The Maine Woods : The Writings of Henry David Thoreau


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The pilings are still there, where they were sorted by owners before the mills. By the way, I would not recommend Theroux ever, so it is only by desperation I refer to this edition. I'm sure the Library of America edition is adequate, but expensive. View 2 comments. Nov 13, Jim rated it really liked it Shelves: 1paper , historical , 2non-fiction. It's a magnificent journey into the Maine woods.

The only thing that detracted from this is my dislike of him. He continually borrows what he can't afford with little thought - seems like he feels it is his due. He lacks any empathy towards others. Nov 13, Pam rated it liked it Shelves: , classics. A mix of dry slogging endlessness with moments of clarity and humor all surrounded by the Latin names for every damn thing that exists in the Maine wilderness.

Am I glad I read it? Would I do it again? Not a chance. Jun 28, Robin Friedman rated it it was amazing. He wrote three lengthy essays describing each of his journeys, and they were gathered together, as Thoreau had wished, and published after his death, together with an appendix, as "The Maine Woods. These earlier books do include extensive descriptions of nature and of plants and animals, but their focus is much more internalized and philosophical.

Both books are full of discussions of themes that have little direct connection with nature. They show Thoreau as a Transcendentalist, an American philosopher akin to Emerson and others. I think the book articulates a philosophical temperament akin to Thoreau's earlier books, but it is for the most part implicit rather than stated at length.

The three essays describe Thoreau's journeys at widely separated times to Mount Ktaadn, the Chesuncook River, and the Allegash and East Branch Rivers, journeys that overlapped to some degree. Thoreau travelled with a companion and with Indian guides. He gives the reader pictures of what was still largely a pristine wilderness even though it was, at that early time, already being subject to logging, the growth of towns, and despoliation. We see Thoreau and his companions travelling in canoes or batteaus on the interconnected rivers and lakes of northwest Maine, carrying and portaging their vessels around falls, camping in the woods, observing the vegetation and animals, getting lost, finding shelter from the rain, visiting lumber camps and the hardy residents of the woods, gathering berries, hunting, and much else.

The narrative is filled with detail of Thoreau's experiences and thoughts. I found the most moving part of the book was Thoreau's description of his climb up Mount Ktaadn in the first essay. We see this journey in detail, described with ancient Greek and American Indian symbolism. It concludes with a long peroration of the value of wilderness -- of land not controlled or under the disposition of people. Thoreau observes that "the country is virtually unmapped and unexplored, and there still waves the virgin forest of the New World.

It closes with a call for the creation of national preserves for wilderness. The final essay describes a broad spectrum of adventures and places on a day-to-day basis. There are many passages that describe Thoreau's Indian guide, Joe Polis. Although Thoreau was deeply fascinated with the Indian heritage of Maine, some of his treatment of Polis will sound stereotyped to modern readers.

Thoreau's book was the first in a long line of American works devoted to nature. But I was reminded most of the Beat writers in some of their moments, of Jack Kerouac, a native of Lowell, Massachusetts in "The Dharma Bums" describing rucksacking and the climbing of a mountain and of the poetry of Gary Snyder. This book is about the need to leave the beaten path and follow one's star. There are some fine websites in which the interested reader can get more information about the places Thoreau visited. Robin Friedman Jul 16, Tom rated it really liked it Shelves: natural-history , travelogue , essays.

And odd book at first glance, it appears to be nothing more than a collection of accounts of 3 different trips Thoreau took to wilds of Maine, but in the fact all 3 are unified by T's increasing fascination with the primitive world something hard to imagine these days, I know and the "wild," both environmental and psychological. The first section, Ktaadn, is the most well-known, as it describes T's trip to the top of this famous mountain, where T. In what amount to extended character profiles, mixed with much natural history, T. While showing off the impressive skills of these guides, T.

It's revealing to consider how even in T's day, questions of development and conservation were already becoming important issues. Also on ample display is T's capacious curiosity for and diligent recording of the natural world. Though these works don't have the sustained lyricism of Walden what work, by anybody, does? And just when you think that this earnest love of nature is getting to be a bit much, that droll T.

In the end, one can't help but marvel at T's sheer powers of physical and mental endurance. Whereas Emerson experienced the transcendental world mostly through the play of ideas, Thoreau lived it body and soul. Ironically, though, these near heroic feats of exploration also subtly portend what would become a relatively early death for T.

Such awareness lends a tinge of sadness for the reader. Nonetheless, while T's arduous travels no Patagonia fleece or gortex rain gear for those folks! I probably would't recommend starting with this work if you've never read T. Mar 01, John rated it liked it. I decided to go ahead and mark this as read, even though I only actually read the "Katahdin" piece. This lives on my phone I bought this whole Thoreau e-book collection for like a buck on Amazon, and so whenever I am in a place where I am bored but have no data and no other books to read like a pub in Canada I can read more Thoreau.

So I'll get to the other parts eventually. Thoreau spelled Katahdin "Ktaadn" because he is just so precious. Seriously, everything else is spelled the way it is I decided to go ahead and mark this as read, even though I only actually read the "Katahdin" piece. Seriously, everything else is spelled the way it is currently spelled. I think he just needed the mountain to have a name that looked even more Indian-y and mysterious than it does already.

He's like a little puppy. It made me think of how when you read "Moby Dick" the young, excitable Melville really comes across. He just cannot get over it. How can his life get more thrilling? I know I'm making fun of him, but I did enjoy the book, it was just a bit overwrought. Here's my favorite bit, where he drinks the actual blood of the wilderness: "Instead of water we got here a draught of beer, which, it was allowed, would be better; clear and thin, but strong and stringent as the cedar sap.

It was as if we sucked at the very teats of Nature's pine-clad bosom in these parts - the sap of all Millinocket botany commingled - the topmost, most fantastic, and spiciest sprays of the primitive wood View all 3 comments. Thoreau goes on some trips in Maine. I wanted to feel close to nature when reading this book - but actually, I felt sad that Thoreau didn't seem to have much connection with the other people around him. Good book if you want a glimpse of that time in history and some good naturalist's listings. Good book if you want to learn more about Thoreau.

Not a good book if you want to feel a sense of adventure and being close to the universe. Henry David Thoreau is my favorite American author, and lately I've been trying to read some of his lesser-known works. I think it's important to critique Thoreau's portrayal of Native Americans for its sometimes-questionable aspects, but also to recall that of course he was human, and no human is perfect.

I will give Thoreau some credit and say that his view of Native Americans was certainly more progressive than those of many of his contemporaries; he is genuinely interested in understanding their culture and endeavors throughout the book to learn the Penobscot language from his guide, Joseph Polis. In many ways, it is Thoreau's account of his travels during three separate trips to the Maine wilderness in , '53, and ' However, because Thoreau is one of the great writers in American history, "The Maine Woods" is not merely an entertaining adventure narrative.

One of the reasons that I enjoy Thoreau's writing so much is because of his incredible ability to describe nature in gorgeous detail that also holds emotional power. Reading this book in a way transports the reader to the New England forests of the nineteenth century. I don't know that I've ever encountered another writer with such a gift for placing the reader right in the natural scene and simultaneously making him or her consider deep philosophical concepts. It is not the bones or hide or tallow that I love most.

He often writes at length about the varieties of plants he finds growing in the Maine woods, listing all the Latin names and cataloguing them. The two sides of Thoreau in this regard are fascinating to me. In one regard, he is a surveyor and naturalist, closely observing the environment, yet at the same time he allows himself to merely feel the power and experience the beauty of being in nature, without needing to understand every fact.

In it, Thoreau recounts his first time seeing the phosphorescent glow of decaying wood in the forest at night. That is for pale daylight… It suggested to me that there was something to be seen if one had eyes. It made a believer of me more than before. This does not mean that he does not do so, but that he believes there is more to the pond—- and to his experience with the glowing wood—- than facts and measurements could ever uncover. I respect Thoreau immensely for his ability to see both the science and the awe-inspiring beauty of nature.

Though he understands the scientific aspects of nature, Thoreau takes comfort in the fact that, spiritually, some parts will always elude him. Just fabulous! I had forgotten what a sense of humor Thoreau had, and I found myself chuckling often and sometimes even laughing out loud. For instance, before starting out for "Ktaadn," they found Greenleaf's Map of Maine on the wall of a public house and, "in good faith, traced what we afterwards ascertained to be a labyrinth of errors. Also very impressive recollections of all the flora along the way.

Beautiful book! Feb 27, Anton Frommelt rated it really liked it. Beautiful descriptions of a natural world that has essentially been lost with the development of the country. The most intriguing bits for me were reading about Thoreau's journeys with Native Americans; they were mentally, physically, and spiritually more in touch with nature than perhaps any other culture in history. The stories of the Maine woods will make you want to hike and make you sad that you cannot join Thoreau in his explorations. Jun 16, Josh Davidson rated it really liked it.

Only read first piece, may go back and read others. I had hiked Katahdin three times, so the first piece was what I was interested in. I loved every page, but could see how it could be too slow or boring. The copy presented here is the first book edition, published in the United States in Two of the sections had previously appeared in print: "Ktaadn" was published in The Union Magazine , New York, in , and " Chesuncook " in the Atlantic Monthly , in The final essay was printed for the first time in this volume.

The Maine Woods. Public domain Public domain false false. Hidden category: Main pages with authority control data. The three essays describe Thoreau's journeys at widely separated times to Mount Ktaadn, the Chesuncook River, and the Allegash and East Branch Rivers, journeys that overlapped to some degree. Thoreau travelled with a companion and with Indian guides. He gives the reader pictures of what was still largely a pristine wilderness even though it was, at that early time, already being subject to logging, the growth of towns, and despoliation.

We see Thoreau and his companions travelling in canoes or batteaus on the interconnected rivers and lakes of northwest Maine, carrying and portaging their vessels around falls, camping in the woods, observing the vegetation and animals, getting lost, finding shelter from the rain, visiting lumber camps and the hardy residents of the woods, gathering berries, hunting, and much else. The narrative is filled with detail of Thoreau's experiences and thoughts. I found the most moving part of the book was Thoreau's description of his climb up Mount Ktaadn in the first essay. We see this journey in detail, described with ancient Greek and American Indian symbolism.

It concludes with a long peroration of the value of wilderness -- of land not controlled or under the disposition of people. Thoreau observes that "the country is virtually unmapped and unexplored, and there still waves the virgin forest of the New World. It closes with a call for the creation of national preserves for wilderness.

The final essay describes a broad spectrum of adventures and places on a day-to-day basis. There are many passages that describe Thoreau's Indian guide, Joe Polis. Although Thoreau was deeply fascinated with the Indian heritage of Maine, some of his treatment of Polis will sound stereotyped to modern readers. Thoreau's book was the first in a long line of American works devoted to nature. But I was reminded most of the Beat writers in some of their moments, of Jack Kerouac, a native of Lowell, Massachusetts in "The Dharma Bums" describing rucksacking and the climbing of a mountain and of the poetry of Gary Snyder.

This book is about the need to leave the beaten path and follow one's star. There are some fine websites in which the interested reader can get more information about the places Thoreau visited.

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Robin Friedman Jul 16, Tom rated it really liked it Shelves: natural-history , travelogue , essays. And odd book at first glance, it appears to be nothing more than a collection of accounts of 3 different trips Thoreau took to wilds of Maine, but in the fact all 3 are unified by T's increasing fascination with the primitive world something hard to imagine these days, I know and the "wild," both environmental and psychological.

The first section, Ktaadn, is the most well-known, as it describes T's trip to the top of this famous mountain, where T. In what amount to extended character profiles, mixed with much natural history, T. While showing off the impressive skills of these guides, T. It's revealing to consider how even in T's day, questions of development and conservation were already becoming important issues.

Also on ample display is T's capacious curiosity for and diligent recording of the natural world. Though these works don't have the sustained lyricism of Walden what work, by anybody, does? And just when you think that this earnest love of nature is getting to be a bit much, that droll T. In the end, one can't help but marvel at T's sheer powers of physical and mental endurance. Whereas Emerson experienced the transcendental world mostly through the play of ideas, Thoreau lived it body and soul. Ironically, though, these near heroic feats of exploration also subtly portend what would become a relatively early death for T.


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Such awareness lends a tinge of sadness for the reader. Nonetheless, while T's arduous travels no Patagonia fleece or gortex rain gear for those folks! I probably would't recommend starting with this work if you've never read T. Mar 01, John rated it liked it. I decided to go ahead and mark this as read, even though I only actually read the "Katahdin" piece. This lives on my phone I bought this whole Thoreau e-book collection for like a buck on Amazon, and so whenever I am in a place where I am bored but have no data and no other books to read like a pub in Canada I can read more Thoreau.

So I'll get to the other parts eventually. Thoreau spelled Katahdin "Ktaadn" because he is just so precious. Seriously, everything else is spelled the way it is I decided to go ahead and mark this as read, even though I only actually read the "Katahdin" piece. Seriously, everything else is spelled the way it is currently spelled. I think he just needed the mountain to have a name that looked even more Indian-y and mysterious than it does already. He's like a little puppy.

It made me think of how when you read "Moby Dick" the young, excitable Melville really comes across. He just cannot get over it.

The Maine Woods: The Writings of Henry D. Thoreau

How can his life get more thrilling? I know I'm making fun of him, but I did enjoy the book, it was just a bit overwrought. Here's my favorite bit, where he drinks the actual blood of the wilderness: "Instead of water we got here a draught of beer, which, it was allowed, would be better; clear and thin, but strong and stringent as the cedar sap. It was as if we sucked at the very teats of Nature's pine-clad bosom in these parts - the sap of all Millinocket botany commingled - the topmost, most fantastic, and spiciest sprays of the primitive wood View all 3 comments.

Thoreau goes on some trips in Maine. I wanted to feel close to nature when reading this book - but actually, I felt sad that Thoreau didn't seem to have much connection with the other people around him. Good book if you want a glimpse of that time in history and some good naturalist's listings. Good book if you want to learn more about Thoreau. Not a good book if you want to feel a sense of adventure and being close to the universe. Henry David Thoreau is my favorite American author, and lately I've been trying to read some of his lesser-known works.

I think it's important to critique Thoreau's portrayal of Native Americans for its sometimes-questionable aspects, but also to recall that of course he was human, and no human is perfect. I will give Thoreau some credit and say that his view of Native Americans was certainly more progressive than those of many of his contemporaries; he is genuinely interested in understanding their culture and endeavors throughout the book to learn the Penobscot language from his guide, Joseph Polis.

In many ways, it is Thoreau's account of his travels during three separate trips to the Maine wilderness in , '53, and ' However, because Thoreau is one of the great writers in American history, "The Maine Woods" is not merely an entertaining adventure narrative. One of the reasons that I enjoy Thoreau's writing so much is because of his incredible ability to describe nature in gorgeous detail that also holds emotional power.

Reading this book in a way transports the reader to the New England forests of the nineteenth century. I don't know that I've ever encountered another writer with such a gift for placing the reader right in the natural scene and simultaneously making him or her consider deep philosophical concepts. It is not the bones or hide or tallow that I love most.

The Maine Woods audiobook Henry David THOREAU

He often writes at length about the varieties of plants he finds growing in the Maine woods, listing all the Latin names and cataloguing them. The two sides of Thoreau in this regard are fascinating to me. In one regard, he is a surveyor and naturalist, closely observing the environment, yet at the same time he allows himself to merely feel the power and experience the beauty of being in nature, without needing to understand every fact.

In it, Thoreau recounts his first time seeing the phosphorescent glow of decaying wood in the forest at night. That is for pale daylight… It suggested to me that there was something to be seen if one had eyes. It made a believer of me more than before. This does not mean that he does not do so, but that he believes there is more to the pond—- and to his experience with the glowing wood—- than facts and measurements could ever uncover.

Henry David Thoreau Annotated Bibliography & Selected Collectible Books

I respect Thoreau immensely for his ability to see both the science and the awe-inspiring beauty of nature. Though he understands the scientific aspects of nature, Thoreau takes comfort in the fact that, spiritually, some parts will always elude him. Just fabulous! I had forgotten what a sense of humor Thoreau had, and I found myself chuckling often and sometimes even laughing out loud.

For instance, before starting out for "Ktaadn," they found Greenleaf's Map of Maine on the wall of a public house and, "in good faith, traced what we afterwards ascertained to be a labyrinth of errors. Also very impressive recollections of all the flora along the way. Beautiful book!

The Maine Woods (Writings of Henry D. Thoreau)

Feb 27, Anton Frommelt rated it really liked it. Beautiful descriptions of a natural world that has essentially been lost with the development of the country. The most intriguing bits for me were reading about Thoreau's journeys with Native Americans; they were mentally, physically, and spiritually more in touch with nature than perhaps any other culture in history. The stories of the Maine woods will make you want to hike and make you sad that you cannot join Thoreau in his explorations.

Jun 16, Josh Davidson rated it really liked it. Only read first piece, may go back and read others.

The Maine Woods by Thoreau, Henry David

I had hiked Katahdin three times, so the first piece was what I was interested in. I loved every page, but could see how it could be too slow or boring. There wasn't a lot of poetic interludes, mostly a factual retelling on the journey upriver and then up mountain. Sep 30, Amy rated it it was amazing. Re-read this for the first time since middle school. I appreciate it more as an adult, even though I loved it as a kid. His brief paragraph describing an "uncivilized" owl is still one of my favorite things in American literature.

Mar 11, Judith rated it it was amazing. On a rainy day, I enjoy going to the Maine woods with Thoreau. Here is a concise, tightly written work, where there is humor, sadness, and joy, communicated by a powerful mind.


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Mostly I enjoy the sparse language of the description of woods, waterways, and all that lives there, but the tinge of sadness comes when he describes the abuse of the natural resources already taking place in the 's. He had a deep concern for the environment at a time when the country's natural resources seemed unlimit On a rainy day, I enjoy going to the Maine woods with Thoreau.

He had a deep concern for the environment at a time when the country's natural resources seemed unlimited.


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I find that prophetic. Jul 29, Graychin rated it really liked it.

Henry David Thoreau

This is not the Thoreau of Walden. The verbal fireworks are tamped down, the philosopher hat is worn but lightly. This is a more mature Thoreau meditating on the nature of wildness and the different ways that European Americans and Native Americans have interacted with the New England landscape. Jun 23, Jim Gallen rated it really liked it. The first visit was to Ktaadn modern Katahdin in Conditions at a time when settlers hugged the seashore were obviously primitive although I wonder how much someone familiar with the area would recognize.

The narrative is that of a report by a very observant explorer sensitive to the sights and sound around him.

The Maine Woods : The Writings of Henry David Thoreau The Maine Woods : The Writings of Henry David Thoreau
The Maine Woods : The Writings of Henry David Thoreau The Maine Woods : The Writings of Henry David Thoreau
The Maine Woods : The Writings of Henry David Thoreau The Maine Woods : The Writings of Henry David Thoreau
The Maine Woods : The Writings of Henry David Thoreau The Maine Woods : The Writings of Henry David Thoreau
The Maine Woods : The Writings of Henry David Thoreau The Maine Woods : The Writings of Henry David Thoreau

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