by Henry David Thoreau -
1862 - with annotated text
Thoreau Reader: Home
"Walking" began as a lecture, delivered at the Concord Lyceum on April
23, 1851 and many other times. It evolved into the essay published in the
Atlantic Monthly, after his death in 1862.
An introduction: Simply
Walking - by Mark Stabb
Thoreau's "Walking" in three parts:
One - Two
Wildness is the preservation of the world"
"Those words cleaved their way forcefully into my being in 1983, the
first time I read the great sage of the woods. I had bought a copy of his
works at a book sale in Bharatpur, yes, my first visit to that avian shrine,
and on returning to Hyderabad, spent numberless hours, blissfully sipping
such verbal novelties, such novel ideas, written with a pen that seemed
to spring from my very heart, that I trembled unabashedly in the passion
and ardor of the author. I feel that the lodestone of his philosophy is
encapsulated in this immortal phrase.
"Notice, the man used 'Wildness', with a capital 'W', and not 'wilderness'
as he is often misquoted. 'Wildness' has that extra whump to it,
which transcends it into a meaning completely different from 'wilderness'."
- Aasheesh Pittie,
Editor, Indian Birds
"Few writers of any era or discipline have exerted
so great and lasting an influence on American culture's configuration of
the man-nature relationship as did Henry David Thoreau, whose writings
on the subject defined both a literary form — the nature essay — and a
seminal philosophical understanding." - introduction to Excursions,
Library of Congress web site.
"'Walking' is a lyrical, meandering essay on the value of sauntering
and on the preservation of what is wild in the world. It is an amazing,
impassioned work, especially considering it was published well before the
automobile came to define the limits of our experience of place. It is
a call to participation in the world, for living among that which is untamed."
- Zane Parker