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Walden by Henry David Thoreau
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Walden (original 1854; edition 1939)

by Henry David Thoreau

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11,994153415 (3.83)2 / 404
Walden (first published as Walden; or, Life in the Woods) is an American book written by noted transcendentalist Henry David Thoreau, a reflection upon simple living in natural surroundings. The work is part personal declaration of independence, social experiment, voyage of spiritual discovery, satire, and manual for self-reliance. First published in 1854, it details Thoreau's experiences over the course of two years, two months, and two days in a cabin he built near Walden Pond, amidst woodland owned by his friend and mentor Ralph Waldo Emerson, near Concord, Massachusetts. The book compresses the time into a single calendar year and uses passages of four seasons to symbolize human development.… (more)
Member:KarenRennich
Title:Walden
Authors:Henry David Thoreau
Info:The Heritage Press
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Walden by Henry David Thoreau (1854)

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» See also 404 mentions

English (140)  Spanish (5)  Dutch (2)  French (2)  Catalan (2)  Swedish (2)  Finnish (1)  Hungarian (1)  Italian (1)  German (1)  Danish (1)  All languages (158)
Showing 1-5 of 140 (next | show all)
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.
- Henry D. Thoreau


I'm not a professional, but to me, it was a great work of literature and I enjoyed it's subtle language. It's not an easy work to read and it may feel boring at times when Thoreau goes on to sketch the very fine detail of all phenomena, but there is some beauty to that same fine grained penning.

I personally love the idea of living in nature, so perhaps I felt quite acquainted with Thoreau.

I picked the book up after watching 'Into The Wild', a movie on life of Christopher McCandless, who reads this book throughout and is heavily inspired by it. ( )
  mdibaiee | Sep 23, 2021 |
I had been meaning to read this for a few summers! Finally got around to it. I wanted nature, nature, nature. And yes, the most memorable stuff here is about nature: the ant war, the crafty loon, the upside down tree in the lake, the winged cat which is apparently a thing? Otherwise, I could do without the preachiness, and the above-it-all attitude he has towards other people... he was thirty when he wrote this, and it does seem that way. He needed some aging, maybe, but he did have some lovely things to say if you could ignore some of the other things he had to say. I love that he noticed the day is like a year, like I did a long time ago: spring/dawn, summer/noon, autumn/dusk, winter/night. YES. Also, with no mention of all those trees he burned down... which would have been interesting. ( )
  booklove2 | Aug 29, 2021 |
What a guy. ( )
  Enno23 | Aug 15, 2021 |
Essays
  hpryor | Aug 8, 2021 |
For me, this is one of those books which just keeps cropping up in articles, conversations and podcasts. So much so, that eventually I decided that I just had to put my other non-fiction reading aside for a while and finally read it. In particular, Tim Ferriss is a big fan of this book and he constantly mentions it in his shows. It seems to resonate with people who are into simple living and nature so I thought that it would be something that I would like.

The book starts with some philosophy into the way life had developed in the United States and the reasons why Thoreau wanted to live in the woods for a while. There are a lot of things he talks about that are as relevant today as they were in 1854. It always amazes me how much life has changed, but, how many things still remain the same. He talks a lot about how, many people fritter their life away with needless distractions and do what society expects of them instead of living a more fulfilling life. On the surface this is something I kind of subscribe to, but, who is to say what is considered 'frittering life away'? Many people would consider reading fiction a waste of time (Thoreau seems to, unless it is a classic literary work) but obviously, I don't.

After these initial thoughts, the book switches to the memoirs of the naturalist side of Thoreau and his experiences living in the woods. It should be noted at this point that he isn't completely separated from society, he can hear the railway and he has frequent visitors to his cabin. He also takes trips into town to buy seeds etc, and, on one such visit he is arrested for not paying his taxes. There is a real timeless sense because life isn't controlled by some notion of having to do certain things by a certain time. That said, Thoreau has to work to keep himself fed and his cabin in a condition suitable for the season. It is also nice to see how the flora and fauna change as the seasons change. Thoreau lives in unison with the animals who also live in the wood, unconcerned by the mice and squirrels who live under and inside his cabin.

Unfortunately, I didn't really go on with the naturalist section of the book, I found it to be very overwritten and needlessly repetitive. Huge swathes of texts are given over to most mundane of subjects and he often goes off on a tangent. I think I would have preferred to have read an abridged or edited version more suited to the modern reader. The end of the book is a bit of a philosophical summary with Thoreau's feelings about governments and taxes, needless to say, he is not a fan of either.

After finishing the book, I couldn't help but feel disappointed. The philosophy was interesting and engaging but the naturalist side of the book got tedious after a while. ( )
  Brian. | Jul 25, 2021 |
Showing 1-5 of 140 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Thoreau, Henry Davidprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Appelbaum, StanleyEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Auziņa, IrēnaEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Åsberg, StigIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Ābols, ValdisTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Bengtsson, Frans G.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Douglas, William O.Introductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Emmerich, EmmaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Fischer, TatjanaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Gilpin, SamAfterwordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Gissen, MaxEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Groševs, EduardsCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hope, WilliamNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Immonen, AnttiTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Kennedy, Paul E.Cover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Meyer, MichaelIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Nason, ThomasIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Ross, LauraEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Smith, PhilipEditorsecondary 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)

Walden (first published as Walden; or, Life in the Woods) is an American book written by noted transcendentalist Henry David Thoreau, a reflection upon simple living in natural surroundings. The work is part personal declaration of independence, social experiment, voyage of spiritual discovery, satire, and manual for self-reliance. First published in 1854, it details Thoreau's experiences over the course of two years, two months, and two days in a cabin he built near Walden Pond, amidst woodland owned by his friend and mentor Ralph Waldo Emerson, near Concord, Massachusetts. The book compresses the time into a single calendar year and uses passages of four seasons to symbolize human development.

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Book description
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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