Walden by Henry David Thoreau

(New York: W. W. Norton, 2008), 692

  • "I see young men whose misfortune it is to have inherited farms, houses, barns, cattle, and farming tools; for these are more easily acquired than got rid of." (6)
  • "The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation...But it is a characteristic of wisdom not to do desperate things." (8-9)
  • After we have the basic necessities of life (food, shelter, fire, clothing) why keep working? We should "adventure on life" (11-14)
  • The present moment: "to stand on the meeting of two eternities, the past and future" (14)
  • "In the long run men bit only what they aim at. Therefore, though they should fail immediately, they had better aim at something high" (21-22)
  • Think about housing (and other costs) in terms of the "life equivalent" (24)
  • "Most men appear never to have considered what a house is, and are actually though needlessly poor all their lives because they think that they must have such a one as their neighbors have" (27)
  • "I intend to build me a house which will surpass any on the main street in Concord in grandeur and luxury, as soon as it pleases me as much and will cost me no more than my present one" (37)
  • “I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came toddy, discover that I had not lived” (65)
  • "I find it wholesome to be alone the greater part of the time…I never found the companion that was so companionable as solitude" (94-95)

Created: 2016-01-08
Updated: 2023-10-31-Tue