- Paperback: 196 pages
- Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (October 25, 2018)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1505297729
- ISBN-13: 978-1505297720
- Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.4 x 9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 1,713 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #9,603 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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"A handsome new hardcover edition of Walden made utterly glorious with dozens of evocative wood engravings by Michael McCurdy." Seattle Times --jjj
About the Author
Henry David Thoreau was an American author, poet, and philosopher, who is best known for his works Waldena treatise about living in concert with the natural worldand Civil Disobedience, in which he espoused the need to morally resist the actions of an unjust state. Thoreau s work heavily reflects the ideologies of the American transcendentalists, and he has long been considered a leading figure in the movement along with Ralph Waldo Emerson, Bronson Alcott, and, at first, Nathaniel Hawthorne (who changed his views later in life). In addition to his writing, which totaled more than twenty volumes, Thoreau was an active abolitionist, and lectured regularly against the Fugitive Slave Law. Thoreau died in 1862, and is buried along with Louisa May Alcott, Ellery Channing, and other notable Americans in Sleepy Hollow Cemetery in Concord, Massachusetts.
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Ten year's later, I decide that I would pick "Walden" up again. I told myself that I would stop whenever the reading became too discursive or abstract... And I did not stop until I reached the end!
As any student of early American lit. knows, Thoreau built a small house for himself in the woods of Walden Pond in Concord, MA, where he lived for two years (1845-1847), documenting his experiences living there in "Walden." He hoed beans for a living, lived a mile from his nearest neighbor and survived on the absolute minimum that he could. In his downtime, he would swim, fish, read and take in his surroundings, describing every sight and sound with the utmost care. Thoreau creates for his reader an unforgettable Nature-observing experience with such richness of detail that we feel we are right there with him. We hear the owl's cry, we witness the loon diving into the pond and the two ants going head-to-head in battle, we see the blue of Walden Pond. He is a student of Nature of the highest order and extracts from each of these experiences a parable about humanity: what we lack and how we can be free. For Thoreau, Walden Pond is a place of purity, an oasis, an Eastern paradise on earth, a Ganges.
An ardent non-conformist, Thoreau also uses this book as a sounding board for his "radical" views and practices. He detests the railroad and its encroachment upon his land (and more generally, that of technology on human and animal life). He refuses to pay taxes to a government that supports slavery and the Mexican War (for which he is briefly imprisoned during one of his sallies to the village). He prefers Eastern spirituality and meditation to Western religiosity. He spurns the high life and abstains from drinking and eating meat. He believes that man is in a dormant intellectual state, from which he can one day rise and embrace the dawn. And the list continues...
Thoreau's prose is also rather unique. What one must remember is that he is faithful student of Emerson and like Emerson, his paragraphs often contain non sequiturs, digressions and sometimes outright contradictions. It was perhaps this lack of logical linearity that initially kept from enjoying his work as a college student. We must be indulgent with Thoreau: his wit, his aphorisms, his acumen are well worth the sometimes uncomfortable task of deciphering his prose. I am very glad that at nearly the same age as Thoreau, I took a journey to Walden Pond with him.
The result is something that could have been fascinating being just plain awkward and unsatisfying to handle and read.