Thoreau and the Language of Trees


Author: Richard Higgins

Publisher: Univ of California Press

ISBN: 0520294041

Category: Science

Page: 248

View: 6382

Trees were central to Henry David Thoreau’s creativity as a writer, his work as a naturalist, his thought, and his inner life. His portraits of them were so perfect, it was as if he could see the sap flowing beneath their bark. When Thoreau wrote that the poet loves the pine tree as his own shadow in the air, he was speaking about himself. In short, he spoke their language. In this original book, Richard Higgins explores Thoreau’s deep connections to trees: his keen perception of them, the joy they gave him, the poetry he saw in them, his philosophical view of them, and how they fed his soul. His lively essays show that trees were a thread connecting all parts of Thoreau’s being—heart, mind, and spirit. Included are one hundred excerpts from Thoreau’s writings about trees, paired with over sixty of the author’s photographs. Thoreau’s words are as vivid now as they were in 1890, when an English naturalist wrote that he was unusually able to “to preserve the flashing forest colors in unfading light.” Thoreau and the Language of Trees shows that Thoreau, with uncanny foresight, believed trees were essential to the preservation of the world.

Henry Thoreau

A Life of the Mind


Author: Robert D. Richardson

Publisher: Univ of California Press

ISBN: 9780520063464

Category: Biography & Autobiography

Page: 455

View: 7026

This biography of Henry Thoreau offers insight into his social activism, his interest in fine arts, William Gilpin and John Ruskin's influence on his nature writing, and his involvement in, and influence by, the Agassiz-Darwin debate over "The Origin of Species."

The Cambridge Companion to Henry David Thoreau


Author: Joel Myerson

Publisher: Cambridge University Press

ISBN: 9780521445948

Category: Literary Criticism

Page: 224

View: 3702

This is an accessible guide to reading and understanding the works of Thoreau.

The Heart of Thoreau's Journals


Author: Odell Shepard

Publisher: Courier Corporation

ISBN: 0486118894

Category: Nature

Page: 256

View: 6232

The conflict between scientific observation and poetry, reflections on abolition, transcendental philosophy, other concerns are explored in this superb general selection from Thoreau's voluminous Journal.

The Blue Sapphire of the Mind

Notes for a Contemplative Ecology


Author: Douglas E. Christie

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 0199986649

Category: Religion

Page: 488

View: 5183

"There are no unsacred places," the poet Wendell Berry has written. "There are only sacred places and desecrated places." What might it mean to behold the world with such depth and feeling that it is no longer possible to imagine it as something separate from ourselves, or to live without regard for its well-being? To understand the work of seeing things as an utterly involving moral and spiritual act? Such questions have long occupied the center of contemplative spiritual traditions. In The Blue Sapphire of the Mind, Douglas E. Christie proposes a distinctively contemplative approach to ecological thought and practice that can help restore our sense of the earth as a sacred place. Drawing on the insights of the early Christian monastics as well as the ecological writings of Henry David Thoreau, Aldo Leopold, Annie Dillard, and many others, Christie argues that, at the most basic level, it is the quality of our attention to the natural world that must change if we are to learn how to live in a sustainable relationship with other living organisms and with one another. He notes that in this uniquely challenging historical moment, there is a deep and pervasive hunger for a less fragmented and more integrated way of apprehending and inhabiting the living world--and for a way of responding to the ecological crisis that expresses our deepest moral and spiritual values. Christie explores how the wisdom of ancient and modern contemplative traditions can inspire both an honest reckoning with the destructive patterns of thought and behavior that have contributed so much to our current crisis, and a greater sense of care and responsibility for all living beings. These traditions can help us cultivate the simple, spacious awareness of the enduring beauty and wholeness of the natural world that will be necessary if we are to live with greater purpose and meaning, and with less harm, to our planet.

Nature and Walking


Author: Ralph Waldo Emerson,Henry David Thoreau

Publisher: Beacon Press

ISBN: 080709532X

Category: Nature

Page: 144

View: 4179

Together in one volume, Emerson's Nature and Thoreau's Walking, is writing that defines our distinctly American relationship to nature.

Writing Nature

Henry Thoreau's Journal


Author: Sharon Cameron

Publisher: University of Chicago Press

ISBN: 9780226092287

Category: Literary Criticism

Page: 173

View: 3919

At his death, Henry Thoreau left the majority of his writing unpublished. The bulk of this material is a journal that he kept for twenty-four years. Sharon Cameron's major claim is that this private work (the Journal) was Thoreau's primary work, taking precedence over the books that he published in his lifetime. Her controversial thesis views Thoreau's Journal as a composition that confounds the distinction between public and private—the basis on which our conventional treatment of discourse depends.

The Enchantment of Modern Life

Attachments, Crossings, and Ethics


Author: Jane Bennett

Publisher: Princeton University Press

ISBN: 9780691088136

Category: Philosophy

Page: 213

View: 4672

It is a commonplace that the modern world cannot be experienced as enchanted--that the very concept of enchantment belongs to past ages of superstition. Jane Bennett challenges that view. She seeks to rehabilitate enchantment, showing not only how it is still possible to experience genuine wonder, but how such experience is crucial to motivating ethical behavior. A creative blend of political theory, philosophy, and literary studies, this book is a powerful and innovative contribution to an emerging interdisciplinary conversation about the deep connections between ethics, aesthetics, and politics. As Bennett describes it, enchantment is a sense of openness to the unusual, the captivating, and the disturbing in everyday life. She guides us through a wide and often surprising range of sources of enchantment, showing that we can still find enchantment in nature, for example, but also in such unexpected places as modern technology, advertising, and even bureaucracy. She then explains how everyday moments of enchantment can be cultivated to build an ethics of generosity, stimulating the emotional energy and honing the perceptual refinement necessary to follow moral codes. Throughout, Bennett draws on thinkers and writers as diverse as Kant, Schiller, Thoreau, Kafka, Marx, Weber, Adorno, and Deleuze. With its range and daring, The Enchantment of Modern Life is a provocative challenge to the centuries-old ''narrative of disenchantment,'' one that presents a new ''alter-tale'' that discloses our profound attachment to the human and nonhuman world.

From Origin to Ecology

Nature and the Poetry of W.S. Merwin


Author: Jane Frazier

Publisher: Fairleigh Dickinson Univ Press

ISBN: 9780838637999

Category: Literary Criticism

Page: 138

View: 6573

"Frazier examines Merwin's poetry with regard to ecocriticism, anthropology, Merwin's fellow poets, Merwin criticism, and his own essays and interviews. Of central importance is Merwin's indebtedness to Henry David Thoreau, his sense that Thoreau guided American writing in a new direction whereby nature could be seen as something of value for itself."--BOOK JACKET.

Language of the Senses

Sensory-Perceptual Dynamics in Wordsworth, Coleridge, Thoreau, Whitman, and Dickinson


Author: Kerry McSweeney

Publisher: McGill-Queen's Press - MQUP

ISBN: 0773567275

Category: Literary Criticism

Page: 223

View: 6812

McSweeney discusses the sensory acuity that informed Wordsworth's, Coleridge's, Thoreau's, Whitman's, and Dickinson's finest achievements and then, when blunted by illness or age, contributed to an attenuation of their creative power. He supplies a "sensory profile" or sensory history for each author and through close readings shows how this profile affected their relationship to the external world and their powers of symbolic perception. Using perspectives gleaned from the poets themselves and an understanding of the physiological ground of perception, McSweeney establishes a compelling theoretical basis for his approach. In clear and elegant prose, he studies the physical basis for aesthetic plenitude - such as the sensory manifold of synaesthesia - not only in the Romantic writers mentioned above but also in two Victorian poets, Hopkins and Tennyson.