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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. 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." 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. 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. (Bowker Author Biography) — biografia da Walden ovvero vita nei boschi… (altro)
Walden ovvero vita nei boschi (Autore) 13,617 copie, 181 recensioni
Civil Disobedience and Other Essays 1,723 copie, 11 recensioni
La disobbedienza civile 1,524 copie, 30 recensioni
Walden and Other Writings 1,438 copie, 10 recensioni
Camminare 870 copie, 19 recensioni
The Portable Thoreau 840 copie, 4 recensioni
Cape Cod 764 copie, 8 recensioni
The Maine Woods 742 copie, 5 recensioni
Walden and other writings 738 copie, 5 recensioni
Walden: A Fully Annotated Edition 610 copie, 7 recensioni
Thoreau: On Man and Nature 409 copie, 1 recensione
Collected Essays and Poems 343 copie, 1 recensione
Where I Lived, and What I Lived For 322 copie, 1 recensione
Walden and Other Writings 316 copie, 5 recensioni
The Journal, 1837–1861 298 copie, 5 recensioni
Letters to a Spiritual Seeker 136 copie, 3 recensioni
Excursions 128 copie, 2 recensioni
Henry David's House 127 copie, 2 recensioni
Works of Henry David Thoreau 100 copie, 1 recensione
The Works of Henry David Thoreau 71 copie, 1 recensione
Wild Apples 61 copie, 1 recensione
Friendship and Other Essays 43 copie, 1 recensione
Canoeing in the Wilderness 42 copie, 2 recensioni
The Works of Henry David Thoreau 41 copie, 1 recensione
The Illuminated Walden 40 copie, 1 recensione
A Yankee in Canada 34 copie, 1 recensione
Thoreau's Wildflowers 31 copie, 1 recensione
Thoreau's animals 30 copie, 2 recensioni
Collected Poems of Henry Thoreau 29 copie, 1 recensione
The River 25 copie
Un paseo invernal 22 copie, 1 recensione
Summer 16 copie
Civil Disobedience/The Liberator 16 copie, 1 recensione
Ktaadn 15 copie
Friendship 11 copie
Musketaquid 8 copie
Volar : apuntes sobre aves 6 copie, 1 recensione
Through the Year with Thoreau 4 copie, 1 recensione
Poemas 3 copie
Poems of Nature 3 copie, 1 recensione
American Fields and Forests 3 copie, 1 recensione
Til naturen 2 copie
Histoire de moi-même 2 copie, 1 recensione
La No-violencia, arma política 2 copie, 1 recensione
Essais 2 copie, 1 recensione
The service 2 copie
Primavera 2 copie
The moon 1 copia
The Angle of Dazzle 1 copia, 1 recensione
Yaban Elmasi 1 copia
Deník 1 copia
Mosbindja Civile 1 copia, 1 recensione
Opere scelte 1 copia
Spring 1 copia
An Ideal 1 copia
Tagebuch III 1 copia
The Landlord 1 copia
Passejades 1 copia
Woodshed 1 copia
Desobeir 1 copia
Thoreau's Journals (Autore) 1 copia
Yürümek 1 copia
On Land 1 copia
On Water 1 copia
The Art of the Personal Essay (Collaboratore) 1,331 copie, 9 recensioni
American Bloomsbury (Featured Artist) 639 copie, 32 recensioni
Essays: English and American (Collaboratore) 587 copie, 1 recensione
The Assassin's Cloak: An Anthology of the World's Greatest Diarists (Collaboratore, alcune edizioni) 538 copie, 8 recensioni
The Rag and Bone Shop of the Heart: A Poetry Anthology (Collaboratore) 380 copie, 3 recensioni
Writing New York: A Literary Anthology (Collaboratore) 272 copie, 4 recensioni
The Heath Anthology of American Literature, Volume 1 (Collaboratore, alcune edizioni) 249 copie
The Literary Cat (Collaboratore) 239 copie
The Penguin Book of Homosexual Verse (Collaboratore) 230 copie, 2 recensioni
American Religious Poems: An Anthology (Collaboratore) 159 copie, 1 recensione
A Comprehensive Anthology of American Poetry (Collaboratore) 124 copie, 2 recensioni
The Anarchist Reader (Autore, alcune edizioni) 122 copie
The Standard Book of British and American Verse (Collaboratore) 108 copie, 1 recensione
The Anarchists (Collaboratore) 107 copie
Winter: A Spiritual Biography of the Season (Collaboratore) 103 copie, 2 recensioni
American Sonnets: An Anthology (Collaboratore) 64 copie
Selected Writings of the American Transcendentalists (Collaboratore) 60 copie, 1 recensione
Autumn: A Spiritual Biography of the Season (Collaboratore) 56 copie, 2 recensioni
Range of Philosophy (Collaboratore) 48 copie
The Signet Book of American Essays (Collaboratore) 36 copie
The Book of the Sea (Collaboratore) 36 copie
American Literature: The Makers and the Making (In Two Volumes) (Collaboratore, alcune edizioni) 25 copie
The Seas of God: Great Stories of the Human Spirit (Collaboratore) 25 copie, 2 recensioni
Classic Essays in English (Collaboratore) 22 copie
The Penguin book of the ocean (Collaboratore) 18 copie
Trees: A Celebration (Collaboratore) 13 copie
Favorite Animal Stories (Collaboratore) 12 copie
Christmas Classics: Stories for the Whole Family (Collaboratore) 12 copie, 1 recensione
America's Great Wilderness (Collaboratore) 5 copie
The Analog Sea Review: Number Four (Collaboratore) 2 copie
A Reader for Writers (Collaboratore) 2 copie

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Henry David Thoreau (July 12, 1817 – May 6, 1862) was an American essayist, poet, and philosopher. A leading transcendentalist, he is best known for his book Walden, a reflection upon simple living in natural surroundings, and his essay "Civil Disobedience" (originally published as "Resistance to Civil Government"), an argument for disobedience to an unjust state.

Thoreau's books, articles, essays, journals, and poetry amount to more than 20 volumes. Among his lasting contributions are his writings on natural history and philosophy, in which he anticipated the methods and findings of ecology and environmental history, two sources of modern-day environmentalism. His literary style interweaves close observation of nature, personal experience, pointed rhetoric, symbolic meanings, and historical lore, while displaying a poetic sensibility, philosophical austerity, and attention to practical detail. He was also deeply interested in the idea of survival in the face of hostile elements, historical change, and natural decay; at the same time he advocated abandoning waste and illusion in order to discover life's true essential needs.

He was a lifelong abolitionist, delivering lectures that attacked the Fugitive Slave Law while praising the writings of Wendell Phillips and defending the abolitionist John Brown. Thoreau's philosophy of civil disobedience later influenced the political thoughts and actions of such notable figures as Leo Tolstoy, Mahatma Gandhi, and Martin Luther King Jr.

Thoreau is sometimes referred to as an anarchist. Though "Civil Disobedience" seems to call for improving rather than abolishing government—"I ask for, not at once no government, but at once a better government"—the direction of this improvement contrarily points toward anarchism: "'That government is best which governs not at all;' and when men are prepared for it, that will be the kind of government which they will have."
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