Monday, October 19, 2009

Walden or, Life in the Wood (2).

Henry David Thoreau. New York: Literary Classics of the United States, Inc. 1854 (1985).

Why read it? The desire to live close to nature without dependence on material goods. Describes the changing seasons. Offers interesting reflections on modern life.

Quotes and Ideas.

“…unconscious despair is concealed even under what are called the games and amusements of mankind.” p. 329.

“What everybody echoes or in silence passes by as true today may turn out to be a falsehood tomorrow.” p. 329.

“What old people say you cannot do you try and find that you can.” p. 329.

“…life, an experiment….” p. 330.

“But man’s capacities have never been measured; nor are we to judge of what we can do by any precedents, so little has been tried.” p. 330.

“The greater part of what my neighbors call good I believe in my soul to be bad….” p. 331.

“One generation abandons the enterprises of another like stranded vessels.” p. 331.

“Confucius said, ‘to know that we know what we know, and that we do not know what we do not know, that is true knowledge.’ ”

“The necessaries of life for man in this climate may, accurately enough, be distributed under the several heads of food, shelter, clothing and fuel; for not till we have secured these are we prepared to entertain the true problems of life with freedom and prospect of success.” p. 332.

“Most of the luxuries, and many of the so-called comforts of life, are not only not indispensable, but positive hindrances to the elevation of mankind.” p. 334.

“And when the farmer has got his house, he may not be the richer but the poorer for it, and it be the house that has got him.” p. 349.

“They were pleasant spring days in which the winter of man’s discontent was thawing as well as the earth.” p. 355.

To be continued.

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