Seeing the woods and the trees

This is an image from the Library of Congress that shows the spot near Walden Pond that Henry David Thoreau built his cabin.  From this spot he wrote his most famous work, Walden.  It is still seen as a classic of American nature writing and an inspiration to environmentalism.  The image that the book projects is of Thoreau reveling in isolation and reflection, immersed in nature.  If you take a wider view point, as many have pointed out, Thoreau’s splendid isolation was a mere 30 minute walk from the village of Concord.  He was apparently brought supplies of food by a servant.  Nevertheless, he seems to have successfully created a productive isolation for himself in which he wrote at least one book and laid the ground work for a second.  I somehow need to find a similar kind of retreat if I am ever to finish my present book.  I find my perspective swinging wildly between woods and trees: one day I am focussed on the big picture and the next I am overwhelmed by the details of data.

Juliana

 

One Response to “Seeing the woods and the trees”

  1. Frank Says:

    Hi Juliana,

    Perhaps this might be a useful venue for the purposes of finishing your book.

    http://www.tyroneguthrie.ie/

    While it’s billed as a haven for creative artists, I don’t see why they wouldn’t also welcome busy academics seeking a quiet space to complete their publications. This non-academic may even apply himself if he ever manages to put together a coherent initial draft of his long discussed but still unwritten book.

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