Category Archives: Transcendentalists

Margaret Fuller, Bronson Alcott, Emerson, Thoreau, and others.


There’s abandoned farm equipment in the woods near me. Rusted, curving blade-plates menace behind axles half sunk in the mud, a trailer lists on flat tires, a tractor cab, door-off-hinges, reveals a still-gleaming steering wheel and torn upholstery. I always … Continue reading

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No Sentimentalist

Nature is no sentimentalist, — does not cosset or pamper us. We must see that the world is rough and surly, and will not mind drowning a man or a woman ; but swallows your ship like a grain of … Continue reading

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Happy Discovery

I lazily asked in a previous post if Thoreau’s account of helping an escaped slave was a one-time thing or what. Here is the answer, from Walden: A Fully Annotated Edition, ed. Jeffrey S. Cramer, Yale University Press, p. 147: … Continue reading

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Neighbors from Before, part 2

In the previous post, I recommended an excerpt from Jo’s Boys by Louisa May Alcott. Before I read it again for the first time in roughly 50 years, I remembered her description of the sheer terror induced by the possibility … Continue reading

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Neighbors From Before, part 1

It’s strange to think of my street as it must have been in 1970, 1920, 1870, and even a little before. The same houses, mostly, sat in the same attitudes, but the people moving in and out were different. Different … Continue reading

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