Into the Woods…With Mom’s Cookies: Kathryn Schulz on the Problem with Thoreau

Siddharta was also kind of an overly – romanticized work of fiction, but still quite good.

Longreads

Only by elastic measures can “Walden” be regarded as nonfiction. Read charitably, it is a kind of semi-fictional extended meditation featuring a character named Henry David Thoreau. Read less charitably, it is akin to those recent best-selling memoirs whose authors turn out to have fabricated large portions of their stories. It is widely acknowledged that, to craft a tidier narrative, Thoreau condensed his twenty-six months at the cabin into a single calendar year. But that is the least of the liberties he takes with the facts, and the most forgivable of his manipulations of our experience as readers. The book is subtitled “Life in the Woods,” and, from those words onward, Thoreau insists that we read it as the story of a voluntary exile from society, an extended confrontation with wilderness and solitude.

In reality, Walden Pond in 1845 was scarcely more off the grid, relative to contemporaneous society, than…

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Author: danielrappletonyahoocom

Science - fiction, fantasy, horror & suspense ( But not really " nerd / geek " material ), armchair cultural anthropologist, interested in archaeology ( Although the closest I've been to an actual dig - site was Pinson Mounds outside Memphis ), & interested in the obscure, strange or sometimes things that would bore or put off other people.

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