Walden x 40

Walden x 40 : Essays on Thoreau

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In 1845, Henry David Thoreau moved from his parents' house in Concord, Massachusetts, to a one-room cabin on land owned by his mentor, Ralph Waldo Emerson. After 26 months he transformed his stay in the woods into one of the most famous events in American history. In Walden x 40, adopting Thoreau's own compositional method, Robert B. Ray takes up several questions posed in Walden. Thoreau developed his books from his lectures, and his lectures from his almost-daily journal notations of the world around him, with its fluctuating weather and appointed seasons, both forever familiar and suddenly brand new. Ray derives his 40 brief essays from the details of Walden itself, reading the book in the way that Thoreau proposed to explore his own life-deliberately. Ray demonstrates that however accustomed we have grown to its lessons, Walden continues to be as surprising as the November snowfall that, Thoreau reports, "covered the ground... and surrounded me suddenly with the scenery of winter."show more

Product details

  • Paperback | 204 pages
  • 139.7 x 213.36 x 12.7mm | 181.44g
  • Indiana University Press
  • Bloomington, IN, United States
  • English
  • 0253223547
  • 9780253223548
  • 1,703,634

Review quote

The essays often return to the same quotations and ideas, illuminating Walden's darker, more obscure passages from various philosophical and theoretical perspectives-thought experiments that read like a thick layering of superimposed snapshots that Ray has taken from different angles of Walden's pages. . . . Ray's collection of readings never resolve themselves into a single argument, always teetering on the brink of explanation. Yet its evasive technique may be Walden x 40's greatest charm, pointing the reader back to Walden itself so that she might engage in her own interrogations. * Times Literary Supplement *show more

About Robert B. Ray

Robert B. Ray is Professor of English at the University of Florida. He is author of A Certain Tendency of the Hollywood Cinema, 1930-1980; The Avant-Garde Finds Andy Hardy; How a Film Theory Got Lost (IUP, 2001); and The ABCs of Classic Hollywood.show more

Table of contents

Bibliographical NoteIntroduction1. Adventure2. Ants3. Awake4. Baskets5. Books6. Colors7. Death8. Distance9. Drummer10. Experiment11. Fashion12. Flute13. Full of Hope14. Genius15. Good and Evil16. Higher Laws17. Idleness18. July 4, 184519. Kittlybenders20. Leaving Walden21. Moulting22. Name23. Numbers24. Obscurity25. Opportunity26. Philosopher27. Proving28. Question29. Readers30. Rents31. Ruins32. Spider33. Stripped34. Tracks and paths35. Unexplorable36. Vocation37. Without bounds38. X marks Walden's depth39. Years40. ZanzibarNotesAnnotated BibliographyIndexshow more

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