Reading Thoreau Again

WaldenWalden by Henry David Thoreau
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is a book that repays rereading, especially if it has been more than 40 years between readings.
Of course there are a thousand memorable and very quotable lines: “The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation”; “…beware of all enterprises that require new clothes…”; “If you have built castles in the air, your work need not be lost; that is where they should be. Now put the foundations under them”; and, finally, “Why should we be in such desperate haste to succeed and in such desperate enterprises? If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away.” When I read Walden in high school, I’m sure I concentrated on finding these veins of gold among what I perceived to be dross, but there are some beautifully written and very closely observed nature studies throughout the book. The detailed descriptions of pond ice in all its variations are priceless. I enjoyed taking my time this time and reading this classic at the slow pace it deserves.

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