Derik Badman's Journal

Content Tagged "Thoreau"

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2020-03-31 11:58

My reading has felt bogged down a bit lately. I'm switching between the book about sentences and style and the annotated Walden. The former is just not something you can read a lot at once. As for the latter, I am more confirmed in my thinking that I much prefer the Thoreau of his journals than the Thoreau of his published writing. He is most interesting when writing of his observations both of nature and society, and you get that plenty in his journals, while in the published writing, which is seemingly mostly taken from his journals, those observations are formalized and lengthened and organized in a way that I just end up finding slow and ponderous. I'm going to try to finish it up, as I am nearing the end, but from here on in, I will read the journals instead (the New York Review of Books edition is excellent).

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2020-03-25 08:46

I picked up Walden again last night after letting it linger on the floor next to my bedside for quite awhile. It took me forever to get through the long "Economy" chapter so I had taken a break, but now I'm into the shorter chapters, which makes it easier to read and find places to pause.

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  • Thoreau

2020-01-09 08:16

Still rereading Walden in the annotated edition it's very slow going. Something about that book it's filled with interesting sentences and thoughts paragraphs but for some reason reads so so slow.

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2020-01-03 07:09

Not sure what I'll pick up next to read. I'm sure there's something on my shelf or one of the piles laying around that I could dig into. Maybe I'll read this edition of Walden I got a little while back. It's annotated, and I've read that it is very good, got recommended in the back of the Waldenx40 book I read.

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  • Thoreau

2019-07-09 08:05

I finished up Walden x 40 last night. I wish I had something to say about what I got out of it other than a desire to reread Walden, which will have to wait until I finish a few other recent acquisitions (like the two volume The Book of the Long Sun by Gene Wolfe that showed up in the mail yesterday). One thing that Ray mentions a few times in the book is how there is apparently no record of Emerson, Thoreau's mentor and the man who owned the land at Walden Pond where he had his hut, writing anything about Walden. He doesn't mention it in his voluminous journals nor in his eulogy for Thoreau. That seems like a glaring omission, and one wonders what words they might have exchanged about the book that are forever lost.

I should retract my other statement, I know what I got out of reading Ray's book: this nascent project. Reading about Thoreau and his journals again, made me decide to try this again. I've kept journals in the past at various times for various periods, many of them now destroyed. (Sidenote: I am super annoyed by the autocorrect that keeps changing one word for another as I type.) I've been wanting to take up a project and my recent attempts to revive my blog have not been as successful as I would have hoped. Partly this is due to a confusion about audience and purpose. Is my blog writing for myself? For others? (Some vague barely existent audience.) I think I've often ended in some middle ground that hasn't quite worked. I hold back some things as too personal, but also am not going fully into adding all the context someone other than me might want.

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2019-07-08 08:08

I was actually awoken by my alarm this morning at 6:30, a rare occurrence as I usually wake myself up in time to keep it from going off. Odd as I didn't stay up that late. I was shuffling between three books reading in bed before sleeping. Primarily I'm trying to finish up Walden x 40 by Robert B. Ray. Like his books on film I've enjoyed (The Avant-Garde Find Andy Hardy and The ABCs of Classic Hollywood) it's composed of short essays organized alphabetically by the thematic word, but this time it's all about Thoreau's Walden. I've been enjoying reading it in small chunks over the past week or so, and like effective critical essays it's making me want to reread the object of study. It's been awhile since I reread Walden, as I've tended to get more engrossed in Thoreau's Journals than his published work.

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