09 November 2008


Last week i discovered The Blog of Henry David Thoreau, in which Greg Perry posts every day an entry selected from one of Thoreau's Journal entries for that same date (except the year of course). I'm now ‘following’ this blog — part of a rediscovery of Thoreau for me (see the
entry on Thoreau in my SourceNet page). This was triggered by a piece i read recently in Loren Eiseley's Star Thrower, which includes some superb readings of Thoreau among other treasures.

Thoreau would probably have been a blogger if the technology had existed at the time. For the last ten years of his life he wrote something in his Journal almost every day. This became the core of his discipline as a writer, rather than temporary place to keep the notes and jottings which he would later recast into essays and books such as Walden. I'm thinking now that any blogger might do well to emulate his practice and try to match the level of Thoreau's daily journal entries. I'm still working on my big book (Turning Words), because some things i need to say will only make complete sense in that context, or so it seems to me. But the bigger the project, the more distant and contingent its completion becomes. Why not try every day to write something that will keep the time in more immediate focus and honor its current significance? After all, the opportunity gnox but once …

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