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Simplicity…but not with words…

Category: Books March 1st, 2011 by mbc

I’ve been reading Walden by Henry David Thoreau for quite some time now. When you start to read about self-building or self-sufficiency you’re bound to come across references to Walden and Thoreau. The book, first published in 1854, describes Thoreau’s experiences over a two year period living in a cabin in the woods at Walden Pond near Concord, Massachusetts, USA. The result is a semi-fictitious and somewhat edited version of the events and Thoreau’s thoughts in relation to society, self-sufficiency and living a simple life…

I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts 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.

I must admit I’m finding this book hard work. Thoreau didn’t extend his quest for simplicity to his use of language and words. Many passages in the book are lengthy and rather showy as Henry extols us on this breadth of his knowledge and classical education. Obviously this book was written in a different time, when readers expected different things from their chosen authors so some patience should be applied – if you do there are glimmers of simplicity and a poetic touch that make perseverance worthwhile…

…it costs me nothing for curtains, for I have no gazers to shut out but the sun and moon, and I am willing that they should look in.

…I’ll keep going…

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