Walden (Shambhala Library Edition)

Walden (Shambhala Library Edition)

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by Henry David Thoreau, Terry Tempest Williams
     
 

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In July 1845, Henry David Thoreau built a small cottage in the woods near Walden Pond in Concord, Massachusetts. During the two years and two months he spent there, he began to write Walden, a chronicle of his communion with nature that became one of the most influential and compelling books in American literature. Since its first publication on August 9,

Overview

In July 1845, Henry David Thoreau built a small cottage in the woods near Walden Pond in Concord, Massachusetts. During the two years and two months he spent there, he began to write Walden, a chronicle of his communion with nature that became one of the most influential and compelling books in American literature. Since its first publication on August 9, 1854, by Ticknor and Fields, the work has become a classic, beloved for its message of living simply and in harmony with nature.

This edition of Walden features exquisite wood engravings by Michael McCurdy, one of America’s leading engravers and woodblock artists. McCurdy’s engravings bring the text to life—and illuminate the spirit of Thoreau’s prose. Also included is a foreword by noted author, environmentalist, and naturalist Terry Tempest Williams who reflects upon Thoreau’s message that as we explore our world and ourselves, we draw ever closer to the truth of our connectedness.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Michael McCurdy's woodcuts are to Henry David Thoreau's Walden as Rockwell Kent's images are to Walt Whitman's Leaves of Grass.  We experience a perfect conversation between the writer and the artist.  There is a quiet restraint within each woodcut.  Nothing extra.  In the spare, raw beauty of McCurdy's images, he takes Thoreau's philosophy, 'simplify, simplify,' and lays it bare. If one can hold the grace of a good life in hand, McCurdy's work makes that experience possible.  Each print becomes a window where we can view those moments in a private life, a transcendence through beauty." —Terry Tempest Williams
School Library Journal
Gr 9 Up-Henry David Thoreau's classic, first published in 1854 and reporting on his experiences at the eponymous site where he lived in physical and social independence during the mid-1840's, receives refreshing treatment here. William Hope reads leisurely but with feeling, offering listeners the illusion that the author is speaking directly to them. The abridgements are not substantive, so listeners will feel that they have become acquainted with the complexities of a text that is both orderly and sprinkled with irony and other literary devices. The chapters are tastefully set off by musical interludes that complement Thoreau's own rhythms. Not only is this an excellent alternative for students assigned to read the text that is often offered in tiny print without benefit of margins, but it is also possible to suggest this to thoughtful teens who are seeking an intellectually engaging listening experience for their personal enjoyment. Hope's pacing invites readers with minimal skills to accompany their print foray with his narration. The careful editing here assures that they will not become lost between page and sound.-Francisca Goldsmith, Berkeley Public Library, CA Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781590306383
Publisher:
Shambhala Publications, Inc.
Publication date:
10/14/2008
Series:
Shambhala Library
Edition description:
Reprint
Pages:
496
Product dimensions:
4.60(w) x 6.90(h) x 1.20(d)

Read an Excerpt

Introduction

Economy

When I wrote the following pages, or rather the bulk of them, I lived alone, in the woods, a mile from any neighbor, in a house which I had built myself, on the shore of Walden Pond, in Concord, Massachusetts, and earned my living by the labor of my hands only. I lived there two years and two months. At present I am a sojourner in civilized life again.

I should not obtrude my affairs so much on the notice of my readers if very particular inquiries had not been made by my townsmen concerning my mode of life, which some would call impertinent, though they do not appear to me at all impertinent, but, considering the circumstances, very natural and pertinent. Some have asked what I got to eat; if I did not feel lonesome; if I was not afraid; and the like. Others have been curious to learn what portion of my income I devoted to charitable purposes; and some, who have large families, how many poor children I maintained. I will therefore ask those of my readers who feel no particular interest in me to pardon me if I undertake to answer some of these questions in this book. In most books, the I, or first person, is omitted; in this it will be retained; that, in respect to egotism, is the main difference. We commonly do not remember that it is, after all, always the first person that is speaking. I should not talk so much about myself if there were anybody else whom I knew as well. Unfortunately, I am confined to this theme by the narrowness of my experience. Moreover, I, on my side, require of every writer, first or last, a simple and sincere account of his own life, and not merely what he has heardof other men's lives; some such account as he would send to his kindred from a distant land; for if he has lived sincerely, it must have been in a distant land to me. Perhaps these pages are more particularly addressed to poor students. As for the rest of my readers, they will accept such portions as apply to them. I trust that none will stretch the seams in putting on the coat, for it may do good service to him whom it fits.

I would fain say something, not so much concerning the Chinese and Sandwich Islanders as you who read these pages, who are said to live in New England; something about your condition, especially your outward condition or circumstances in this world, in this town, what it is, whether it is necessary that it be as bad as it is, whether it cannot be improved as well as not. I have travelled a good deal in Concord; and everywhere, in shops, and offices, and fields, the inhabitants have appeared to me to be doing penance in a thousand remarkable ways. What I have heard of Bramins sitting exposed to four fires and looking in the face of the sun; or hanging suspended, with their heads downward, over flames; or looking at the heavens over their shoulders "until it becomes impossible for them to resume their natural position, while from the twist of the neck nothing but liquids can pass into the stomach"; or dwelling, chained for life, at the foot of a tree; or measuring with their bodies, like caterpillars, the breadth of vast empires; or standing on one leg on the tops of pillars–even these forms of conscious penance are hardly more incredible and astonishing than the scenes which I daily witness. The twelve labors of Hercules were trifling in comparison with those which my neighbors have undertaken; for they were only twelve, and had an end; but I could never see that these men slew or captured any monster or finished any labor. They have no friend Iolaus to burn with a hot iron the root of the hydra's head, but as soon as one head is crushed, two spring up.

I see young men, my townsmen, whose misfortune it is to have inherited farms, houses, barns, cattle, and farming tools; for these are more easily acquired than got rid of. Better if they had been born in the open pasture and suckled by a wolf, that they might have seen with clearer eyes what field they were called to labor in. Who made them serfs of the soil? Why should they eat their sixty acres, when man is condemned to eat only his peck of dirt? Why should they begin digging their graves as soon as they are born? They have got to live a man's life, pushing all these things before them, and get on as well as they can. How many a poor immortal soul have I met well-nigh crushed and smothered under its load, creeping down the road of life, pushing before it a barn seventy-five feet by forty, its Augean stables never cleansed, and one hundred acres of land, tillage, mowing, pasture, and woodlot! The portionless, who struggle with no such unnecessary inherited encumbrances, find it labor enough to subdue and cultivate a few cubic feet of flesh.

But men labor under a mistake. The better part of the man is soon plowed into the soil for compost. By a seeming fate, commonly called necessity, they are employed, as it says in an old book, laying up treasures which moth and rust will corrupt and thieves break through and steal. It is a fool's life, as they will find when they get to the end of it, if not before.

What People are saying about this

Alan D. Hodder
"Thoreau's masterpiece—here freshly refurbished by Jeffrey S. Cramer—speaks to our material and spiritual condition as powerfully as on the day it first appeared.  Now, more than ever, Walden is our indispensable American book."--(;Alan D. Hodder, professor of comparative religion, Hampshire College     )
Joel Porte
"Jeffrey Cramer's Walden is the most accurate and readable text of Thoreau's masterpiece. Cramer's version now replaces all other available editions of Walden as the most attractive and reliable way to approach this great American book."-- (Joel Porte, author of Consciousness and Culture: Emerson and Thoreau Reviewed
)

Meet the Author

Henry David Thoreau (1817–1862) is one of the most beloved figures in American literature. He is the author of dozens of books and essays, including On Civil Disobedience, The Maine Woods, and A Week on the Concord and Merrimack Rivers.

Brief Biography

Date of Birth:
July 12, 1817
Date of Death:
May 6, 1862
Place of Birth:
Concord, Massachusetts
Place of Death:
Concord, Massachusetts
Education:
Concord Academy, 1828-33); Harvard University, 1837

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Walden (Illustrated + FREE audiobook link + Active TOC) 4.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 16 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
On Easter of 2000 I visited Concord, Massachusetts, and purchased this volume in a gift shop just across Rt. 62 from the site of Henry¿s cabin. It had been raining the entire trip, but armed with my coat of many pockets, my backpack, and my umbrella, I entered and ¿sauntered¿ about the gift shop, glad to get out of the cold dampness if only for a moment. I picked up a couple of the customary t-shirts one needs as souvenirs when traveling and then found myself in the book section, drawn to the items which enthrall me wherever I go. One book stood out¿not because I needed it, for I had a copy at home that was given to me by a friend for my birthday one year, but because of the photo on the cover. Whoever had designed the cover had actually BEEN to Walden, and the proof was the wet leaf among the terra firma known as the Pond. With an accompanying introduction by Joyce Carol Oates, I couldn¿t refuse. The cover still touches me, but I have taken to reading books and giving them away afterward, a habit that I am almost sure that Henry would love. I instead remember Walden in other ways, as rain falling on cedars. Walden to me is always Easter, always Earth Day, always truth, and most of all, always a reminder that my life is not mean or poor but rich and ready for picking. The chapters relying on Spring, Economy, Reading, and most of all the swelling Conclusion, like a gentle coda after the soaring symphony, remind me of what still waits, regardless of how old I am, and how old I will get.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Walden was written as a backlash against consumerism and conformity. Thoreau built his own house with affordable and left over materials and sustained himself for a very small amount of money. The philosophy that he offers is one that many of us could benefit in listening to. Do we really need the most expensive cell phone on the market, or will the free model do? Do we really need a designer bag? Does it make us any happier to buy a house that is so elaborate it will add ten more years before we can retire? Walden questions what is truly important in life and what things are unnecessary burdens that we allow society to place on us.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book manages to pass on more wisdom and inspiration then any other work I can think of. It will convict you into living life, it will cause you to see the world as a place of wonder and oppotunity. Only to be read with an open mind.
Anonymous 6 months ago
Name: Andie // Age:18 // Gender: female // Grade: Freshman // Looks: Short. Caramel skin. Short brown hair. Big brown eyes. Full plumpy lips. Normal nose. Big smile. Decent teeth. // Personality: Competetive. Outgoing. Happy. Respectfull. Loving. I cam be very supportive but at times I tend to not give a fu<_>ck. // Likes: Cheer. Softball. Track. Dance. Gymnastics. Taylor Swift. Dance Moms. Maddie Ziegler. Reading. Writing. // Dislikes: Not too much. // Status: Straight and in a relationship. // I probally forgot alot but get to know me.
Anonymous 7 months ago
Name-Aqua Seabrook Age-18 Gender-Female Looks-Brown hair that goes down to her lower back. Usually in a braid. Blue eyes that change hue depending on mood. Tanned skin. Usually wears long flowy dresses and sandals. Personality-Bold and outgoing. It's hard not to make friends with her. She is always happy and loves to make people laugh. She's a great singer, but nobody really knows. Loves music and plays the flute. Year-Freshman Likes-Dolphins, starfish, seahorses. She loves the ocean and is an unnaturally excellent swimmer. She also likes friends who are honest and kind. Dislikes-Girls who think they're the queen of the world, dishonesty, rumors and teasing. She thinks everyone should be treated equally. History-She's from Brazil and speaks both fluent Portugese and Spanish. She moved here to have a fresh start in America. (She still has a thick Brazilian accent.) Anything else ask!
Anonymous 7 months ago
Name: Luna Howler <p>Age: 18 <p>Gender: &female <p>Looks: She's has light brown skin which signifies that she's African-American. Her teeth her white and pointy like a wolf's instead of squared. She has sky blue braces on that she will be getting off her sophmore year. Her black straight hair goes a little beneath her shoulders. She has a huge collection of 25 different Jordans that she keeps in mint condition. When wearing a bikkini, she has defined abs but not extremeoy defined. You could probably see them from 7 yards away. <p>Personality: Friendly, can be shy when you first meet her, she was popular when she was in highschool because of her personality, she's a major dog enthusiast and spit out facts about dogs if you ask, she is also a tomboy, she like to be active and you will find her in the gym in her free time, and you will also see her in the dog park. <p>Year: Freshman <p>Likes: Boys, dogs, getting excercise, nice people, hands on projects, she also likes hanging out at resturants <p>Dislikes: Rude people, thots, girls who act like they are the most popular girls in school, boys who want to hook up on the first night, and cats. <p>History: She was born and raised in Australia but her parents taught her Greek her whole life so she mostly speaks Greek. She moved here just to come to this college. <p>Others: Not much. She likes to play with her boomerang outside when she gets the chance.
SophiaGracer80 More than 1 year ago
When I read Walden, it felt like Thoreau was filled with a deep sense of leisure that was wrought with an emotional and compassionate link to nature. The book was sprinkled with his usual irony, and like nature, Thoreau's beautiful melodic rhythym of writing.
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Guest More than 1 year ago
The Japan & Stuff Press version of 'Walden' is a retelling of the first two chapters of the original for people, younger or older, who find Thoreau's prose intimidating. This fact is clearly stated on the front and back jackets and in the foreword to the book. If you happen to fit into this category of reader, then the book is well worth having. Even though this 'Walden' is a retelling, the intellectual content has not been diluted.
manirul01 More than 1 year ago
I really enjoy it
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
She lowered her bow. "My arm is cramping." Dx