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Chapter Info

DATE

2015

AUTHORS

Ulf Schulenberg

ABSTRACT

A reader in the woods — solitary and introspective. A reader and listener as writer in the woods — losing himself in the ecstasy of writing, the play between surface and depth, and at the same time calling attention to our distance from words. It has been repeatedly pointed out that the writer/ reader in Henry David Thoreau’s Walden (1854) is difficult to characterize. Does he think, or hope, that we will believe him? Does he intend his writing to have consequences in the realm of nonwriting; that is, the busy and increasingly complex world of practice (in which there is hardly a place any more for the hermit-like figure of Walden)? Moreover, the question arises as to whether this writer in the woods, this careful and nuanced reader of nature, desires or at least pretends to reveal the truth to us. It goes without saying that one cannot grasp Transcendentalism as idealism without paying attention to the constant interplay of idealism and materialism. Yet, one might ask whether Transcendentalism as idealism always and necessarily goes hand in hand with a metaphysical or foundationalist notion of truth. Concerning Walden, one of the most fascinating aspects is undoubtedly that on the one hand, Thoreau in a transcendentalist manner seeks to underscore the importance of multiperspectivism and a kind of multiplistic thinking. This also pluralizes the notion of truth, of course. On the other hand, Thoreau often seems somewhat dissatisfied with this pluralization of truth and with the idea that different points of view produce different truths. More... »

PAGES

1-15

Book

TITLE

Romanticism and Pragmatism

ISBN

978-1-349-50149-6
978-1-137-47419-3

Author Affiliations

Identifiers

URI

http://scigraph.springernature.com/pub.10.1057/9781137474193_1

DOI

http://dx.doi.org/10.1057/9781137474193_1

DIMENSIONS

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