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Walden by Henry David Thoreau
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Walden (1854)

by Henry David Thoreau

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English (66)  Spanish (2)  Dutch (2)  Swedish (2)  Finnish (1)  Danish (1)  German (1)  All languages (75)
Showing 1-5 of 66 (next | show all)
I can understand & appreciate why this book is considered a masterpiece, although quite honestly, to me, it just seems like the ramblings of an old man who has been vastly disappointed by his life in the "normal" world, during the 2 years he spent in solitude in the woods. Some of the things he had to say were still relevant today, & some weren't, even though they were highly relevant at his time of life. Interesting, yes, boring in a LOT of places, long winded & overly wordy for my personal taste. Guess I should have read the Cliff Notes :) I probably would have appreciated it more. I found this one a REAL struggle. ( )
  Lisa.Johnson.James | Apr 10, 2014 |
When I wrote the following lines, or rather the bulk of them, I read and wrote alone, in my house, a few meters from any other neighbor, in a house which I hadn't built myself, on the side of Wanneroo Road, Yokine, and earned my living by the labor of my two hands only.

I had considered occasionally what it would be like, to live in the country alone, bucolic landscapes and only the sounds of wildlife, in the manner of these ecologically minded romantics such as Thorea, and decided to conduct the social experiment of reading one of their books for a time.

Here is a summary of my expenses during this time:
Walden ebook, from project gutenberg: $0.00

In discussion with a learned friend, on one of my sojourns from reading, for I am considered by others as a hermit, we felt perhaps that many of these texts, if one had already received their rustic message, actually reading them with their quaint style was not really necessary.

That said, there was some, altogether rustic, charm in the 19th century style and I do not regret reading the book and its plenitude of subordinate clauses; but I don't think it's for everyone.

Here is a summary of Thoreau's main points:
Make your own stuff and it will be super great
Patch your clothes when they get holes, don't buy new stuff.
Grow your own food
Acquire a plot of land to live on by squatting on your friend's land and build a log cabin on it.
Everyone should learn Ancient Greek and Latin and read The Illiad and The Odyssey
Vegetarianism is great and if you have any soul you'll stop eating the meats
Being a hunter is almost as good as being a vegetarian and by being a hunter you'll eventually turn into a vegetarian
Give your child a gun so it can hunt things and then become a vegetarian
Being poor is SO GREAT and way better than being rich
Be passive aggressive to your visitors so they won't stay too long
Taxes are bad, so is the government
  Achromatic | Feb 16, 2014 |
I didn’t know what I was getting into with this one. I expected an easygoing, Walt Whitman-y kind of vibe. I didn't realize Thoreau was going to be such a boring, priggish braggart. I can only imagine what it must have been like to have a conversation with the man and be lectured and scolded all evening.

The book is at its best when Thoreau is describing his observations of the natural world, and at its very worst when he's philosophizing and prescribing.

There are plenty of good lines, but I think most of the best are widely circulated, so you don't need to read the book to hear them. One that was new to me: "I love the wild not less than the good."
( )
  thatotter | Feb 6, 2014 |
Excellent but Thoreau is a grouch ( )
  harmoniumradio | Jul 14, 2013 |
A philosophical work, but not the outlining of a philosophy. Pro-nature and anti-materialism about sums it up. I had several objections to the opening chapter ("Economy"), but after that fell into the groove of his poetic praise of nature and simplicity, reflecting on many of my own pleasant encounters with Mother Nature. He was a very sharp observer, noting many details I'm sure I would have overlooked about his surroundings. I was impressed with his frequent quoting of eastern writers, surely unusual for his time, and his respect for America's indigenous peoples. While I can't swallow what he's selling wholesale, I've taken away many quotes that I'll consider further. ( )
  Cecrow | Jun 26, 2013 |
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» Add other authors (120 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Thoreau, Henry Davidprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Åsberg, StigIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Bengtsson, Frans G.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Douglas, William O.Introductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Emmerich, EmmaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Fischer, TatjanaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Gissen, MaxEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Immonen, AnttiTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Ross, LauraEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
I do not propose to write an ode to dejection, but to brag as lustily as chanticleer in the morning, standing on his roost, if only to wake my neighbors up.
Dedication
First words
When I wrote the following pages, or rather the bulk of them, I lived alone, in the woods, a mile from any neighbor, in a house which I built myself, on the shore of Walden Pond, in Concord, Massachusetts, and earned my living by the labor of my two hand only.
Quotations
We are wont to forget that the sun looks on our cultivated fields and on the prairies and forests without distinction. They all reflect and absorb his rays alike, and the former make but a small part of the glorious picture which he beholds in his daily course. In his view the earth is all equally cultivated like a garden. Therefore we should receive the benefit of his light and heat with a corresponding trust and magnanimity.
wherever a man goes, men will pursue and paw him with their dirty institutions, and, if they can, constrain him to belong to their desperate odd-fellow society.
Every generation laughs at the old fashions, but follows religiously the new.
The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation.
Beware of all enterprises that require new clothes.
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Only "Walden" - please don't combine with any edition containing other works as well.
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Wikipedia in English (1)

Book description
The Scott Library edition consists of a cloth cover, uncut edges and gold gilt top. Original price was 1s 6d per volume. Published 1900ca.

Originally published in 1854, Walden, or Life in the Woods, is a vivid account of the time that Henry D. Thoreau lived alone in a secluded cabin at Walden Pond. It is one of the most influential and compelling books in American literature.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0486284956, Paperback)

One of the great books of American letters and a masterpiece of reflective philosophizing. Accounts of Thoreau's daily life on the shores of Walden Pond outside Concord, Massachusetts, are interwoven with musings on the virtues of self-reliance and individual freedom, on society, government, and other topics. A selection of the Common Core State Standards Initiative.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:53:38 -0400)

(see all 7 descriptions)

One of the great books of American letters and a masterpiece of reflective philosophizing. Accounts of Thoreau's daily life on the shores of Walden Pond outside Concord, Massachusetts, are interwoven with musings on the virtues of self-reliance and individual freedom, on society, government, and other topics.… (more)

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Editions: 0300104669, 0300110081

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