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The Journal of Henry David Thoreau 1837-1861by Henry David Thoreau
Synopses & Reviews
Henry David Thoreaus Journal was his lifes work: the daily practice of writing that accompanied his daily walks, the workshop where he developed his books and essays, and a project in its own right—one of the most intensive explorations ever made of the everyday environment, the revolving seasons, and the changing self. It is a treasure trove of some of the finest prose in English and, for those acquainted with it, its prismatic pages exercise a hypnotic fascination. Yet at roughly seven thousand pages, or two million words, it remains Thoreaus least-known work.
This readers edition, the largest one-volume edition of Thoreaus Journal ever published, is the first to capture the scope, rhythms, and variety of the work as a whole. Ranging freely over the world at large, the Journal is no less devoted to the life within. As Thoreau says, “It is in vain to write on the seasons unless you have the seasons in you.”
Book News Annotation:
Henry David Thoreau kept a journal from his twenties on, writings which would serve as the basis for his books, and eventually fill forty-seven volumes. Searls, an author and translator, selects excerpts from 1837 to 1861 choosing passages he feels reflect the journal in its entirety, and maintain the balance of the seasons. Entries are organized with the date on the left and Thoreau's age on the right, and although abridged, read smoothly and are devoid of explanatory notes or other interferrence of flow. The work contains an introduction by Searls explaining his selection process and a preface by John R. Stilgoe. A chronology is provided along with suggested readings but there is no index. Annotation ©2010 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
About the Author
Henry David Thoreau (18171862), the author of Walden and “On the Duty of Civil Disobedience,” was born and spent his life in Concord, Massachusetts.
John R. Stilgoe is the Robert and Lois Orchard Professor in the History of Landscape at the Visual and Environmental Studies Department of Harvard University, where he has been teaching since 1977. He is the author of several books, including Alongshore and Shallow Water Dictionary.
Damion Searls is the author of Everything You Say Is True and What We Were Doing and Where We Were Going, and has translated many of Europe's greatest modern writers, including Proust, Rilke, Robert Walser, Ingeborg Bachmann, Thomas Bernhard, Peter Handke, and the Norwegian novelist Jon Fosse. He has a Ph.D. in Early American literature, has taught at Harvard and the University of California at Berkeley, and has received writing and translating awards from the National Endowment for the Arts, PEN, and the Netherland-America Foundation.
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