on the pond

The camper in the back yard. Although his cabin was only a mile and a half from home, and his sister brought him freshly baked cookies, Henry David Thoreau did find a wilderness by Walden and time to develop a sturdy, individualist’s philosophy. …

It was the early spring of 1845 and Henry David Thoreau went out to the shores of Walden Pond, a little glacial half lake a mile long and a third of a mile wide, two miles south of the village of Concord, Massachusetts, and began cutting down the tall, arrowy pines with which to build the cabin that was to make him famous around the world. He had long been thinking of such a move. As early as 1837 he had written in his journal, “I seek a garret”; and in 1841, “I want to go soon and live away by the pond, where I shall hear only the wind whispering among the reeds.”

---this renewed interest in Thoreau, but unfortunately these "lives" and commentaries have come during an era when the dominating thought vogues are psychology and collectivism; so that these studies are somewhat overladen with psychiatry and social theory.</p><p class=

Therefore, if you want to know Thoreau you had better pass up the diagnosticians and get down to reading Thoreau himself. You will find him an "open book" — quite willing to tell you frankly, and interestingly, what he thought and why he lived the way he did. He is quite companionable. Begin, then, with his essays: Civil Disobedience, Slavery In Massachusetts, John Brown, Life Without Principle. If you want more, and you will, go in for Walden — but you will have to read it slowly to get your money's worth out of it — and then put in an evening or two with the revealing extracts from his journals, or diaries as we call them.---click image for source..." width="300" height="225" class="size-full wp-image-78562" /> —this renewed interest in Thoreau, but unfortunately these “lives” and commentaries have come during an era when the dominating thought vogues are psychology and collectivism; so that these studies are somewhat overladen with psychiatry and social theory.
Therefore, if you want to know Thoreau you had better pass up the diagnosticians and get down to reading Thoreau himself. You will find him an “open book” — quite willing to tell you frankly, and interestingly, what he thought and why he lived the way he did. He is quite companionable. Begin, then, with his essays: Civil Disobedience, Slavery In Massachusetts, John Brown, Life Without Principle. If you want more, and you will, go in for Walden — but you will have to read it slowly to get your money’s worth out of it — and then put in an evening or two with the revealing extracts from his journals, or diaries as we call them.—click image for source…

Thoreau wanted to get down to work on a book about the voyage he and his brother John had taken on the Concord and Merrimack rivers in 1839. And unless he could “get away from it all,” it seemed as though the book would never be written.

There was plenty of precedent for Thoreau’s taking to the woods. It was, after all, the period of the great migration west. Men, women and children by the hundreds and thousands were pulling up stakes and moving to new territory to start life afresh. But Thoreau realized that he needed to change something more vital than his mere geographical location: he needed to change his way of life.

Thoreau was going to stay in Concord and simplify his life there. Remembering what he had said so boastfully at his college graduation, he determined to reverse the Biblical instruction- to work one day a week and rest six, though rest would be only a euphemism. Those six days of each week he would devote to writing and the observation of nature.

Thoreau had already made several abortive attempts to simplify his life. In 1841 he had tried unsuccessfully to purchase the lonely Hollowell Farm on the outskirts of Concord. Shortly thereafter he had tried, again unsuccessfully, to obtain permission to build a cabin on Flint’s Pond in nearby Lincoln. Then, in 1845, when he was twenty-seven, his opportunity came and he did not let it go by. ( to be continued)…

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