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Henry David Thoreau (1817–1862)

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In September 1842, Nathaniel Hawthorne noted this social encounter in his journal: "Mr. Thorow dined with us yesterday. He is a singular character---a young man with much of wild original nature still remaining in him; and so far as he is sophisticated, it is in a way and method of his own. He is näytä lisää as ugly as sin, long-nosed, queer-mouthed, and with uncouth and somewhat rustic, although courteous manners, corresponding very well with such an exterior. But his ugliness is of an honest and agreeable fashion, and becomes him much better than beauty. On the whole, I find him a healthy and wholesome man to know." Most responses to Thoreau are as ambiguously respectful as was Hawthorne's. Thoreau was neither an easy person to like nor an easy writer to read. Thoreau described himself as a mystic, a Transcendentalist, and a natural philosopher. He is a writer of essays about nature---not of facts about it but of his ideals and emotions in its presence. His wish to understand nature led him to Walden Pond, where he lived from 1845 to 1847 in a cabin that he built. Though he was an educated man with a Harvard degree, fluent in ancient and modern German, he preferred to study nature by living "a life of simplicity, independence, magnanimity, and trust." Knowing this, we should beware of misreading the book that best reflected this great experience in Thoreau's life: Walden; or, Life in the Woods (1854). It is not a handbook of the simple life. Though there are elements in the book of a "whole-earth catalogue" mentality, to focus on the radical "economic" aspects of Thoreau's work is to miss much in the book. Nor is it an autobiography. The right way to read Walden is as a "transcendental" narrative prose poem, whose hero is a man named Henry, a modern Odysseus in search of a "true America." Thoreau left Walden Pond on September 6, 1846, exactly two years, two months, and two days after he had settled there. As he explained in the pages of Walden: "I left the woods for as good a reason as I went to live there. Perhaps it seemed to me that I had several more lives to live, and could not spare any more time for that one." Growth, change, and development were essential to his character. One should not overlook the significance of his selecting July 4 as the day for taking possession of his residence at Walden Pond, a day that celebrates the establishment of a new government whose highest ideal is individual freedom. In terms of Thoreau's redefinition of the nation-idea, "the only true America" is that place where one may grow wild according to one's nature, where one may "enjoy the land, but own it not." Thoreau believed that each person should live according to individual conscience, willing to oppose the majority if necessary. An early proponent of nonviolent resistance, he was jailed briefly for refusing to pay his poll tax to support the Mexican War and the slave system that had promoted that war. His essay "On Civil Disobedience" (1849), which came from this period of passive resistance, was acknowledged by Mahatma Gandhi (who read it in a South African jail) as the basis for his campaign to free India. Martin Luther King, Jr. later attributed to Thoreau and Gandhi the inspiration for his leadership in the civil rights movement in the United States. Thoreau contracted tuberculosis in 1835 and suffered from it sporadically afterwards. His health declined over three years with brief periods of remission, until he eventually became bedridden. Recognizing the terminal nature of his disease, Thoreau spent his last years revising and editing his unpublished works, particularly The Maine Woods and Excursions, and petitioning publishers to print revised editions of A Week and Walden. He died on May 6, 1862 at age 44. (Bowker Author Biography) näytä vähemmän

Tekijän teokset

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The Natural History Essays (1980) 143 kappaletta
Letters to a Spiritual Seeker (2004) 143 kappaletta
Reflections at Walden (1968) 142 kappaletta
Henry David's House (2002) 137 kappaletta
Walden and Other Writings (1981) 135 kappaletta
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Henry David Thoreau Selected Writings (1958) — Tekijä — 6 kappaletta
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Nature and Walking (2011) 3 kappaletta
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Vida salvaje, La (2016) 2 kappaletta
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Vita di uno scrittore 2 kappaletta
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Un monde plus large (2021) 2 kappaletta
Les pommes sauvages (2009) 2 kappaletta
Essais (2007) 2 kappaletta
The Thoreau Collection (CD-ROM) (1999) 2 kappaletta
Kolme matkaa erämaahan (2014) 2 kappaletta
Toulky přírodou (2010) 2 kappaletta
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Merkitty avainsanalla

Yleistieto

Virallinen nimi
Thoreau, David Henry
Syntymäaika
1817-07-12
Kuolinaika
1862-05-06
Hautapaikka
Sleepy Hollow Cemetery, Concord, Massachusetts, Yhdysvallat
Sukupuoli
male
Kansalaisuus
Yhdysvallat
Syntymäpaikka
Concord, Massachusetts, Yhdysvallat
Kuolinpaikka
Concord, Massachusetts, Yhdysvallat
Asuinpaikat
Concord, Massachusetts, Yhdysvallat
Cambridge, Massachusetts, Yhdysvallat
Koulutus
Harvardin yliopisto
Ammatit
teacher
writer
essayist
poet
philosopher
inventor (näytä kaikki 7)
pencil maker
Suhteet
Emerson, Ralph Waldo (friend)
Alcott, Louisa May (student)
Fuller, Margaret (friend)
Jackson, Lidian (friend)
Organisaatiot
Underground Railroad
Huckleberry Party
Transcendentalism
Lyhyt elämäkerta
Henry David Thoreau (July 12, 1817 – May 6, 1862) was an American essayist, poet, and philosopher. A leading transcendentalist, he is best known for his book Walden, a reflection upon simple living in natural surroundings, and his essay "Civil Disobedience" (originally published as "Resistance to Civil Government"), an argument for disobedience to an unjust state.

Thoreau's books, articles, essays, journals, and poetry amount to more than 20 volumes. Among his lasting contributions are his writings on natural history and philosophy, in which he anticipated the methods and findings of ecology and environmental history, two sources of modern-day environmentalism. His literary style interweaves close observation of nature, personal experience, pointed rhetoric, symbolic meanings, and historical lore, while displaying a poetic sensibility, philosophical austerity, and attention to practical detail. He was also deeply interested in the idea of survival in the face of hostile elements, historical change, and natural decay; at the same time he advocated abandoning waste and illusion in order to discover life's true essential needs.

He was a lifelong abolitionist, delivering lectures that attacked the Fugitive Slave Law while praising the writings of Wendell Phillips and defending the abolitionist John Brown. Thoreau's philosophy of civil disobedience later influenced the political thoughts and actions of such notable figures as Leo Tolstoy, Mahatma Gandhi, and Martin Luther King Jr.

Thoreau is sometimes referred to as an anarchist. Though "Civil Disobedience" seems to call for improving rather than abolishing government—"I ask for, not at once no government, but at once a better government"—the direction of this improvement contrarily points toward anarchism: "'That government is best which governs not at all;' and when men are prepared for it, that will be the kind of government which they will have."

Jäseniä

Keskustelut

Walden by Henry David Thoreau – STEEL 2022, Fine Press Forum (maaliskuu 23)
Walden, Book talk (marraskuu 2017)
1001 Group Read, June, 2012: Walden, 1001 Books to read before you die (heinäkuu 2014)

Kirja-arvosteluja

Klassikko teos yksinkertaisesta elämästä. Henry on jakanut ensimmäisen vuoden kokemuksensa metsässä asumisesta mukavasti eri aiheita käsitteleviin lukuihin. Loppua kohti teksti alkoi kuitenkin pitkästyttää ja luin kirjan loppuun sen klassikko-statuksen vuoksi. Luonnonihmeet ja niiden havainnonnin ihanuus kävisi selväksi ilman niin pitkiä sepostuksia lammen jäästäkin.

Kirjan viesti tiivistyy seuraavaan lainaukseen Henryn neuvoista irlantilaisille duunareille:

"...kerroin hänelle, että asuin pienessä, valoisassa talossa...etten käyttänyt teetä, kahvia, voita, maitoa, enkä tuoretta lihaa, eikä minun niin ollen tarvinnut tehdä työtä saadakseni niitä...mutta koska hän aloitti teellä ja kahvilla, voilla, maisolla ja lihalla, oli hänen tehtävä kovasti töitä voidakseen maksaa ne...tunnissa tai parissa saatoin, jos niin halusin, itseäni rasittamatta ja yksinomaan huvikseni pyydystää niin paljon kaloja kuin tarvitsin kahdeksi päiväksi tai ansaita riittävästi rahaa elääkseni viikon. Jos hän ja hänen perheensä eläisivät yksinkertaisesti, he menisivät kesällä kaikki huvikseen mustikkaan."

Tätä neuvoa voi käyttää yhä taulu-tv-vimman riivaamaan hilavitkutin elämään.
… (lisätietoja)
 
Merkitty asiattomaksi
sampsak | 192 muuta kirja-arvostelua | Apr 15, 2009 |

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Tilastot

Teokset
555
Also by
63
Jäseniä
43,223
Suosituimmuussija
#392
Arvio (tähdet)
3.9
Kirja-arvosteluja
457
ISBN:t
1,939
Kielet
27
Kuinka monen suosikki
188

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