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Comments Tagged ‘fluid text’

  • The Bean-Field 9-17 (2 comments)

    • Comment by Paul Schacht on March 29, 2020

      What a thoughtful reading of this interesting passage, Kira! The manuscript page below and the two that follow it show Thoreau’s draft in the A version:

      Manuscript page from Walden Version A

      Manuscript page from Walden Version A Manuscript page from Walden Version A

      These images are from HM 924, The Manuscript of Walden, in the Huntington Library Digital Collection.

      Comment by Paul Schacht on March 29, 2020

      And here are the relevant images from Versions E and F.

      E Version:

      Manuscript image of Walden Version E Manuscript image of Walden Version E Manuscript image of Walden Version E

      F Version:

      Manuscript image of Walden Version F Manuscript image of Walden Version E Manuscript image of Walden Version E

  • Visitors 12-18 (1 comment)

    • Comment by Emma Raupp on May 9, 2020

      Reflecting on “Visitors” as Thoreau developed it between 1846 and 1854, there is a conscious effort to celebrate those individuals on the farthest vestiges of society– not unlike Thoreau himself– and to portray them in a favorable light. He suggests different types of genius in different ways of life, and doesn’t deign to place the value of one genius over another. Thoreau’s ear is impartial. He listens to everyone and everything with equal consideration. The only criticism he offers is of those whose opinions are most often trusted unequivocally by society: ministers, doctors, lawyers, and housewives. There is no reason their words should hold more weight than anyone else’s. In fact, we should doubt their opinions most of all.

      Thoreau was a mite more critical of society in earlier versions of “Visitors”– he omits a dramatic passage from the original manuscript, wherein two young women fail to return the water dipper they borrowed from him, and he writes them off as “pariahs of the moral world.” The original ending of “Visitors” were the lines: “these are the folks that worry the man / that lives in the house that I built”, which is a rather pessimistic reaction to society. In later versions, he tailors this chapter around the surprising wisdom we stand to gain from genuine interactions with all people, especially those who are overlooked by society. At this time, Thoreau also helped harbor escaped slaves on their journey to freedom in Canada. Although this occurred for the most part at his parent’s house in Concord (because the house at Walden Pond was too small), he transposes this event to “Visitors”, commenting on the extent of his empathy almost ten years before the Civil War.

Source: https://commons.digitalthoreau.org/walden/comments/tags/fluid-text/