Here begins an weekly series that is a leisurely look at the book ‘Walden’.
Walden is the famous ‘great work’ by American author Henry David Thoreau
The book’s full title is ‘Walden and On the Duty of Civil Disobedience.’
It was first published in 1854.
It is widely regarded as a seminal American text - high praise indeed.
(Yet few texts can lay claim to having directly inspired Ghandi.)
“Civil disobedience becomes a sacred duty when the state has become lawless or corrupt.” Ghandi
What is Walden About?
The significance of Walden owes much to its innovative style - it is a convoluted story rich with rhythm and metaphor.
Waden is a strikingly dense, poetic text - and is an account of the author’s own experiment with living as a self sufficient semi-recluse. Henry David Thoreau was essentially an idealist who sought to reconcile modern society and natural life within himself. Understanding was sought via a process of personal discovery.
He lived simply - in a tiny cottage that he built himself - on Walden Pond near Concord, Massachusetts. For a period of two years he grappled with both the simple and profound elements of living : from how to grow vegetables, to the meaning of life itself.
Walden - To Begin
How to read Walden?
This simple and progressive review of Walden will feature passages for brief comment.
Three excerpts will be selected with themes and ideas noted accordingly.
By these means it is hoped that Walden will be identified and better understood.
Without further ado - we commence.
Walden : Chapter 1 - Economy (part 1)
Passage 1 :
Walden : ‘Moreover, I, on my side, require of every writer, first or last, a simple and sincere account of his own life, and not merely what he has heard of other men’s lives; some such account as he would send to his kindred from a distant land; for if he has lived sincerely, it must have been in a distant land to me.’
Comment/ Notes : Thoreau demands honesty and sincerity from all writers. He opines that genuine sincerity is rare amongst contemporary authors.
Passage 2 :
‘The twelve labours of Hercules were trifling in comparison with those which my neighbours have undertaken; for they were only twelve, and had an end; but I could never see that these men slew or captured any monster or finished any labor.’
Comment/ Notes : The endlessly repetitive work of our modern times is compared to the Twelve Labours of Hercules. In the world of today we can seldom achieve glory through the chance slaying of a monster. Our work is no less arduous a task, yet is without legend, prize or relief. More work is the only reward.
Passage 3 :
Walden : ‘The finest qualities of our nature, like the bloom on fruits, can be preserved only by the most delicate handling. Yet we do not treat ourselves nor one another thus tenderly.’
Comment/ Notes : Thoreau states that this ‘best of self’ needs special care. Achievement is hard won and must be consciously guarded. He notes that this level of respect for both ourselves and others is often lacking.
Walden is an out of print book and is available for free download.
This chrysalis of action and intent.
More next week.
Contact Roundhouse Now!
Book an obligation free consultation to find out more and learn how to leverage mobile technology to grow your opportunities and business revenue.
Get to know Saul Edmonds & Roundhouse
As Creative Director & Roundhouse Founder Saul Edmonds has over 20 years professional design and digital experience.
He is an expert on Brand, Website and App Development. He has worked with clients across all industry groups - including startups, small business, government and entrepreneurs - on projects of all sizes and budgets.
Saul and his team can help you grow your business and discover new possibilities with :
- strategic brand design
- web design & development
- app design and development
- digital marketing
- creative engagement
Saul Edmonds believes that every project begins with a story.
Saul and his team offer a one to one, tailored service - where he works with you closely to develop innovative solutions that will take your business to the next level.
Find out how Saul can help you turn your ideas into reality.
Book an obligation free consultation with Saul Edmonds for ideas and strategies to take your business or project to the next level. Click here to arrange your booking.
Phone : +617 1300 727 749
email : firstname.lastname@example.org
- Learn about our web design here.
- Learn about our app development here.
- See our brand and logo portfolio here.