walden was clearly written by a somewhat pretentious and privileged man who had a narrow understanding of the world and sought to romanticize or vilify any experience that deviated from his own. When I first read Walden as a young teenager, I loved it and felt a strong connection. However, age and greater knowledge of literature has taught me what good wr [...]
I really give this a low 3/5 because although I did like it during the first half, I read it for school and that can be very detrimental to your enjoyment.+ Philosophical Discussions+ Unbelievable air of beauty in certain chapters- LongBUY/BORROW/SKIP: BorrowFinal Rating: 5.8 / 10
It is never too late to give up our prejudices. No way of thinking or doing, however ancient, can be trusted without proof. * * * But how happens it that he who is said to enjoy these things is so commonly a poor civilized man, while the savage, which has them not, is rich as a savage? The cost of a thing is the amount of what I will call life which is required to be exchanged for it, immedi [...]
Notable quotes from Walden & Civil Disobedience:Already a non-conformist, during his Harvard days he disregarded honors, neglected unattractive studies, and deplored the necessity of spending five dollars for a diploma. (Biography)He believed in the fundamental premise that it is not necessary for me to lead the “lives of quiet desperation” most of them do, that it is not necessary to take “a thousand stitches today to save seven tomorrow,” as most men do in a society where work is g [...]
I never read Walden in high school, and I always thought I'd hate it but I kind of liked it a lot.If Walden were published today, it would be one of those tone-deaf voluntary poverty memoirs, with roots in some shitty blog with a large following of young white male libertarians. Thoreau was a Harvard-educated white dude who chose to live in the forest, and there's a particularly painful part of Walden in which he lectures an impoverished distant neighbor (who has a wife and kids) on how he shoul [...]
During my progress through this book I kept bouncing back and forth between hating Thoreau and loving his ideas. Thoreau has some great concepts and his "economy" and "conclusion" sections of Walden really drew me in to his ideas. But. Thoreau is kind a self-important asshole. He's just so full of himself and how awesome he is for living in his little cabin and how much better it makes him than all those poor fools weighted down by their lives. I really don't think he has any right to be so full [...]
Thoreau is a great writer, despite his misanthropy and occasional moments of arrogance. Thoreau does not care what anyone else thinks, and he doesn't think you should care what other people think either. He describes his first year at Walden in intimate detail, and then sums up the second year in a sentence, saying it was pretty much the same. Surely he had some observations during that second year that we might find enlightening, but no. He's done. I find his grumpiness amusing, though I can se [...]