A Note on the Text

1 Leave a comment on paragraph 1 0 “Paradise (to be) Regained” is Thoreau’s review of J.A. Etzler’s The Paradise Within the Reach of All Men, Without Labor, by Powers of Nature and Machinery (1842). It was first first published in November 1843 in the United States Magazine, and Democratic Review. Thoreau critiques Etzler’s work for its desire to improve upon nature and render the Earth into a utopia filled with palaces and gardens. Indeed, Thoreau expresses great skepticism of technology’s ability to achieve the utopian paradise that Etzler describes. Furthermore, the essay is rife with the Thoreauvian theme of self-improvement, as Thoreau makes the overarching claim that humankind cannot control nature when its members are barely in control of themselves.

2 Leave a comment on paragraph 2 0 The present text of “Paradise (to be) Regained” was prepared by Claire Corbeaux, Elizabeth Gellman, Anthony Lyon, Hannah Nicchi, and Avery Padula for their final project for Spring 2019’s Literature and Literature Study in the Digital Age course at SUNY Geneseo. It follows Wendell Glick in reprinting the essay as it first appeared in the Democratic Review, rather than the version of the essay later published in A Yankee in Canada, with Anti-Slavery and Reform Papers (1966). In his Textual Introduction to “Paradise (to be) Regained” in Reform Papers (The Writings of Henry D. Thoreau, Princeton University Press, 1973), Glick explains that the 1866 version prunes the original significantly and that it is not known who authorized these changes or why. The reader should be aware, however, that in the original Thoreau has altered Etzler’s wording in numerous places and brought disparate passages together in quotations presented as contiguous (pp. 275-282).

3 Leave a comment on paragraph 3 0 A PDF of the 1843 version can be accessed from the Walden Woods Project.

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Source: https://commons.digitalthoreau.org/paradise-to-be-regained/a-note-on-the-text/