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Henry David Thoreau – Grasping the Community of the World

Translated by Jean Ward

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Tadeusz Slawek

This study takes up Thoreau’s work as an early and prophetic diagnosis of the modern crisis of relationships between the individual and society. Thus Adorno’s formulation of «a melancholy of science» finds its predecessor in Thoreau’s famous dictum from the early pages of Walden that we live our lives in quiet desperation. The author reads Thoreau’s Journal as an attempt to refute tendencies towards the narrowing of life to being understood merely in techno-economic categories which threaten the quality of the development of both the individual and the community. Thus in literary scholarship it is essential to find strategies which will critically contribute to understanding and transforming what Auerbach called «ways of life» and what Barthes referred to as «living-together».
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Bibliographic Information published by the Deutsche Nationalbibliothek The Deutsche Nationalbibliothek lists this publication in the Deutsche Nationalbibliografie; detailed bibliographic data is available in the internet at http://dnb.d-nb.de.

Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data Slawek, Tadeusz, author.  Henry David Thoreau : Grasping the Community of the World / Tadeusz Slawek.   pages cm.–(Dis/Continuities. Torun Studies in Language, Literature and Culture ; Vol. 7)  ISBN 978-3-631-64098-2 1. Thoreau, Henry David, 1817-1862-Criticism and interpretation. I. Title.  PS3054.S57 2014  818’309-dc23

20140237

Translated by Jean Ward.

The Publication is founded by Ministry of Science and Higher Education of the Republic of Poland as a part of the National Programme for the Development of the Humanities.

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