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A week on the Concord and Merrimack rivers ; Walden, or, Life in the woods ; The Maine woods ; Cape Cod / Henry David Thoreau ; [Robert F. Sayre wrote the notes and selected the texts for this novel].

By: Thoreau, Henry David, 1817-1862.
Contributor(s): Sayre, Robert F.
Material type: TextTextSeries: Library of America: Publisher: New York : Literary Classics of the United States : Distributed by the Viking Press, c1985Description: 1114 p. : ill. ; 21 cm.ISBN: 0940450275 (alk. paper); 9780940450271 (alk. paper).Uniform titles: Prose works. Selections Subject(s): Concord River (Mass.) -- Description and travel | Merrimack River (N.H. and Mass.) -- Description and travelDDC classification: 818/.308 LOC classification: PS3042 | 1985Other classification: 18.06
Contents:
A week on the Concord and Merrimack rivers -- Walden; or, life in the woods -- The Maine woods -- Cape Cod.
Summary: Henry David Thoreau wrote four full-length works, collected here in a single volume. Interweaving natural observation, personal experience, and historical lore, they reveal his brilliance not only as a writer, but as a naturalist, scholar, historian, poet, and philosopher. "A Week on the Concord and Merrimack Rivers" is based on a boat trip taken with his brother from Concord, Massachusetts to Concord, New Hampshire. "Walden" is at once a personal declaration of independence, social experiment, voyage of spiritual discovery, manual of self-reliance, and masterpiece of style. "The Maine Woods" and "Cape Cod" portray landscapes changing irreversibly even as he wrote. The first combines close observation of the unexplored Maine wilderness with a far-sighted plea for conservation; the second is a brilliant and unsentimental account of survival on a barren peninsula in the face of hostile elements, historical change, and natural decay.
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Item type Current location Call number Status Date due Barcode
Book University of Texas At Tyler
Stacks - 3rd Floor
PS3042 1985 (Browse shelf) Available 0000100037753

Includes bibliographical references (p. 1071-1094) and index.

A week on the Concord and Merrimack rivers -- Walden; or, life in the woods -- The Maine woods -- Cape Cod.

Henry David Thoreau wrote four full-length works, collected here in a single volume. Interweaving natural observation, personal experience, and historical lore, they reveal his brilliance not only as a writer, but as a naturalist, scholar, historian, poet, and philosopher. "A Week on the Concord and Merrimack Rivers" is based on a boat trip taken with his brother from Concord, Massachusetts to Concord, New Hampshire. "Walden" is at once a personal declaration of independence, social experiment, voyage of spiritual discovery, manual of self-reliance, and masterpiece of style. "The Maine Woods" and "Cape Cod" portray landscapes changing irreversibly even as he wrote. The first combines close observation of the unexplored Maine wilderness with a far-sighted plea for conservation; the second is a brilliant and unsentimental account of survival on a barren peninsula in the face of hostile elements, historical change, and natural decay.

Author notes provided by Syndetics

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 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. <p> 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." <p> 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. <p> 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. <p> (Bowker Author Biography)

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