As I mentioned in yesterday’s post, I found this copy of Thoreau’s Walden at a used bookstore, one of those tied to a good works project for the incarcerated. There’s something kinda magical about used books (and used records, of course!). I like to think that they have an unknown history that may run as deep as the stories inside them. And that your experience with the work extends the continuum, as the insight you hopefully gain from it diffuses into the universe through you. This particular copy has an inscription on the front leaf that reads “Dean Neufeld / Jan 11, 1976”. That was just over 40 years ago!
I read excepts from Walden back in junior year high school English class, then again in full as a college literature major. I’m looking forward to finding out if all these years of living since then will have enriched my understanding of this classic from the Romantic period of American thought. I definitely feel that with the current state of our world and our society, more and more people can relate to Thoreau’s deliberate self sequestration.