Moreover, I, on my side, require of every writer, first or last,
a simple and sincere account of his own life . . .
~Henry David Thoreau, Walden
Walden is not the easiest book to read; however, it is certainly one of the most well-written books in the English language—or perhaps any language. Thoreau did not write for lightweight readers, but rather to readers who genuinely seek insight, clarity and boundless wisdom.
Walden is not only challenging to read, it is challenging because Thoreau challenges us to look at our lives in critical—and often uncomfortable ways. I have several high-minded friends who like to speak critically about Thoreau and deride his writing and lifestyle. Funny thing is—none of them have really read Thoreau; they have only read “about” Thoreau.
Here is your chance to read Thoreau, to learn from Thoreau, to reflect on his writing and to reflect on your own life.
As noted, this is NOT an easy text, but over years of teaching Walden to 9th graders, it is a reading experience that is always appreciated, and is often life-changing—for Thoreau argues powerfully that if our lives are not fulfilling, it is us and individuals who need to change our lives.
All I can ask is to do what you can do with as much intellectual strength as you can muster in the moment. It will be worth it! The assignments are all on the weekly download.