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Thread: Henry David Thoreau: Walden

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    United States Henry David Thoreau: Walden

    Walden is perhaps one of my favorite American peices of literature every published. It's timeless philosophies have withstood years after it was originally written, and to this day Thoreau's words speak to me in a way that very few other author's do. He inspired me to move to Alaska, where I live in a remote Yup'ik Eskimo village. We have no running water, heat our home with a woodstove, and try to avoid modern conveniences. And it is by far the most beautiful and fulfilling life I could ever find. Thoreau most certainly knew what he was speaking of when he implied that living simply, was living blessedly.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Henry David Thoreau: Walden

    Quote Originally Posted by Word Countess View Post
    try to avoid modern conveniences...
    I suppose you're writing your words on a prehistoric cave wall then, and not on that ultra-modern invention, gasp, the computer, using another ultra-modern invention, the Internet?


    Still, I hear you. I love Walden (the book) and Alaska is a very beautiful place.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Henry David Thoreau: Walden

    Haha, I said most modern conveniences. The internet is my sole source of income. And although I don't need much- it keeps me in contact with distant family and friends, and work. But other than that I really do avoid alot- and love Walden. haha

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    Default Re: Henry David Thoreau: Walden

    Seward is nice, if you ever get to go south - a fishing town. I have friends in Alaska, Anchorage area, and was there a short while back... I've never seen anywhere quite like Alaska but you are in extreme Alaska, that's pretty far out... in both senses of the expression!

    but back on topic-- I was looking over Walden recently, as part of an anthol of H D Thoreau, but to date have never actually managed to read any of his work. I wonder if our library has a copy.
    Last edited by Hamlet; 07-Feb-2013 at 13:43.
    "In fact nothing is said that that has not been said before." -Terence


  5. #5

    Default Re: Henry David Thoreau: Walden

    Oh yes! I know Seward- it is lovely. Anchorage is as well- but I'm about 500 miles away. And no roads lead to or from the villages, so I can't get there very conveniently (it's about a $1000 plane ride in and back out).

    Walden is certainly worth a read. It has been my favorite piece of literature since the age of 13. I'm assuming you're quite the Shakespeare fan, and unfortunately Thoreau lacks the romanticism- but he certainly has a very beautiful perspective on nature.

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    Default Re: Henry David Thoreau: Walden

    Yeah, have always been a big Shakespeare fan!

    Alaska is like that, isn't it, wherever you are... you are a long way from somewhere else, flying is essential, but in that it's similar landscape, whereever you are... except perhaps above the snowline, it doesn't really matter perhaps...
    Last edited by Hamlet; 08-Feb-2013 at 13:24.
    "In fact nothing is said that that has not been said before." -Terence


  7. #7

    Default Re: Henry David Thoreau: Walden

    I just finished reading this book this morning. I cannot say it left me overly impressed. I think an annotated version would be better than the one that Walden wrote, and that an even better version would be one where his writing was broken into vignettes. He certainly was a talented observer and writer of nature - there is some truly beautiful stuff in here. But the man is incredibly confused when it comes to economics and social theory and he is a second-grade-at-best philosopher (and I'm fairly certain that is quite generous).

    If you read this, don't read the first essay or the conclusion. You're wasting your time. And if you like the opening essay, all I can say is that I am honestly concerned about your understanding of economics. The rest can be pleasant - even enjoyable - if taken in relatively small doses. Otherwise you gloss over a bit and miss out on the beautiful, poetic way he describes existence at Walden Pond.

    A half-hearted recommendation, mostly because of the philosophy tossed into the nature writing. But I can see how it is regularly recommended for writers. The man could write, even if he couldn't think. I would be interested in reading a biography or two though - he comes off as a man scorned at times, and I'm curious exactly what it was that turned him off of his own humanity.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Henry David Thoreau: Walden

    I have read Walden as well, and though I am surprised that you were actually inspired to make such a large change in your life by that book, some of the beliefs Thoreau holds does have a practical value in modern life. But I guess that for most of us, we need to assimilate his opinions and not do anything too radical-try and simplify our lives, while not rejecting all modern conveniences. I am sure that we can in this way make our life better and rise to a higher spiritual level.

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