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Walden and Civil Disobedience (Barnes &…
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Walden and Civil Disobedience (Barnes & Noble classics) (urspr publ 1854; utgåvan 2012)

av introduction and notes by Jonathan Levin Henry David Thoreau (Författare)

MedlemmarRecensionerPopularitetGenomsnittligt betygOmnämnanden
6,485391,150 (3.89)41
Walden and Civil Disobedience, by Henry David Thoreau, is part of the Barnes & Noble Classics series, which offers quality editions at affordable prices to the student and the general reader, including new scholarship, thoughtful design, and pages of carefully crafted extras. Here are some of the remarkable features of Barnes & Noble Classics: New introductions commissioned from today''s top writers and scholars Biographies of the authors Chronologies of contemporary historical, biographical, and cultural events Footnotes and endnotes Selective discussions of imitations, parodies, poems, books, plays, paintings, operas, statuary, and films inspired by the work Comments by other famous authors Study questions to challenge the reader''s viewpoints and expectations Bibliographies for further reading Indices & Glossaries, when appropriate All editions are beautifully designed and are printed to superior specifications; some include illustrations of historical interest. Barnes & Noble Classics pulls together a constellation of influences—biographical, historical, and literary—to enrich each reader''s understanding of these enduring works.   Henry David Thoreau was a sturdy individualist and a lover of nature. In March, 1845, he built himself a wooden hut on the edge of Walden Pond, near Concord, Massachusetts, where he lived until September 1847. Walden is Thoreaus autobiograophical account of his Robinson Crusoe existence, bare of creature comforts but rich in contemplation of the wonders of nature and the ways of man. On The Duty Of Civil Disobedience is the classic protest against government''s interference with individual liberty, and is considered one of the most famous essays ever written. This newly repackaged edition also includes a selection of Thoreau''s poetry.   Jonathan Levin is Dean of the School of Humanities and Professor of Literature and Culture at SUNY-Purchase. His research interests include nineteenth- and twentieth-century American literature and culture, modernism and modernity, and environmental studies. He is the author of The Poetics of Transition: Emerson, Pragmatism, and American Literary Modernism, as well as numerous essays and reviews.… (mer)
Medlem:ZachBlankenbiller
Titel:Walden and Civil Disobedience (Barnes & Noble classics)
Författare:introduction and notes by Jonathan Levin Henry David Thoreau (Författare)
Info:Barnes & Noble (2012), Edition: Illustrated, 352 pages
Samlingar:Ditt bibliotek
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Walden ; and, Civil Disobedience av Henry David Thoreau (1854)

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engelska (37)  nederländska (1)  spanska (1)  Alla språk (39)
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"Enter ye that have leisure and a quiet mind, who earnestly seek the right road." (pg. 219)

There's an odd mix of surprise, frustration and satisfaction that comes when you enjoy a book that, in the majority of opinions you have heard, has been casually maligned. The often-adverse reputation of Walden – and its author, Henry David Thoreau – seems to be forged by many in its opening chapter, a long, indulgent ramble into its young author's worldview.

But you should never trust the opinion of someone who can't even finish a book, for not only does Walden emerge from its ramble into open ground, but that opening chapter begins to look better on reflection. Thoreau makes the case for a more even-paced, introspective life, arguing that the shift towards industrialization and ever more integrated societies has diminished man spiritually ("while civilization has been improving our houses, it has not equally improved the men who are to inhabit them" (pg. 28)). While never a Luddite, he suggests there is an 'illusion' about our 'modern improvements'; "there is not always a positive advance" (pg. 43). For this, he is regularly cast as outdated, unrealistic and impenetrable (if he was writing nowadays, he would be 'problematic' or 'elitist', maybe even 'reactionary'). Thoreau is often criticised as verbose (is an essayist meant to provide action scenes?) and as workshy (is working around the clock for a corporation just to earn enough to put a rented roof over your head for a time supposed to be preferable?). Most absurdly, he is often labelled a fraud, because his cabin on Walden Pond hasn't been deemed remote enough; it was only a mile from his nearest neighbour, and only a short walk into the nearest town.

I imagine the same sort of people who make this criticism would also turn off At Folsom Prison and shatter the vinyl across their knee, upon learning that Johnny Cash never really shot a man in Reno. For not only are these criticisms absurd, but Thoreau pre-empts and incorporates them into his discussion. Walden is an honest and sincere work; while not rigorously academic, it argues its points lucidly and (surprisingly) playfully. Its general thesis is that modern man has no time to improve himself mentally or spiritually, and that in society we are too often "obliged to dress and train, not to say think and believe, accordingly… [losing our] time into the bargain" (pg. 57). Nevertheless, Thoreau accepts he would seem indolent to a working townsman, but argues that this is because the townsman is living an unnatural life (pg. 92). Even in that opening polemical chapter, which occasionally strays towards bitterness, he acknowledges his "shortcomings and inconsistencies", his "cant and hypocrisy – chaff which I find it difficult to separate from my wheat, but for which I am as sorry as any man" (pg. 41). I suspect people don't like realising that so much of their lives is not their own (we can ignore the ball-and-chain so long as it doesn't make a noise), and so react badly to the one – Thoreau – who points it out to them. Considering Walden contains appeals to abolitionism, social improvement and even vegetarianism (all in 1854), it's odd that Thoreau is sometimes characterised as an idle, head-in-the-clouds misanthrope. Some of the modern criticism of Thoreau amounts practically to character assassination, a countermeasure deployed almost as a reflex.

There is far more to Walden than the general thesis I mentioned in the previous paragraph, though it's hard to isolate the ideas in a way that would allow for a flowing review. There are persistent reflections on life and society, often told in a very quotable way that encourages further pondering on the part of the reader. And for a book that appears at first glance to be quite stuffy and dated, Walden is often bracingly relevant. In our modern rush, we are "determined to be starved before we are hungry" (pg. 75); we don't have the "leisure for a true integrity day by day" (pg. 5) and have "become the tools of our tools" (pg. 31). "We meet at very short intervals, not having had time to acquire any new value for each other" (pg. 112), and we are "in great haste to construct a magnetic telegraph from Maine to Texas; but Maine and Texas, it may be, have nothing important to communicate" (pg. 43). Yes, the magnetic telegraph may be obsolete, but how many Twitter handles are there in Maine and Texas today? "A man is rich in proportion to the number of things which he can afford to let alone," Thoreau says on page 66, hence the simple life in a log cabin by a quiet pond. In light of this, how many of us, with all our competing worries, indentures and petty responsibilities, can be considered rich today? How many of us even have the time to think about it? Let me sit with Thoreau by Walden Pond awhile.

Thoreau's criticisms of the modern way of life won't appeal to everyone, but for those who love to read challenging books not for prestige but for the sensation they bring, and for those introspective types who "find it wholesome to be alone the greater part of the time" and that "to be in company, even with the best, is soon wearisome and dissipating" (pg. 111), Walden will be a very rich experience. At its best moments, it may even be a tonic. Its rich, even pace, its ornate but straight-shooting sentences, and its unashamed advocacy of intelligent living and book-learning over superficial, unreflective scrabbling and junk-reading will appeal to people of a certain mark, and only those of that mark. I am one of them, and if you believe you're of the same mind, then it's "worth the while to see the silver grain sparkle when you split this wood" (pg. 164). It's worth seeing what thoughts you can hew from Walden's trunk.

"Why should we be in such desperate haste to succeed and in such desperate enterprises? If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away." (pg. 265) ( )
1 rösta MikeFutcher | Aug 25, 2021 |
Mostly a diary of Thoreau's time spent detached from society and living off the land in the 1840s. He describes the changes in seasons, his thoughts, farming, his influences, his friends, his habits, and describes the wildlife there. He uses many references to the books he had read; Ovid, Meng-Tzu, Cato the Elder, Confucius, the Greek myths, Hindu religion, fables, travel books, and poems. One chapter of Walden was devoted to Thoreau's philosophy of, and experiences of reading. "Books are the treasured wealth of the world".

He writes tales of the people he met, including a person who fed a "winged cat" which he described as possibly a cross between a domestic cat and a pine martin.

He enjoys to play with linguistics and makes etymological connections, for example; Wheat comes from the atin Spica - Speca - Spe - Hope. Thoreau also came out with some great on-liners: eg. his excuse for not leaving with his friend immediately was "I will go with you gladly soon, but I am just concluding a serious meditation"; and on vegetarianism, "I believe that every man...to preserve his higher or poetic faculties in the best condition has been inclined to abstain from animal food"; another time, he claimed "I stood in the very abutment of a rainbow's arch"; and when he sat and did nothing, he called it "contemplation".

He was encouraging to get others to live like he did. "Be content with less".

Although Thoreau claimed he never felt lonely, he did admit that some of his visitors came from his own mind.

I enjoyed reading this book and found it inspiring, particular the form in which he used to described his surroundings so vividly. ( )
  AChild | Aug 10, 2021 |
During high school, I loved Emerson, read him in depth, but I couldn't for the life of me get into Thoreau, and so I winged it (luckily the teacher didn't test us on it). But when the two were assigned side by side in college, it was all I could do to trudge through Emerson. Instead, I delighted sitting out on my fire escape on a cool late summer evening turning page after page of Thoreau. Yes, I know the real story behind his "live deliberately" ethos wasn't quite so romantic, and yes, I've heard a whole lot about his less-than-savory personality traits, but this is thrilling idealism! I wish I had a tiny version of this book to tote around with me for snippets of empowerment. ( )
  LibroLindsay | Jun 18, 2021 |
Ningún santón civil de esos canonizados por los políticamente correctos que se gastan actualmente ha inventado nada en cuanto a este tema.

"Acepto de todo corazón la máxima: "un gobierno es mejor cuanto menos gobierna", y me gustaría ver ponerla en práctica con mayor rapidez y eficiencia. Llevado al extremo, finalmente lleva a esto, que asimismo creo: "el mejor de los gobiernos es aquél que no gobierna en absoluto"."

Así comienza el breve ensayo sobre la desobediencia civil, que se halla en la base de la constitución con que las instituciones de los actuales Estados Unidos se han edificado. Y esto es precisamente lo que, quienes llegan a los gobiernos ávidos de poder, menos están dispuestos a dejar que pase. Vivimos en tiempos en que el tutelado del ciudadano se impone... "por su bien". Algunos hasta quieren imponer desde el poder qué es bulo y qué no lo es. ( )
  Eucalafio | Nov 11, 2020 |
Thought provoking ( )
  Paul_Thomas_Ricci | Oct 4, 2020 |
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Författarens namnRollTyp av författareVerk?Status
Henry David Thoreauprimär författarealla utgåvorberäknat
Case, KristenInledningmedförfattarevissa utgåvorbekräftat
Lentz, David B.medförfattarevissa utgåvorbekräftat
Levin, JonathanIntroduction and Notesmedförfattarevissa utgåvorbekräftat
Levin, JonathanInledningmedförfattarevissa utgåvorbekräftat
Merwin, W.S.Inledningmedförfattarevissa utgåvorbekräftat
Meyer, MichaelInledningmedförfattarevissa utgåvorbekräftat
Miller, PerryEfterordmedförfattarevissa utgåvorbekräftat
Paul, ShermanRedaktörmedförfattarevissa utgåvorbekräftat
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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 had built myself, on the shore of Walden Pond, in Concord, Massachusetts, and earned my living by the labor of my hands only.
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Contains both Walden AND Civil Disobedience. Please don't combine with any edition that only contains one or the other of them.
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Walden and Civil Disobedience, by Henry David Thoreau, is part of the Barnes & Noble Classics series, which offers quality editions at affordable prices to the student and the general reader, including new scholarship, thoughtful design, and pages of carefully crafted extras. Here are some of the remarkable features of Barnes & Noble Classics: New introductions commissioned from today''s top writers and scholars Biographies of the authors Chronologies of contemporary historical, biographical, and cultural events Footnotes and endnotes Selective discussions of imitations, parodies, poems, books, plays, paintings, operas, statuary, and films inspired by the work Comments by other famous authors Study questions to challenge the reader''s viewpoints and expectations Bibliographies for further reading Indices & Glossaries, when appropriate All editions are beautifully designed and are printed to superior specifications; some include illustrations of historical interest. Barnes & Noble Classics pulls together a constellation of influences—biographical, historical, and literary—to enrich each reader''s understanding of these enduring works.   Henry David Thoreau was a sturdy individualist and a lover of nature. In March, 1845, he built himself a wooden hut on the edge of Walden Pond, near Concord, Massachusetts, where he lived until September 1847. Walden is Thoreaus autobiograophical account of his Robinson Crusoe existence, bare of creature comforts but rich in contemplation of the wonders of nature and the ways of man. On The Duty Of Civil Disobedience is the classic protest against government''s interference with individual liberty, and is considered one of the most famous essays ever written. This newly repackaged edition also includes a selection of Thoreau''s poetry.   Jonathan Levin is Dean of the School of Humanities and Professor of Literature and Culture at SUNY-Purchase. His research interests include nineteenth- and twentieth-century American literature and culture, modernism and modernity, and environmental studies. He is the author of The Poetics of Transition: Emerson, Pragmatism, and American Literary Modernism, as well as numerous essays and reviews.

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