2. Henry David Thoreau – Walden (Life in the Woods)
Walden is a book about Henry D. Thoreau’s experiences and observations while living in natural surroundings, away from society. By immersing himself in nature, Thoreau hoped to gain a more objective understanding of society through personal introspection. Some of the major topics in his book are simple living, self- reliance and contentment. He explains how loneliness can occur even if you are surrounded by people because your heart is not open to them. Thoreau meditates on the pleasures of escaping society and finding a way to appreciate simplicity, good companion and the beauty of nature again. By doing so, men may find happiness and self-fulfillment. In Thoreau’s opinion it is peoples’ restlessness in terms of progress and outer improvements, what is keeping them from experiencing inner peace and contentment. This book pairs scientific statements and reports with transcendental views and poetical eloquence.
“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 to die, discover that I had not lived. I did not wish to live what was not life, living is so dear; nor did I wish to practise resignation, unless it was quite necessary. I wanted to live deep and suck out all the marrow of life, to live so sturdily and Spartan-like as to put to rout all that was not life, to cut a broad swath and shave close, to drive life into a corner, and reduce it to its lowest terms.”
“Not till we are lost, in other words not till we have lost the world, do we begin to find ourselves, and realize where we are and the infinite extent of our relations.”
You can find the book (German) here :
Walden oder Leben in den Wäldern