Summertime Book Gathering: “Circling Down Wind — An Introduction to Henry David Thoreau’s Walden”
(Collaboration with Madeline Island Book Club)
Free and open to the public! For Zoom link see event website link above.
Leader: Alan Brew, Director, Sigurd Olson Institute
In his book Sky’s Witness, E.L. Rawlins confesses that he can’t read more than a page or two of Walden at a time. “I can’t charge up to it face on and read straight through,” he writes. “I always examine the cover for a while, then circle downwind.” In making this confession, Rawlins likely speaks for many of us; Walden can be intimidating, especially if you attempt to read it straight through. In this presentation, Alan Brew will offer suggestions for the approaching Walden from the downwind side, dipping in a few pages, or a few chapters, at a time.
Readings: Participants are welcome to read all of Walden prior to the presentation, but for those interested in the downwind approach, Alan recommends doing one or more of the following: (a) read the first six paragraphs of the first chapter, “Economy”; (b) approximately ten pages in from the beginning of “Economy” , begin reading after a section break from “Let us consider for a moment…” through a number of paragraphs to “How can a man be a philosopher and not maintain his vital heat by better methods than other men?”; (c) read the chapter “Where I lived, and What I lived For,” or at least the final paragraph of the chapter; (d) read ‘The Bean-Field”; (e) read “The Village”; (f) read the final chapter “Conclusion.”