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Walking Paperback – March 5, 2010
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Random sampling from the book:
- Our expeditions are but tours, and come round again at evening to the old hearth-side from which we set out. Halk the walk is but retracing the steps.
- The landscape-painter uses the figures of men to mark a road. He would not make that use of my figure. I walk out into a nature such as the old prophets and poets, Menu, Moses, Homer, Chaucer, walked in.
- At present, in this vicinity, the best part of the land is not private property; the landscape is not owned and the walker enjoys comprative freedom. But possibly the day will come when it will be partitioned off into so-called pleasure grounds, in which a few will take a narrow and exclusive pleasure only - when fences shall be multiplied, and man-traps and other engines invented to confine men to the PUBLIC road, and walking over the surface of God's earth shall be construed to mean trespassing on some gentleman's grounds. To enjoy a thing exclusively is to exclude yourself from the true enjoyment of it.
- Hope and future for me are not in lawns and cultivated fields, not in towns and cities, but in the impervious and quaking swamps.
- ...for what is most of our boasted so-called knowledge but a conceit that we know something, which robs us of the advantages of our actual ignorance
Another reviewer questioned this hardcover's durability and price. Regarding its DURABILITY per se, the prospective buyer needn't fret about anything whatsoever [including the paper's (satisfyingly sufficient) thickness and quality]. Library of America's hardcovers are very well made! Regarding the PRICE, however, it indeed seems gallingly steep, at least to notoriously frugal souls like me.
Even so, presently this book--to my knowledge--constitutes the best and most comprehensive single-volume compilation of HDT's essays [not to mention his (infinitely less significant) poetry] for the layperson.
In pursuit of HDT's beloved virtue of "simplicity," consummate Thoreauvians would, arguably, fare best by owning just two (or perhaps three) publications:
(1) this "Library of America" edition of HDT's COLLECTED ESSAYS AND POEMS (ISBN 1883011957);
(2) the "Library of America" single-volume edition of HDT's four full-length books [A WEEK ON THE CONCORD AND MERRIMACK RIVERS; WALDEN; THE MAINE WOODS; and CAPE COD (ISBN 0940450275)]; and perhaps,
(3) HDT's complete (14-volume) JOURNAL (ISBN 0879051736).
With just those three editions, we've--essentially--got "THE" works of Henry David Thoreau on our shelf.