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目录

2010年版权信息

  作
者: (美)亨利·大卫·梭罗著,王金玲

  出 版 社: 重庆出版社

  出版时间: 2010-4-1

  字 数: 268000

  页 数: 350

  开 本: 32开

  纸 张: 胶版纸

  I S B N : 9787229019266

  包 装: 平装

  所属分类: 图书 >>文学 >> 外国随笔

  定价:26.00

编辑推荐

  生活用“减法”,思想用“加法”

  简单生活的美妙细节

  一本宁静、恬淡、充满智慧的书

内容简介

  这是一本极为优秀的人生哲理书,但从根本上讲,这本书更能扩大我们的日常视野,让我们从简单的生活开始学习知识。通过这本书,我们不仅可以接触到大量的动物和植物学知识,还能了解到更多的人文、地理和历史知识。阅读它,我们能在平凡与简单中真切感受生活的意义与趣味,也更能感受寂静之美。

2006年图书信息

  作 者: (美)梭罗(Thoreau,H.D.) 著,徐迟 译

  出 版 社: 上海译文出版社

  出版时间: 2006-8-1

  页 数: 292

  I S B N : 9787532739578

  包 装: 平装

  所属分类: 图书 >> 小说 >> 世界名著 >> 美洲

作者简介

  亨利·戴维·梭罗[1],H.D.(Henry DavidThoreau1817-1862)。美国作家、思想家、自然主义者。著名散文集《瓦尔登湖》和论文《论公民的不服从权利》(又译为《消极抵抗》、《论公民的不服从》)的作者。

  1817年7月12日出生在波士顿附近超验主义思想运动中心康科德村(Concord,Massachusetts),父亲是小业主。20岁于哈佛大学毕业(1837年),曾任教师,从事过各
种体力劳动。在学生时代与爱默生相识,在爱默生影响下,阅读柯尔律治、卡莱尔等人的著作,研究东方的哲学思想,同时以爱默生倡导的“自助”精神进行思考,形成了一套独立见解。

  梭罗的著作都是根据他在大自然中的体验写成。1839年他和哥哥在梅里马克河上划船漂游,写成《在康科德与梅里马克河上一周》(1849),发挥了他对自然、人生和文艺问题的见解。他的代表作《瓦尔登湖,或林中生活》(1854)记录了他于1845至1847年在康科德附近的瓦尔登湖畔度过的一段隐居生活。在他笔下,自然、人以及超验主义理想交融汇合,挥然一体。他是19世纪超验主义运动的重要代表人物。

  梭罗的文章简练有力,朴实自然,富有思想内容,在美国19世纪散文中独树一帜。他的思想对英国工党、印度的甘地与美国黑人领袖马丁·路德·金等人都有很大的影响。

  在拉尔夫·沃尔多·爱默生(RalphWaldoEmerson)的支持下,梭罗在康科德住下并开始了他的超验主义实践。这时期,梭罗放弃诗歌创作而开始撰写随笔,起先给超验主义刊物《日晷》(Dial)写稿,其后各地的报纸杂志上都有他的文章问世。

  梭罗除了被一些人尊称为第一个环境保护主义者外,还是一位关注人类生存状况的有影响的哲学家,他的著名论文《论公民的不服从权利》影响了托尔斯泰和圣雄甘地。

  1862年5月6日梭罗因病去世,年仅45岁。

  1845年7月4日梭罗开始了一项为期两年的试验,他移居到离家乡康科德城(Concord)不远,优美的瓦尔登湖畔的次生林里,尝试过一种简单的隐居生活。自耕自足两年有余。他于1847年9月6日离开瓦尔登湖,重新和住在康科德城的他的朋友兼导师拉尔夫·沃尔多·爱默生一家生活在一起。出版于1854年的散文集《瓦尔登湖》(Walden)详细记载了他在瓦尔登湖畔两年又两个月的生涯。他虽毕业于世界闻名的哈佛大学,但没有选择经商发财或者从政成为明星,而是平静地选择了瓦尔登湖,选择了心灵的自由和闲适。他搭起木屋,开荒种地,写作看书,过着非常简朴、原始的生活。

  《瓦尔登湖》在美国文学中被公认为是最受读者欢迎的非虚构作品。但正如何怀宏先生所作序言《梭罗和他的湖》里说到的一样:“它的读者虽然比较固定,但始终不会很多,而这些读者大概也是心底深处寂寞的人,而就连这些寂寞的人大概也只有在寂寞的时候读它才悟出深味,就象译者徐迟先生所说,在繁忙的白昼他有时会将信将疑,觉得它并没有什么好处,直到黄昏,心情渐渐寂寞和恬静下来,才觉得"语语惊人,字字闪光,沁人肺腑,动我衷肠",而到夜深万籁俱寂之时,就更为之神往了。”这本书并不会在中国太受欢迎,但它会有稳定的读者,而且是发自内心的喜爱这本书,在夜深人静时捧着它,像是找回生命最本真的意义。

作品简评

  
4c9ae85001e8b.jpg
瓦尔登湖(Walden; or, Life in theWoods),中国大陆译“瓦尔登湖”,台湾译“湖滨散记”,是美国作家亨利·大卫·梭罗所著的一本著名散文集。

  该书出版于1854年,梭罗在书中详尽地描述了他在瓦尔登湖湖畔一片再生林中度过两年又两月的生活以及期间他的许多思考。瓦尔登湖地处美国马萨诸塞州东部的康科德城,离梭罗家不远。梭罗把这次经历称为简朴隐居生活的一次尝试。

  美国的19世纪是个辉煌的时代,一大批作家都深受超验主义【先验论】的影响,生活在这一时代的梭罗也不例外。作为这个时代的代表人物,梭罗对超验主义更是身体力行,《瓦尔登湖》就是他这一思想的体现,它是一部蕴含了深刻哲理的散文。细细读过《瓦尔登湖》的人都有体会;他是在探求怎样实实在在的生活,怎样体验与经历有意义的生活,为自己,也为他的市民同胞,还有当时与后来的读者们。

  本书以春天开始,历经了夏天、秋天和冬天,又以春天结束,这正是一个生命的轮回,终点又是起点,生命开始复苏。

  这是一本宁静、恬淡、充满智慧的书。其中分析生活,批判习俗处,语语惊人,字字闪光,见解独特,耐人寻味。许多篇页是形象描绘,优美细致,像湖水的纯洁透明,像山林的茂密翠绿;也有一些篇页说理透彻,十分精辟,给人启迪。

  这是一本清新、健康、引人向上的书,对于春天,对于黎明,都有极其动人的描写。这里有大自然给人的澄净的空气,而无工业社会带来的环境污染。读着它,读者自然会感觉到心灵的纯净,精神的升华。

  《瓦尔登湖》的伟大之处就在于梭罗能够通过艺术来实现自己决意要做的事业。通过创造一个有机的形式,他使自己的决定获得了新生:通过有意识的努力,他重新获得了一种成熟的恬静,如果说那不是黄金年龄的清纯狂喜的话。

  整个《瓦尔登湖》记录着自我在微观宇宙历程中的经历。

  如果梭罗仅仅给我们留下一部一个男人在林中生活的记载,或者说他仅仅退隐到森林之中,在那儿记载着他对社会的抱怨。甚至说,如果他想把这两者都合到一本书里,那么《瓦尔登湖》就不会有这一百年的生命。

  正像一切所进展的一样,梭罗记下了人跟自然的关系,人在社会中的困境和人希望提高自然的关系,人在社会中的困境和人希望提高自我精神的习性,连他自己恐怕也没有意识到自己在做什么;他一会儿为自我辩护,一会儿充满了喜悦、自由、奔放、创造出了一个独特的煎蛋卷,让人们在饥饿的一天不断从中汲以营养。《瓦尔登湖》是最早一盘充满维生素的菜肴之一。

  Genre(s) Autobiography

  Publisher Ticknor and Fields: Boston (Original Publisher)

  Publication date 1854

  Walden (first published as Walden; or, Life in the Woods) byHenry David Thoreau is one of the best-known non-fiction bookswritten by an American. Published in 1854, it details Thoreau'ssojourn in a cabin near Walden Pond, amidst woodland owned by hisfriend and mentor Ralph Waldo Emerson, near Concord, Massachusetts.Thoreau lived at Walden for two years, two months, and two days,but Walden was written so that the stay appears to be a year, withexpressed seasonal divisions. Thoreau did not intend to live as ahermit, for he received visitors and returned their visits.Instead, he hoped to isolate himself from society in order to gaina more objective understanding of it. Simplicity and self-reliancewere Thoreau's other goals, and the whole project was inspired byTranscendentalist philosophy. However the house was not inwilderness but at the edge of town, 1.5 miles (2.4 km) from hisfamily home, and his mother cooked him meals and cleaned thehouse[1].

内容简介

  本书记录了作者隐居瓦尔登湖畔,与大自然水乳交融,在田园生活中感知自然、重塑自我的奇异历程。它被称为“塑造读者人生的25部首选经典”。

目录

  经济篇

  补充诗篇

  穷困的托词

  我生活的地方;我为何生活

  阅读

  声音

  寂寞

  访客

  种豆

  村子

  湖

  贝克田庄

  更高的规律

  禽兽为邻

  室内的取暖

  旧居民;冬天的访客

  冬天的禽兽

  冬天的湖

  春天

  结束语

中文版·瓦尔登湖

图书信息

  作者:(美国)(Thoreau.H.D.)梭罗

  译者:王义国

  出版社:北京燕山出版社

  
页码:263 页

  出版日期:2008年

  ISBN:9787540219581

  版本:1版

  装帧:平装

  开本:32

  中文:中文

  丛书名:世界文学文库

内容简介

  梭罗除了对希腊罗马的古典文化情有独钟之外,还对东方文化怀有浓厚的兴趣,甚至可以说是有精深的研究,尤其是印度的古典哲学和中国的儒学。他是真正知识渊博的大学问家。读到书中所引用的印度经典,印度文学的魅力让我惊叹,我甚至想,梭罗的优美文笔,该不是师从了印度的古典文学吧。书中多次引用孔孟之道,以佐证他的思想。老实讲,经他一引用,我才发现儒学竟是这样深刻,深感自己对《四书》的理解不过皮毛,真是惭愧之至。

  为什么读书?从根本上讲就是为了增长知识。读这本《瓦尔登湖》,就可接触到大量的动植物学知识和广博的人文、地理、历史知识,欣赏到在优美的散文中阐发出来的人生哲理,体会到作者在行文之中水到渠成地提炼出来的振聋发聩的思想,这样也就在不同程度上向身为作家、哲学家和博物学家的梭罗看齐了。读懂这《瓦尔登湖》,就可以如赫胥黎所说,我们的生活也就更充实、更有意义、更有趣味。

目录

  怎样读这本书

  第一章 节俭

  第二章 我的栖身之处与我的生活目的

  第三章 阅读

  第四章 声音

  第五章 孤独

  第六章 来客

  第七章 豆田

  第八章 村子

  第九章 池塘

  第十章 贝克农场

  第十一章 更高的法则

  第十二章 野兽邻居

  第十三章 乔迁之喜

  第十四章 原居民和冬天的来客

  第十五章 冬天的动物

  第十六章 冬天的池塘

  第十七章 春天

  结束语

  ……

中英双版·瓦尔登湖

图书信息

  作者:(美)梭罗(Thoreau,H.D.)著,李暮 译

  
4c9ae8519a8f7.jpg
出版社:上海三联书店

  出版时间:2008年1月第一版

  ISBN:978-7-5426-2711-7

书籍目录章节

  * 经济篇(Economy)

  * 我的生活所在;我的生活追求 / 我生活的地方;我为何生活(Where I Lived, and What I LivedFor)

  * 阅读(Reading)

  * 声音 / 声(Sounds )

  * 孤独 / 寂寞(Solitude)

  * 访客(Visitors)

  * 豆田 / 种豆(The Bean-Field)

  * 村子(The Village)

  * 湖(The Ponds)

  * 贝克田庄(Baker Farm)

  * 更高的法则 / 更高的规律(Higher Laws)

  * 禽兽为邻('Brute Neighbors)

  * 室内取暖(House-warming)

  * 昔日的居民 / 旧居民;冬天的访客(Former Inhabitants; and Winter Visitors)

  * 冬天的禽兽(Winter Animals )

  * 冬天的湖(The Pond in Winter)

  * 春天(Spring )

  * 结束语(Conclusion)

《瓦尔登湖》及梭罗思想在中国的传播

  《瓦尔登湖》是美国19世纪超验主义先驱梭罗的作品。梭罗于1817年生于马萨诸塞州康科德镇,就是因为茶叶事件爆发了美国独立战争的那个小镇,他亦是人类不抵抗运动的先驱,现代环保主义的鼻祖。梭罗认为人除了必需的物品,其他一无所有也能在大自然中愉快地生活。他在19世纪(1848年)干了一件罕见的事情,就是拿了一把斧头,到康科德郊外的林中自己搭建了一座小木屋,然后每年劳动6周,其余时间用来阅读和思考。他的一切所需均依靠自己动手获取,这样在湖畔生活了两年,之后将湖畔生活写成了被称作超验主义圣经的《瓦尔登湖》一书。

《瓦尔登湖》与徐迟

  《瓦尔登湖》最早是由徐迟翻译到中国的。那个版本于80年代中前期由上海译文出版社出版,绿颜色的封皮儿。徐迟是湖北省作协的著名作家,最有影响的作品是报告文学《哥德巴赫猜想》,写陈景润的;《地质之光》,写李四光的。在70年代末“科学的春天”的背景下,它们创造了极大的社会影响,后被选入人教版中学课本。上海译文的那个版本,在国内并没有取得特别大的影响,销量平平。

  读到徐迟翻译的《瓦尔登湖》,是在80年代后期的三年大阅读中完成的。

  1996年末,82岁的徐迟坠楼(跳楼?)身亡,再次引起人们对《瓦尔登湖》的注目。

《瓦尔登湖》与海子

  海子1983年毕业于北大法律系,后在中国政法大学执教。1986年,政法大学迁址昌平,海子随学校到了昌平。

  海子1986年读到的最好的书就是《瓦尔登湖》。1995年版人民文学出版社出版的《海子的诗》,至今已销了8万册。其中就选有海子1986年写的一首诗《梭罗这人有脑子》——通过海子,至少有8万人知道了梭罗。

  但让《瓦尔登湖》大放光芒的,还不是海子这首诗,而是海子的死。

  海子1989年3月26日卧轨自杀。自杀时身边带了4本书,其中就有一本《瓦尔登湖》。

  通过骆一禾西川等友人的怀念海子的文章,大家知道了海子死前这一细节,接受了《瓦尔登湖》是本好书。

  海子的朋友骆一禾,原为北京出版社《十月》的编辑,为出版海子诗集致死,传为文坛佳话。他、海子、西川三人为同学,又是情同手足的诗歌兄弟。他们三人的友谊,在北京很著名。海子和骆一禾两个人的死,集中在那么一段时间,为《瓦尔登湖》平添了一道神秘的色彩。

《瓦尔登湖》与苇岸

  真正让《瓦尔登湖》为国内出版界全面接受的,还有一个人,就是苇岸

  苇岸1960年生,昌平人。中国人民大学某分校毕业,在校学的是哲学,毕业后分在昌平某中专学校执教。苇岸早期写诗,同顾城等朦胧诗人有较多的交往,后转写散文。海子到昌平后,他们交往较多。昌平三个文人,“各执一端”,海子写诗,苇岸写散文,星竹写小说。

  苇岸1987年从海子处知道《瓦尔登湖》,一连读了两遍,甚为喜爱。苇岸自己是这样写的:“当我读到梭罗的《瓦尔登湖》,我的确感到我对它的喜爱超过了任何诗歌。这就是我在诗歌路上浅尝辄止,最终转向散文写作的原因。”《瓦尔登湖》促使了苇岸从诗歌写作转向散文写作,梭罗成为苇岸散文写作的一个重要的精神源头之一。

  《瓦尔登湖》虽是诗质的,但形式是散文,所以相较海子,《瓦尔登湖》对苇岸的影响更深,也更持久。

  苇岸在国内散文界的影响,1995年以后迭起。他的代表作《大地上的事情》,共有70则,其中至少有两则是写梭罗的《瓦尔登湖》或与梭罗有关的。他另外还有一篇《人必须忠于自己》的散文是写梭罗和《瓦尔登湖》。他一共写了三篇回忆和怀念海子的文章,其中有两篇都写到《瓦尔登湖》。

  1995年4月,苇岸散文集《大地上的事情》由中国对外翻译出版公司出版,通过他的书和一些媒体朋友所做的工作,苇岸让《瓦尔登湖》的影响继续在文化界传播。1996年12月,国内重量级出版社三联书店终于出版了《梭罗集》,该书分上下两册,精装,黑色封皮儿,上面有一帧梭罗的小像。那是三联一套介绍美国文化的书中的一种,我手头上就有《梭罗集》、《爱默生集》、《林肯集》。《梭罗集》共收集了梭罗四本书:《在康科德和梅里马克河上一周》、《缅因森林》、《瓦尔登湖》、《科德角》。《瓦尔登湖》的译者为许崇信、林本春。我们在很多外国散文集中,都可以见到这两个人的影子。值得注意的是,该书封面上打出来的是《瓦尔登湖》,但在目录上却是《瓦尔登湖或林中生活》。这反映了作者或出版社的某种心态——即既知道《瓦尔登湖》的市场影响,想借这影响来做文章,又想在翻译上有点儿创新。他们的翻译借鉴了徐迟的很多地方,把翻译得不顺的地方做了些处理。

  当然这是我个人的推测,未必准确。但有一点儿我是很相信的,如果1996年底三联书店推出来的是《瓦尔登湖》的单行本,那么后来的那么些故事恐怕根本就不会存在了。

  1996年12月徐迟的死,并没有给《瓦尔登湖》带来直接的市场销售。

  在海子自杀10年后,苇岸1999年春死于肝癌。这个世界上,梭罗的门徒——三个将梭罗推介到中国的人相继去世。

  苇岸是这个时代少有的有信仰、坚持自己原则、按原则生活、将生活和艺术创作融为一体的作家。他的死,以及他对《瓦尔登湖》的推崇,再次让文学界认识到《瓦尔登湖》的价值。

  1999年,工人出版社推出了苇岸一个较完整的集子,《太阳升起以后》,2001年前后,湖北美术出版社推出了一本苇岸作品选集,全书除选了苇岸的部分代表作外,还附了部分文友对苇岸的追忆、怀念文章。该书另有一个特点是,版面设计比较精美,每页都有一些风景或其他方面的精美插图。

  苇岸的书,目前只有这三个版本,但它远没有达到应该达到的市场销量。苇岸的价值,中国文化界还未认识到。相较于海子死后的热闹,苇岸更为落寞。

  此后几年中,我只看到祝勇在中青报上写过一篇名称好像是《病中读苇岸》的文章。一平曾经写过一篇《光明的豆粒》,也是谈苇岸创作的。但没有哪一篇文章全面总结苇岸的写作。

  1999年,作家出版社出版了王光林翻译的《瓦尔登湖》,改名《湖滨散记》,2003年夏,哈尔滨出版社出版了张知遥翻译的《瓦尔登湖》。哈尔滨出版社的翻译特点就是把徐迟的再细化,说白点就是把一根橡皮筋拉长了再拉长。梭罗的写作,本身就是极为细致,有的地方还有些晦涩,如果再过分细致地把它拉长,可能问题就出来了。另外,这两个版本的译者本身并不从事创作,他们对语言的直译性要强一些,对语感的把握,相对要弱点儿。

  另外,世界知识社出了一本,只是没找到是哪个人翻译的。据说排版紧巴巴的。

2003,《瓦尔登湖》再生年

  2003年初,由今日世界出版社出版的《瓦尔登湖》面市。该书印制非常精美,每个页码都做了专业设计,至今销量达6万册。是所有版本中销得最好的。

  该书实际上是由书商全程操作的。

  译者也是武汉人,名叫戴欢——《瓦尔登湖》再次与武汉结缘。

  戴欢,1963年生,80年代中后期在武汉从事诗歌理论探索,当时主推深幻主义诗歌。90年代初下海,经营书店5年,做书商5年,操刀图书3年。做图书期间,做得最好的一本书是《脱口秀》,正版盗版总计销售40来万册。自己操刀做书,代表是《魔鬼系列》。但总的来说,他做书成绩一般。

  戴欢新版的《瓦尔登湖》,从总体上翻译仍没有超过徐迟版,但在某些地方,比徐迟翻译得更好。因为长期写作的人,语言的直感一直存在。从各方面综合评定,它是目前比较成功的一个版本。

  译者将书稿送给北京的一个书商,书商操作到位,渠道畅通,终至《瓦尔登湖》成为文艺类畅销书。许多卖场均摆在显眼位置推介。戴欢在翻译《瓦尔登湖》时,并没有预计到它会畅销。他只把它当作一个比较重要的译本来译而已。却不知道,市场条件已经成熟,《瓦尔登湖》,该热了。

  梭罗一个多世纪以前在美国种下的树苗,谁也没有想到,在21世纪的中国,结下了硕果。世事就是这样,难以言说。

Synopsis

  Economy: This is the first chapter and also thelongest by far. Thoreau begins by outlining his project: a two-yearand two-month stay at a crude cabin in the woods near Walden Pond.He does this, he says, in order to illustrate the spiritualbenefits of a simplified lifestyle. He easily supplies the fournecessities of life (food, shelter, clothing, and fuel). Hemeticulously records his expenditures and earnings, demonstratinghis understanding of "economy," as he builds his house and buys andgrows food. For a home and freedom, he spends a mere $28.12.

  Complementary Verses: This chapter consistsentirely of a poem, "The Pretensions of Poverty," byseventeenth-century English poet Thomas Carew. The poem criticizesthose who think that their poverty gives them some sort of unearnedmoral and intellectual superiority.

  Where I Lived, and What I Lived For: After playingwith the idea of buying a farm, Thoreau describes his cabin'slocation. Then he explains that he took up his abode at WaldenWoods so as to "live deliberately, to front only the essentialfacts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach,and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived."

  Reading: Thoreau discourses on the benefits ofreading classical literature (preferably in the original Greek orLatin) and bemoans the lack of sophistication in Concord,manifested in the popularity of popular literature. He yearns for autopian time when each New England village will support "wise men"to educate and thereby ennoble the population.

  Sounds: Thoreau opens this chapter by warningagainst relying too much on literature as a means of transcendence.Instead, one should experience life for oneself. Thus, afterdescribing his cabin's beautiful natural surroundings and hiscasual housekeeping habits, Thoreau goes on to criticize the trainwhistle that interrupts his reverie. To him, the railroadsymbolizes the destruction of the good old pastoral way of life.Following is a description of the sounds audible from his cabin:the church bells ringing, carriages rattling and rumbling, cowslowing, whip-poor-wills singing, owls hooting, frogs croaking, andcockerels crowing.

  Solitude: Thoreau rhapsodizes about the beneficialeffects of living solitary and close to nature. He loves to bealone, for "I never found the companion that was so companionableas solitude," and he is never lonely as long as he is close tonature. He believes there is no great value to be had by rubbingshoulders with the mass of humanity.

  Visitors: Thoreau writes about the visitors to hiscabin. Among the 25 or 30 visitors is a young Canadian woodchopper,whom Thoreau idealizes as approaching the ideal man, and a runawayslave, whom Thoreau helps on his journey to freedom in Canada.

  The Bean-Field: Thoreau relates his efforts tocultivate two and a half acres of beans. He plants in June andspends his summer mornings weeding the field with a hoe. He sellsmost of the crop, and his small profit of $8.71 covers his needs.

  The Village: Thoreau visits the small town ofConcord every day or two to hear the news, which he finds "asrefreshing in its way as the rustle of the leaves." Nevertheless,he fondly but rather contemptuously compares Concord to a gophercolony. In late summer, he is arrested for refusing to pay federaltaxes, but is released the next day. He explains that he refuses topay taxes to a government that supports slavery.

  The Ponds: In autumn, Thoreau rambles about thecountryside and writes down his observations about the geography ofWalden Pond and its neighbors: Flint's Pond (or Sandy Pond), WhitePond, and Goose Pond. Although Flint's is the largest, Thoreau'sfavorites are Walden and White ponds. They are lovelier thandiamonds, he says.

  Baker Farm: While on an afternoon ramble in thewoods, Thoreau gets caught in a rainstorm and takes shelter in thedirty, dismal hut of John Field, a penniless but hard-working Irishfarmhand, and his wife and children. Thoreau urges Field to live asimple but independent and fulfilling life in the woods, therebyfreeing himself of employers and creditors. But the Irishman won'tgive up his dreams of luxury, which is the American dream.

  Higher Laws: Thoreau discusses whether hunting wildanimals and eating meat is good. He concludes that the primitive,animal side of humans drives them to kill and eat animals, and thata person who transcends this propensity is superior to those whodon't. (Thoreau eats fish.) In addition to vegetarianism, he laudschastity, work, and teetotalism.

  Brute Neighbors: Thoreau briefly discusses the manywild animals that are his neighbors at Walden. A description of thenesting habits of partridges is followed by a fascinating accountof a massive battle between red and black ants. Three of thecombatants he takes into his cabin and examines them under amicroscope as the black ant kills the two smaller red ones. Later,Thoreau takes his boat and tries to follow a teasing loon about thepond.

  House-Warming: After picking November berries inthe woods, Thoreau bestirs himself to add a chimney and plaster thewalls of his hut in order to stave off the cold of the oncomingwinter. He also lays in a good supply of firewood, and expressesaffection for wood and fire.

  Former Inhabitants; and Winter Visitors: Thoreaurelates the stories of people who formerly lived in the vicinity ofWalden Pond. Then he talks about the few visitors he receivesduring the winter: a farmer, a woodchopper, and a poet (Ralph WaldoEmerson).

  Winter Animals: Thoreau amuses himself by watchingwildlife during the winter. He relates his observations of owls,hares, red squirrels, mice, and various birds as they hunt, sing,and eat the scraps and corn he put out for them. He also describesa foxhunt that passes by.

  The Pond in Winter: Thoreau describes Walden Pondas it appears during the winter. He claims to have sounded itsdepths and located an underground outlet. Then he recounts how 100laborers came to cut great blocks of ice from the pond, the ice tobe shipped to the Carolinas.

  Spring: As spring arrives, Walden and the otherponds melt with stentorian thundering and rumbling. Thoreau enjoyswatching the thaw, and grows ecstatic as he witnesses the greenrebirth of nature. He watches the geese winging their way north,and a hawk playing by itself in the sky. As nature is reborn, thenarrator implies, so is he. He departs Walden on September 8, 1847.

  Conclusion: This final chapter is more passionateand urgent than its predecessors. In it, Thoreau criticizesAmericans' constant rush to succeed, to acquire superfluous wealththat does nothing to augment their happiness. He urges us to changeour lives for the better, not by acquiring more wealth and materialpossessions, but instead to "sell your clothes and keep yourthoughts," and to "say what you have to say, not what you ought."He criticizes conformity: "If a man does not keep pace with hiscompanions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Lethim step to the music which he hears, however measured or faraway." By doing these things, men may find happiness andself-fulfillment.

  "I do not say that John or Jonathan will realize all this; butsuch is the character of that morrow which mere lapse of time cannever make to dawn. The light which puts out our eyes is darknessto us. Only that day dawns to which we are awake. There is more dayto dawn. The sun is but a morning star."

Themes

  Walden emphasizes the importance of self-reliance, solitude,contemplation, and closeness to nature in transcending the crassexistence that is supposedly the lot of most humans. The book isneither a novel nor a true autobiography, but combines these genreswith a social critique of contemporary Western culture'sconsumerist and materialist attitudes and its distance from anddestruction of nature. That the book is not simply a criticism ofsociety, but also an attempt to engage creatively with the betteraspects of contemporary culture is suggested both by his proximityto Concord society and by his admiration for classical literature.There are signs of ambiguity, or an attempt to see an alternativeside of something common -- the sound of a passing locomotive, forexample, is compared to natural sounds.

  (A reproduction of Thoreau's cabin with a statue of Thoreau)

  Walden is believed to have been inspired by AmericanTranscendentalism, a philosophy developed by Thoreau's friend andspiritual mentor Ralph Waldo Emerson. Emerson owned the land onwhich Thoreau built his cabin at Walden Pond, and Thoreau used towalk over to Emerson's house for a meal and a conversation.

  Thoreau regarded his sojourn at Walden as a noble experiment witha threefold purpose. First, he was escaping the dehumanizingeffects of the Industrial Revolution by returning to a simpler,agrarian lifestyle. Second, he was simplifying his life andreducing his expenditures, increasing the amount of leisure time inwhich he could work on his writings (most of A Week on the Concordand Merrimack Rivers was written at Walden). Third, and mostimportant, Thoreau was putting into practice the Transcendentalistbelief that one can best transcend normality and experience theIdeal, or the Divine, through nature.

  It should come as no surprise that Walden is now an icon forenvironmentalists, and a touchstone for Americans seeking to "getin touch with nature."

Modern influence

  (The site of Thoreau's cabin marked by a cairn)

  * Walden inspired the 1948 novel Walden Two by psychologist B.F.Skinner.

  * Walden Three, a non-profit educational foundation that promotessustainable societies, takes its name from the book.

  * In the early years of the Doonesbury comic strip, the maincharacters lived in a commune they named Walden Puddle, a referenceto Walden Pond and a note of Thoreau's influence on the studentcounterculture of the time.

  * The meetings of the fictional Dead Poets Society in the 1989film with the same name were all opened with a quote from Walden.

  * A Wilhelm Scream has a song on their 2005 album Ruiner whichrefers to Thoreau, Walden, and nature. The title of the song is"When I Was Alive: Walden III." The lyrical excerpt is: "And likeThoreau, it's a quiet place for me. The sticks and the woods, it'sall miles away from you."

  * Walden started a movement for less pollution and preservingwildlife.

  * Walden is one of the three books always carried by Phaedrus inZen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance. The excerpt is: "..whichcan be read a hundred times without exhaustion."

  * In a Zits Comic, Jeremy is telling his mother that he's takingcare of his summer reading by listening to books on Podcast whilehe plays video games. When his mother asks him what book he'slistening to, he says it's Walden.

  * In the episode "Live Deliberately" of the TV show Ed, Warrentries to impress a girl with his studious knowledge of Henry DavidThoreau's simplified lifestyle by spending a weekend in a localmountain.

  * Walden is mentioned throughout the Frasier episode CranesUnplugged.

  * Walden is mentioned and discussed in The Perks of Being aWallflower by Stephen Chbosky.

  * Walden is an influence on the American author Paul Auster andreference is made to it in many of his books.

  * A residential community in Calgary, Alberta is named after thebook.[1]

  * In the South Park Episode 'Weight Gain 4000' Eric Cartman winsan essay competition by submitted a manuscript entitled Waldon withThoreau's name scratched out and his own scrawled over it. Wendythen criticizes the town for not knowing what it is, insisting thatthey would know what it is if it was a sitcom. To which the crowdresponds, "Who cares?"

External links

  * Download complete text from Project Gutenberg

  * Read the complete text online

  * Study resource for Walden

  * Librivox audio recording of Walden

  * Comprehensive summary and analysis of the text

  * Walden: A Year Photographs of Walden Pond

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