Have I read this before: Nope. I may have started it long ago, but I’m pretty sure that if I did, I certainly didn’t get very far into it.
Review: This was a very enjoyable book. I love how it’s not just “here’s how I isolated in the woods for two years” (even though that’s the main part) but it also delves into how the villagers thought he was strange in wanting to isolate and how they actually looked down on him for “not contributing to the economy” by not buying goods. The whole discussion on what solitude actually is and what it means is really interesting, too. It was a lot more philosophical than I thought it would be, but I should have expected that because it’s Thoreau.
Favorite part: There are a few quotes that really stuck out to me.
[On loneliness brought on by solitude]
This whole earth which we inhabit is but a point in space. How far apart, think you, dwell the two most distant inhabitants of yonder star, the breadth of whose disk cannot be appreciated by our instruments? Why should I feel lonely? Is not our planet in the Milky Way? This which you put seems to me not to be the most important question. What sort of space is that which separates a man from his fellows and makes him solitary? I have found that no exertion of the legs can bring two minds much nearer to one another.
[On the success of his experiment]
I learned this, at least, by my experiment: that if one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours. … If you have built castles in the air, your work need not be lost; that is where they should be. Now put the foundations under them.