By Edward F. Mooney
Excursions with Thoreau is an enormous new exploration of Thoreau's writing and suggestion that's philosophical but delicate to the literary and non secular.
Edward F. Mooney's tours via passages from Walden, Cape Cod, and his overdue essay “Walking” display Thoreau as a fabulous author, artist, and spiritual adept. after all Thoreau is still the widely used political activist and environmental thinker, yet in those fifteen tours we find new terrain. one of the remarkable subject matters that emerge are Thoreau's grappling with underlying illness; his pursuit of ask yourself as ameliorating disease; his use of the enigmatic snapshot of “a baby of the mist”; his exalting “sympathy with intelligence” over undeniable wisdom; and his who prefer “befitting reverie”-not argument-as how you can be carried to higher, cleanser perceptions of reality.
Mooney's objective is deliver alive Thoreau's moments of reverie and perception, and to border his philosophy as poetic and episodic instead of discursive and systematic.
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Additional info for Excursions with Thoreau : philosophy, poetry, religion
It is never “interpretation all the way down,” but always interpretation floating on surprise, startle, shimmer, allure, or a smile. My job in writing about writing is to let membranes be aroused in startle or allure as the address of the place and its things emerge—as their startle or allure arise from the words Thoreau provides. I don’t test a book’s purported representations against something else I awkwardly or despairingly call “reality,” nor do I set out immediately to interpret these moments (that some hear only as representations).
39 Thoreau will pointedly refuse to rank useful knowledge over appreciations of beauty or what he calls “Sympathy with Intelligence”. His writing is good for the soul, and for preserving wide acres of insight, wonder, and delight. In place of a narrow band of instrumental knowledge and reason he gives us expansive exuberant knowledge, or gives us unknowing. ) He gives befitting reveries and sympathy with revelations. 37 38 39 For more on Cavell on passionate speech, see “Closing Passions” below.
Galileo gives us dead matter (the atom or the billiard ball). Such matter neither grieves nor disowns grief. His inanimate cosmos is gloriously free of vitality or pathos. It’s a spinning whirl of dead stuff without meanings to share. In contrast, 28 Thoreau hedges: he is uncertain that the bones are Fuller’s in early reports (see Journal 3, p. 127). Yet his later Cape Cod account is clearly her memorial. Cape Cod (Boston: Thomas Y. Crowell Company, 1961), p. 123. Celebration and Lamentation 31 Thoreau awakens to days that inspire, instruct, hearten.