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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) — biographie de Walden ou La vie dans les bois… (plus d'informations)
Walden ou La vie dans les bois 13,142 exemplaire(s), 169 critiques
Walden / Civil Disobedience 7,105 exemplaire(s), 48 critiques
Civil Disobedience and Other Essays 1,666 exemplaire(s), 11 critiques
La désobéissance civile 1,491 exemplaire(s), 29 critiques
Thoreau: Walden and Other Writings {Bantam ed.} 1,146 exemplaire(s), 6 critiques
Walking 838 exemplaire(s), 19 critiques
The Portable Thoreau 809 exemplaire(s), 4 critiques
Cap Cod 742 exemplaire(s), 11 critiques
Walden and other writings 730 exemplaire(s), 5 critiques
Les forêts du Maine 722 exemplaire(s), 5 critiques
A Week on the Concord and Merrimack Rivers 610 exemplaire(s), 9 critiques
Walden: A Fully Annotated Edition 586 exemplaire(s), 7 critiques
Thoreau: On Man and Nature 392 exemplaire(s), 1 critique
Collected Essays and Poems 334 exemplaire(s), 2 critiques
Walden and Other Writings 313 exemplaire(s), 5 critiques
Where I Lived, and What I Lived For 305 exemplaire(s), 1 critique
Henry David Thoreau : Journal 1837-1861 273 exemplaire(s), 5 critiques
Reflections at Walden 135 exemplaire(s)
Letters to a Spiritual Seeker 133 exemplaire(s), 3 critiques
Walden and Other Writings 131 exemplaire(s)
The Natural History Essays 130 exemplaire(s)
Balades 124 exemplaire(s), 2 critiques
Henry David's House 123 exemplaire(s), 2 critiques
Civil Disobedience / Reading (Auteur) 94 exemplaire(s)
Works of Henry David Thoreau 93 exemplaire(s), 1 critique
La Vie sans principe 67 exemplaire(s)
The Works of Henry David Thoreau 66 exemplaire(s), 1 critique
Wild Apples 59 exemplaire(s), 1 critique
Thoreau on Birds 55 exemplaire(s)
Autumnal Tints 53 exemplaire(s)
Men of Concord 48 exemplaire(s)
Friendship and Other Essays 43 exemplaire(s), 1 critique
The Works of Henry David Thoreau 40 exemplaire(s), 1 critique
Canoeing in the Wilderness 38 exemplaire(s), 2 critiques
The Illuminated Walden 38 exemplaire(s), 1 critique
Thoughts from Walden Pond 37 exemplaire(s)
Un Yankee au Canada 33 exemplaire(s), 1 critique
The Quotable Thoreau 31 exemplaire(s)
Thoreau's World: Miniatures from His Journal 30 exemplaire(s), 2 critiques
Thoreau's Wildflowers 30 exemplaire(s), 1 critique
Thoreau's animals 30 exemplaire(s), 2 critiques
Collected Poems of Henry Thoreau 29 exemplaire(s), 1 critique
Material Faith: Thoreau on Science (Auteur) 29 exemplaire(s)
Thoreau in the Mountains 29 exemplaire(s)
The River 24 exemplaire(s)
Un paseo invernal 19 exemplaire(s), 1 critique
Thoreau: The Major Essays 18 exemplaire(s)
Summer 15 exemplaire(s)
Ktaadn 15 exemplaire(s)
Friendship 11 exemplaire(s)
A Year in the Woods 9 exemplaire(s)
Musketaquid 8 exemplaire(s)
Slavery in Massachusetts 8 exemplaire(s)
Journal, Volume 3 7 exemplaire(s)
The Works of Thoreau 7 exemplaire(s)
Volar : apuntes sobre aves 6 exemplaire(s), 1 critique
Henry David Thoreau Selected Writings (Auteur) 6 exemplaire(s)
A Winter Walk 6 exemplaire(s)
Lob der Wildnis 5 exemplaire(s)
Journal, Volume 5 5 exemplaire(s)
Thoreau's New England 5 exemplaire(s)
Voisins animaux 4 exemplaire(s)
Through the Year with Thoreau 4 exemplaire(s), 1 critique
Journal, Volume 6 4 exemplaire(s)
Ascoltare gli alberi 4 exemplaire(s)
Thoreau's complete works 4 exemplaire(s)
El Diario - Volumen Ii 4 exemplaire(s)
El gran invierno 3 exemplaire(s)
Pensées sauvages 3 exemplaire(s)
Poems of Nature 3 exemplaire(s), 1 critique
Thoreau on writing 3 exemplaire(s)
The Library a Wilderness 3 exemplaire(s)
Leben aus den Wurzeln. 3 exemplaire(s)
American Fields and Forests 3 exemplaire(s), 1 critique
Sir Walter Raleigh 3 exemplaire(s)
Nature and Walking 3 exemplaire(s)
The Dream of the Toad 2 exemplaire(s)
Sivil Itaatsizlik 2 exemplaire(s)
Vida salvaje, La 2 exemplaire(s)
Les citations écologiques avant l'heure 2 exemplaire(s), 1 critique
Histoire de moi-même 2 exemplaire(s), 1 critique
Til naturen 2 exemplaire(s)
The Human Nature Club 2 exemplaire(s)
Toulky přírodou 2 exemplaire(s)
WALDEN And Other Stories 2 exemplaire(s)
Journal 1844-1846 2 exemplaire(s)
Essais 2 exemplaire(s), 1 critique
Poemas 2 exemplaire(s)
Marcher : & Une promenade en hiver 2 exemplaire(s), 1 critique
Pensoj el Valdeno 2 exemplaire(s)
Night and Moonlight 2 exemplaire(s)
Kolme matkaa erämaahan 2 exemplaire(s)
Selections from Thoreau 2 exemplaire(s)
Vita di uno scrittore 2 exemplaire(s)
The service 2 exemplaire(s)
An Excursion to Canada 2 exemplaire(s)
Journal, 1837-1852 2 exemplaire(s)
La No-violencia, arma política 2 exemplaire(s), 1 critique
ソロー 博物誌 1 exemplaire
Mosbindja Civile 1 exemplaire, 1 critique
Nature Walking 1 exemplaire
Woodshed 1 exemplaire
The New Walden 1 exemplaire
“Sic Vita” 1 exemplaire
Opere scelte 1 exemplaire
Week of the Concord 1 exemplaire
Spring 1 exemplaire
Yaban Elmasi 1 exemplaire
Primavera 1 exemplaire
The Angle of Dazzle 1 exemplaire, 1 critique
The Landlord 1 exemplaire
Passejades 1 exemplaire
Huckleberries 1 exemplaire
Selected writings 1 exemplaire
Aucun titre 1 exemplaire
Cape Cod, vol. 1 1 exemplaire
Cape Cod, vol. 2 1 exemplaire
Walden, Volume 2 1 exemplaire
The moon 1 exemplaire
Thoreau's Journals (Auteur) 1 exemplaire
Desobeir 1 exemplaire
Un monde plus large 1 exemplaire
Survey of a Swamp 1 exemplaire
Les pommes sauvages 1 exemplaire
Yürümek 1 exemplaire
Coratge cívic 1 exemplaire
Kring Bellman 1 exemplaire
On Land 1 exemplaire
On Water 1 exemplaire
Still Deep & Sweet 1 exemplaire
Πολιτική… 1 exemplaire
An Ideal 1 exemplaire
The Writings VI 1 exemplaire
Tagebuch III 1 exemplaire
The Art of the Personal Essay (Contributeur) 1,290 exemplaire(s), 8 critiques
Essays: English and American (Contributeur) 569 exemplaire(s), 1 critique
[ASSASSIN'S CLOAK] by (Author)Taylor, Irene on Nov-11-03 (Contributeur, quelques éditions) 523 exemplaire(s), 8 critiques
A Patriot's Handbook: Songs, Poems, Stories and Speeches Celebrating the… (quelques éditions) 466 exemplaire(s), 5 critiques
The Rag and Bone Shop of the Heart: A Poetry Anthology (Contributeur) 367 exemplaire(s), 3 critiques
Writing New York: A Literary Anthology (Contributeur) 263 exemplaire(s), 4 critiques
The Heath Anthology of American Literature, Volume 1 (Contributeur, quelques éditions) 246 exemplaire(s)
Social and Political Philosophy: Readings From Plato to Gandhi (Contributeur) 233 exemplaire(s), 1 critique
The Literary Cat (Contributeur) 229 exemplaire(s)
The Penguin Book of Homosexual Verse (Contributeur) 221 exemplaire(s), 2 critiques
American Religious Poems: An Anthology (Contributeur) 152 exemplaire(s), 1 critique
A Comprehensive Anthology of American Poetry (Contributeur) 125 exemplaire(s), 2 critiques
The Anarchist Reader (Auteur, quelques éditions) 118 exemplaire(s)
Winter: A Spiritual Biography of the Season (Contributeur) 104 exemplaire(s), 2 critiques
The Anarchists (Contributeur) 104 exemplaire(s)
The Standard Book of British and American Verse (Contributeur) 103 exemplaire(s), 1 critique
War No More: Three Centuries of American Antiwar and Peace Writing (Contributeur) 76 exemplaire(s), 1 critique
American Sonnets: An Anthology (Contributeur) 63 exemplaire(s)
The Heath Anthology of American Literature, Concise Edition (Contributeur) 62 exemplaire(s), 1 critique
Selected Writings of the American Transcendentalists (Contributeur) 59 exemplaire(s), 1 critique
Autumn: A Spiritual Biography of the Season (Contributeur) 56 exemplaire(s), 2 critiques
Civil Disobedience: Theory and Practice (Contributeur) 55 exemplaire(s)
Range of Philosophy (Contributeur) 47 exemplaire(s)
The Book of the Sea (Contributeur) 36 exemplaire(s)
The Signet Book of American Essays (Contributeur) 34 exemplaire(s)
American Literature: The Makers and the Making (In Two Volumes) (Contributeur, quelques éditions) 25 exemplaire(s)
The Seas of God: Great Stories of the Human Spirit (Contributeur) 24 exemplaire(s), 2 critiques
Classic Essays in English (Contributeur) 22 exemplaire(s)
The Penguin book of the ocean (Contributeur) 19 exemplaire(s)
Son of Man: Great Writing About Jesus Christ (Contributeur) 17 exemplaire(s)
Trees: A Celebration (Contributeur) 13 exemplaire(s)
Favorite Animal Stories (Contributeur) 11 exemplaire(s)
Christmas Classics: Stories for the Whole Family (Contributeur) 11 exemplaire(s), 1 critique
Great Short Works of the American Renaissance (Contributeur) 8 exemplaire(s)
Suspense: A Treasury for Young Adults (Contributeur) 6 exemplaire(s)
America's Great Wilderness (Contributeur) 5 exemplaire(s)
A Reader for Writers (Contributeur) 2 exemplaire(s)
The Analog Sea Review: Number Four (Contributeur) 1 exemplaire

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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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