Have you read Walden? Thoreau had a great sense of humor about what he was doing and didn’t try to imbue it with any false grandeur. He was much smarter than all the people who have (mis)read him over the years.
Yes, I read Walden. And I’ll never get that time back. The mind of a navel gazing rich boy is best left unexplored.
Thoreau a genius? Please.
Taking time out of life to write a book about the wonders of living in a cabin, is about as imbued with false grandeur as one can get.
Had Thoreau taken on adult responsibilities, his incites would have been far more impactful. But then he would have realized that most everyone already understood those incites, making a book unnecessary.
It is most interesting that Thoreau had his naturalist epiphanies, while most of America still earned a living working under the sun on farms all day.
It's often that way, no?