Early life Thoreau was born in in ConcordMassachusetts, the third child of a feckless small businessman named John Thoreau and his bustling wife, Cynthia Dunbar Thoreau. Though his family moved the following year, they returned in
Although he exulted in the intuitive, creative genius that he felt within himself, throughout his life he was a disciplined craftsman who worked hard to revise and refine his material.
As a writer, he drew strength from an understanding of the inseparability of his life and his art. Thoreau wrote of this unity in his journal February 28,"Nothing goes by luck in composition. The best you can write will be the best you are. Every sentence is the result of a long probation.
The author's character is read from title-page to end. He strove to convey transcendent meaning, the "oracular and fateful," in all that he wrote. Thoreau saw his writing as a confluence of all his powers — physical, intellectual, and spiritual.
He wrote in his journal entry for September 2, We cannot write well or truly but what we write with gusto. The body, the senses, must conspire with the mind.
Expression is the act of the whole man, that our speech may be vascular. He constantly revised his work not out of a fussy sense of perfectionism but because of the tremendous value that he placed on his writing as an embodiment of all that he was. Thoreau was a versatile writer, capable of expressing stark reality in strong language and of conveying delicate detail and subtle nuance.
His work is characterized both by directness of style and by the suggestion of far more than appears on the surface. He effectively employed a variety of techniques — paradox, exaggeration, and irony, for example — to create a penetrating prose.
He brought considerable abilities and resources to his art — breadth of vision, closely examined personal experience, wide and deep reading, imagination, originality, a strong vocabulary and a facility for manipulating words and even sometimes for minting new words to suit his purposesan alertness to symbolic correspondences, and an aptitude for the figurative simile, metaphor, allegory.
He applied himself to translating what he observed of nature and humanity into words "As you see, so at length will you say," he wrote in his journal on November 1, His writing, consequently, possesses immediacy.
Thoreau admired direct, vigorous, succinct, economical prose. For him, the importance of content far outweighed that of style. He avoided overemphasis on form at the expense of content. Romantic writer that he was, he cared little for observing the formalities of established literary genre.
He wanted every word to be useful, to convey meaning, and he had no interest in the purely decorative. Thoreau's writing is full of mythological references and of illustrative passages from earlier authors with whom modern readers may not be familiar.
Nevertheless, despite the obscurity of such allusions, it is hard even for those reading his work for the first time not to experience flashes of inspired understanding of his message.
This is a tribute to Thoreau's effective use of language.
He wrote carefully for an intelligent and thoughtful reader. His work appeals at least as much to such a reader today as it did in the nineteenth century.
The lasting appeal of his work is due, too, to the breadth and timelessness of the major themes developed throughout his writings. Thoreau put millions of words to paper over the course of his lifetime. He vacillated in the way he viewed and presented some of his themes in this massive body of his work.
The reader of Thoreau must simply accept some degree of intellectual contradiction as evidence that the author was a complex man, constantly thinking and weighing ideas, open to a variety of interpretations, capable of accepting inconsistency. If Thoreau's thoughts on a subject did not always remain constant, at least there is coherence in his repeated exploration of certain basic themes throughout his writings.Read an Excerpt.
From Jonathan Levin's Introduction to Walden and Civil Disobedience. In the summer of , Henry David Thoreau moved into a small cabin he'd built near the shore of Walden Pond, about a mile and a half south of his native village of Concord, Massachusetts. FAITH | LEARNING | COMMUNITY.
In the way of Jesus, St Joseph’s Catholic High School aspires to respect and celebrate the dignity of all.
Inspired by the life of St Joseph, the school promotes a culture of faith, justice and service. Read an Excerpt. Introduction Economy. 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.
Page 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 >. Show in alphabetical order ome of the famous intellectuals in the West and the East had the.
Oct 16, · The pond was immortalized by Henry David Thoreau, who retreated there (–47) from society prior to writing Walden; or, Life in the Woods.
In “Where I Lived, and What I Lived For,” the second chapter of the book, Thoreau wrote. Apr 10, · We are taught to think of modern civilization as inherently 'better' than the pre-industrial age.
That's why we need to tap into the caustic, liberating mindset of the great American political.