Skip to comments.Thoreau still speaks to buried teen in all of us
Posted on 05/06/2012 8:36:45 AM PDT by Borges
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I don’t believe him to have been a great writer. That’s your view.
English Professors view him as such. It’s not a view it’s a matter of scholarship. He’s part of the American Literary Canon.
I repeat...I do not believe him to have been a great writer. Sorry, I don't ascribe to all the beliefs of "English professors".
And, since that is my opinion as an individual (your standard expressed earlier) you will have to respect my view.
Who are you going to believe - Thoreau's own book, or what a bunch of college students and environmentalists remember about tough old H.D. Heck, he's almost Jim Bridger's first cousin in their eyes.
By the way, have you ever been to Author's Ridge in Sleepy Hollow Cemetery in Concord?
Thoreau, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Louisa May Alcott, Broson Alcott, and Harriet Lothrop (who wrote under the nom de plume Margaret Sidney) are all buried in their family plots in an area about the size of my dining room and den combined. Thoreau's headstone either has "H.D" or "H.D.T" on it, that's all.
What flaws do you see in him as a writer? His prose is a model of clarity and wit and he did this in a manner quite different from the European notions of such.
Thoreau was the King of the Backyard Campers; he walked a mile or two to the local lakeshore and recorded his observations there, when he wasn’t walking into town to get a little R&R from the “wilderness.”
As such, he’s been the model for and best friend of anti-social Nature dilettantes for more than a hundred years.
One is left to wonder, however, whether he might not have had the same piercing insights sitting on the back porch.
“Its the Nietzsche effect...an honorable man whos had the misfortune of dim followers.”
Yeah, I’ve had a downturn in fortune since some in-laws moved in.
It's often that way, no?
I would say it’s the norm more often than not. I don’t even think Marx would approve of Stalin and Pol Pot.
And he was less than honorable!
I certainly appreciate your scholarly and well thought essay. Quite the event to have such time and care over my rather hastily put together post.
Your observations do present the paradox of some of those strange species in our midst. This could be the activists who go one worse than the yuppies, who wallow in purchasing "stuff". They seek to destroy and create havoc by demonstrations and some violence. Then, no doubt sneak off to a comfortable residence. Expect to then access heat, water and light. Reminds me of a certain academic in Chicago. Lives in a small mansion with every modern convenience. Calls the police if harassed.
Originally tried to blow things and people up. Still talking about the value of what he did. "America, what a country!" quoth he.
I’ve heard that when Mrs. Ralph Waldo Emerson rang the dinner bell, Thoreau was the first one at the table.
when i was a teener i once told my dad that I did not wish to show up after school and help him in the family business...further i informed him that indeed my time was private and i found more fun and fullfillment layin on the bed listenin to my elvis collection whilst maintainng a journal of my important thoughts...also i told him i preferred my meals delivered to this, my work site, in order to facilitate the continuation of my chosen pursuits, uninteruptedly you see. He informed me that i, indeed HAD no private time and that if i did not show up to work on time, every time...i would not get ANY meals at ALL let alone DELIVERED meals....BWAHhaahaahaha dad Thoreauly unThoreaued me in no time atoll...atoll....thank GOD!
While Henry might have inspired LEO my dad inspired me....he taught me lessons that transformed a rudderless kid into an astoundingly successful adult.. I did better than either HENRY OR LEO..so...there’s that...
He was protesting against the expansion of slavery.
I speak to the buried teen in my back yard.
A lot of Americans protested against slavery. I did not know that Thoreau did, but this would not be surprising.
Thoreau to me is like Plutarch and James Boswell. Men who had enough free time on their hands to over analyze the world. Plutarch was certain that utopia was the simple life of the noble barbarian, and James Boswell thought himself quite the man for being able to make his allowance last out the month (though he rarely did).
I'm glad you like Thoreau's humor. I prefer Churchill and Kipling for their dark, yet humorous, commentary on human nature.