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Walden by Henry David Thoreau
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Walden (1854)

by Henry David Thoreau

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9,009105332 (3.88)2 / 348
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Showing 1-5 of 85 (next | show all)
UPDATE 2/19/2107
Oh I know this is a favorite, a classic . But I could not stomach any more of Thoreau. His tone is condescending, snobby and totally off-putting. I'd hoped maybe I could glean something worthwhile, something inspiring, but no. This man hadn't an ounce of humility. How can someone impart wisdom without humility? My last attempt was last night, I read a few more pages of Economy where Thoreau, among other annoying comments, criticizes a 'scrubby Irish laborer' No thanks. Goodbye Thoreau.

8/19/2016 I thought Walden would be a good book to read over the summer. So I just picked it up yesterday , expecting to be uplifted . I must say, so far I'm finding Thoreau to be very haughty and full of himself. I know this work is highly acclaimed, assigned as mandatory reading in schools across the country, but so far I'm not impressed. Right from the start, on p.6, Thoreau begins a diatribe of why learning from the elderly is pointless:

What old people say you cannot do, you try and find that you can. Old deeds for old people, and new deeds for new. Old people did not know enough once, perchance, to fetch fresh fuel to keep the fire going; new people put a little dry wood under a pot, and are whirled round the globe with the speed of birds, in a way to kill old people, as the phrase is. Age is no better, hardly so well, qualified for an instructor as youth, for it has not profited so much as it has lost.... Practically, the old have no very important advice to give to the young, their own experience has been so partial... they are only less young than they were."

Oh really now? So advice from the older generation has no importance? Well, according to Thoreau's philosophy, he is beyond old age now himself, dead and buried, so perhaps his musings have no value to anyone in this current age.

Nonetheless, I will give this book a chance. If I can get through it. ( )
  homeschoolmimzi | Feb 19, 2017 |
It was an interesting book, but I found I largely already agreed with the book in several respects. I think I will have to read it again, though, to fully appreciate it. ( )
  thepanzas | Jan 31, 2017 |
Being the type that enjoys philosophy and communing with nature, I thought the story of a famous transcendentalist pondering life in a cabin in the woods would be an interesting read for me. Turns out, no. Rambling passages detailing minutia, a litany of pretentious classical references, and frequent diversions into Latin bog down the narrative for this reader. I did relish those rare moments his 19th Century wit made me laugh, and his discussions of fugitive slaves and Indians presented an interesting time warp. Mostly though, I slogged through to the end to find out how he could possibly justify rejoining society after blasting all those who remained. Spoiler alert: he said he left Walden Pond for the same reason he came, and then quickly diverged into more esoterica. Disappointing, much like the rest of this book. ( )
  DavidZHirsch | Jan 21, 2017 |
He has an opinion about EVERYTHING and this is all of those bound together. Even though many of the things, prices, etc are out of date, the story's points transfer to every time period. This is suppose to make the reader think about what is important in life and live accordingly. Even though it didn't become a favorite, I'm glad I took the time to check it out. ( )
  ToniFGMAMTC | Jan 19, 2017 |
He has an opinion about EVERYTHING and this is all of those bound together. Even though many of the things, prices, etc are out of date, the story's points transfer to every time period. This is suppose to make the reader think about what is important in life and live accordingly. Even though it didn't become a favorite, I'm glad I took the time to check it out. ( )
  ToniFGMAMTC | Jan 19, 2017 |
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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
Meyer, MichaelIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Ross, LauraEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Teale, Edwin Waysecondary 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 Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:20:35 -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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