It is in fact an active, cognitive, self-reflexive saunter which creates between walker and nature a relation identical to the relation between reader and text. The walker observes, considers and studies nature in order to see himself in comparison thereto, a vision which delineates both what the world exterior to the walker is and what, therefore, the interior world of the walker is, and how these two aspects affect one. Thoreau's walks eventually became more than a simple Transcendental exercise performed at the bequest of Emerson, just as the writings eventually became more than just studies of goethe or Wordsworth and a student's meditation on deep thought. The walks became an act of meditation, of true communion with Nature, and the journal mirrored that same transformation, to become a catalogue of Thoreau's every communion with Nature, painting the world as a series of phenomena, a constant stream of divine beauty. The excursion becomes "a succession of confrontations with nature, from each of which the observer is expected to extract as much as he can (6) which is, in turn, assumed to present the Transcendentalist with as much otherness as possible. The more Thoreau considers Nature, the more he is in fact considering himself, his self. To walk is to view, to immerse oneself in the world of Nature.
Henry david summary walking thoreau essay electro32
The poet is free of society's fetters, social constraints, petty interactions with superficial people; and the poet makes free by the power of his work over its reader. Thus, when Thoreau, in the first sentence of "Walking evokes his intention to speak a word for Nature, absolute Freedom and Wildness, it can be seen that lead these three things, all placed on the same level, are in fact not only equal in import but. When a poet makes free, he is literally creating Nature. Nature is recreated in the text: that's the value of a poet. Emerson's words were essential for his beginning, but only as a framework. They started Thoreau's project off, but ultimately it became something business different: an active engagement with the world as a text, and the reader became a man walking through that world, to better understand his own place. The journal 's self-reflexive quality and underpinning question of the relation of its writer to the world around him crave a critical model. This model can be found in Thoreau's essay, "Walking one of the final essays Thoreau was to write. Its clear understanding of what it means to take a walk represents a summary understanding of his project as a transcendentalist, and should therefore necessarily be considered not only as my own artificially-imposed model for the sake of this essay, but also the most accurate. In brief, the essay states that a walk in Nature, performed in the fashion of the Transcendentalists, is no mere stroll.
He comes to question his actions and the world around him the way a reader would question a text. Thoreau's philosophy, his take on Transcendentalism, is based upon Emersonian doctrine; it was, after all Emerson who first introduced Thoreau to Transcendentalism. Thoreau was most inspired by Emerson's assertion that the poet was "the namer, or Language-maker." (4) This assertion creates the transcendental poet as one who manages to walk the line between Nature and Society-the poet is a being living in the natural World who,. The poet was the Transcendental equivalent of a preacher, whose purpose it was to articulate what Emerson names beauty, his analog to communion with God. It was the act of writing about Nature, and about the communion with it, that made it real, made it relative to the rest of the world. It's as though writing it down brought Nature's beauty into the human world. Emerson claimed that a poet was a liberating god: "They are free, and they make free." (5) The notion of making free is a fundamental aspect of Thoreau's own work. On one level this sentence articulates the idea that poets do student liberate their readers-their status as liberating Gods presupposes someone that is liberated by their efforts, an audience, necessarily effected by the act of reading.
In the study of best a work of fiction, it is generally assumed that shortage a certain degree of the text is inspired by the interiority of its author, but necessarily distanced therefrom by the cipher of its fictionalization. This is not the case in the. Journal -its contents are in no way fiction, and their form follows no specific narrative structure. They are entries which build upon themselves as Thoreau's own consciousness evolves, and follow a structure governed only by the passage of time and increased practice of their author in the techniques of self-expression-to-self. Therefore they necessarily become meditative, self-reflexive and self-aware above all, and ultimately confront questions of the nature of the self because that is the only topic on which Thoreau can adequately meditate. The entire fifteen-year period in question becomes a portrait of the evolution of Thoreau's self-awareness in relation to the objects of his observations. The question constantly in the author's mind is how he comes to see these things, and what that particular sight serves.
It is Thoreau talking to Thoreau about the things on Thoreau's mind. I believe that the inherently private nature of the. Journal adds to it a frankness, an honesty, which a reader would not necessarily find in Thoreau's published works, the form of which are necessarily somewhat dependent upon their inherent need to relate to a reader exterior from Thoreau's own mind. Journal was written primarily for one reader and one reader alone: its writer. (3) Therefore, the considerations found therein are necessarily self-reflexive. The questions posed in its pages are posed to their writer, about their writer. The self-questioning nature of a text-to-reader relationship is actively demonstrated by a text whose primary relationship is to itself. The reader of these texts finds himself in a position unique to this particular textual experience.
Walking - by henry david, thoreau by tomi jegede on Prezi
Simply put, i assert this: Thoreau's theories on the function and place of the Writer in the world are analogous to a walk through the woods; His essay, "Walking serves as an ideal metaphor for the journey of the writer. Walking, just as is writing, was book to Thoreau an active consideration of the self and the self's relation to the divine world around. More than simply a consideration of one author's project, ultimately by turning my attention to this particular aspect of Thoreau's writings, i hope resume to consider the broader problem of why we study literature at all. Thoreau's theories are merely the beginning. Just as he, in his. Journal, was trying to find his place in the world, so do all authors and all readers.
Reading, writing, studying-these acts are merely ciphers, just as for Transcendentalists, walking in and interacting with nature were merely ways to get in touch with the wanderer's own soul. Thoreau believed that the writer's purpose was to actively map out his own journey of self-discovery, so that a reader, undergoing a similar process, would have a trail to follow. An important question to ask is why anyone would consider Thoreau's private writings fit for study at all. Journal was Thoreau's private workbook, into which was written commentary that was, as can be expected in one's private workbook, not for public consumption. This content is found often enough right next to content which would be lifted from their private repository and reworked for public consumption. The majority of the text, however, demonstrates neither clear mission nor clear answers.
What, for that matter, is literature? The vision of literary study as a relationship between author, reader and text elevates it to the mere study of books to a deeper study of the self, through relation to those things exterior to the self in question. The study of a text is a search for meaning, and often results in a greater self-understanding by the reader, because meaning is relative to he who perceives. What i intend to consider is how this study of relation is exemplified in the. Journal of Henry Thoreau.
The text in question is not a unified body like. Its existence as a cohesive entity is perhaps an aberration; to consider it as such, given that it was written over thirty years, would be a gross error. Therefore, this paper will consider the. Journal as an item in flux, and given my preoccupation with the fundamental nature of literary study, will narrow its analysis to the evolution of Thoreau's meditations on what the poet is or should. My analysis will center on numerous excerpts from the first fifteen years of his. Journal, the years which demonstrate the clearest evolutionary stages of Thoreau's technique and ideology. Critically, my approach will be similar to that of the genetic critics; my consideration of Thoreau's theory of writing places the idea of writing as the object to be tracked considered as it changes from manifestation to manifestation.
The Spirit of sauntering: Thoreau on the Art of, walking and the perils
Journal of Henry david Thoreau, a thirty-year chronicle of a writer trying writing to discover his purpose and place as a writer. This paper will consider the following questions in order to examine the text-author-reader relationship in the. Journal : why did Thoreau write. Journal in the first place? At what point in its existence did it morph from. (2) Was that only in retrospect? Why should we study this text? To what degree can we actually attribute to Thoreau the intention of turning his private work into a massive piece of literature?
Then Morning, noon, and evening, Spring, summer, autumn, and Winter, night, Indian Summer, and the mountains in the horizon. The real question at hand with the study of any work of prose literature is not related at all to the textual contents-the who, the what and the how that comprise its narrative-but the why. The attempt to understand the reasons behind the events described is often undergone in conjunction with a degree of considering the author's own role or purpose in the given written endeavor. These considerations are framed in their relationship to the reader, forcing the reader to become an active participant in something which amounts to an interaction with a text. This three-step process is, at bottom, the process by which an academic studies a written work. It describes the fundamental relation neil of author-to-text-to-reader, and leads to one idea: at bottom, the purpose for studying a literary work is not merely to reflect upon the text itself, but the text in relation to whoever is studying. When a reader considers the text in relation to himself, what the reader is implicitly doing is examining himself in relation to a larger meaning, a meaning which is derived from recognition of this larger system created in the relationship between text and reader. This relationship is seen in full force in the.
been numbered and lettered to preserve their order. The encircled pencil letters and numbers, appearing usually in the lower left corner of the sheets, were added for this purpose by the library staff. Readers are asked not to disturb this order even if they disagree with it, but instead to contact the public Service librarians to obtain a comment form which can be filled out and passed on to the manuscript Department for evaluation. Earlier reader's comments are (at this date 2004 Sept.) still housed in these folders. Man Thinking About Nature: The evolution of the poet's Form and Function in the journal of Henry david Thoreau. Bagley, honors Thesis, Oberlin College (April 2006). Please contact the author at for permission before downloading. I think i could write a poem to be called "Concord." For argument I should have the river, the woods, the ponds, the hills, the fields, the Swamps and meadows, the Streets and buildings, and the villagers.
Were presented to harvard in 1919 by william Augustus White (class of 1863). White's source is not recorded, but he is known to have had them as early as 1904. What order they were in originally is not known. The old shelf-list from the harvard College library Treasure red room records that they were immediately turned over to Mrs. Livingston to identify and arrange livingston was a harvard College librarian. There is no way of telling how much of the present order results from her work, for a least two subsequent staff members and numerous readers have handled the papers and perhaps re-arranged them. The present order is that which obtained by november 1955, except that a few small groups have been moved from folders 1 and 2 to later folders where they really belong; these are marked in every case so they may be traced if necessary. Although this order is not ideal, it is preserved because it is familiar to recent users of the papers and is recorded by Alexander Kern in the fall, 1955. Thoreau society bulletin, bulletin 53; see curatorial file.
Walking thoreau ) - wik"
Immediate source of Acquisition : Gift of William Augustus White; received: 1919 nov. Original shelf-list cataloging note states: "Placed in Mrs. Flora virginia milner livingston's hand, nov. 1919 for collating and arranging. Processing Information : The following text, friendship written by the houghton Manuscript Dept. Staff, was placed in the box with these manuscripts, dated 1955 nov. 21, titled: "Notes on Thoreau papers.".