# Introducing Henry's Book ## Background:

2 years at Walden Pond in Concord; the book from journals over 9 years.

Multiple perspectives on the book (economic, political, spiritual); experiment in deliberate living at least partly about coming to know through reflection and writing (died at 45; surviving journal = 21 vols, 4600 pages) External Link.

Isolation can be exaggerated - Walden Pond had RR / telegraph lines on its edge; Emerson's house, 2 miles but would have appeared he was “dropping out” to neighbors, successful peers (Concord was a center of literary culture; Transcendentalism; RW Emerson, Bronson Alcott (Lousia May's father), Nathanial Hawthorne, etc.) .

## Genre and Difficulty:

autobiography, short fiction, travelogue, essay? Elements of narrative and argument, but doesn't assert a claim and develop a supporting argument in academic fashion; an adventure in unfamiliar living, experiencing an “exotic” nature while relatively close to home?

## Structure:

Economy, the longest chapter is a kind of condensation of the whole.

Early/middle body chapters take a locale or theme as center; later chapters move into chronology – fall, winter, spring.

Each chapter contains overlapping themes, narrative anecdotes, observations, digressive meditations allowed to play out in “organic” fashion. (See Bickman quote in Discussion Prompt).

## Honors Core issues to keep in mind:

Genre / Style / Language;

Logos/Ethos/Pathos; Audience;

Source of “authority” or ideas about knowledge (external, internal? produced through scholarly study or…? foundational, antifoundational?)

## Walden Gallery

Thoreau's survey of the pond

Historic photos of Walden Pond

Walden Pond today

## Other Resources

Digital Thoreau

Thoreau Log

Sherwood's old Thoreau Notes

Voyant Visualization of Walden