Brain Pickings

Reads tagged with “Henry David Thoreau”

Thoreau on How to Use Civil Disobedience to Advance Justice
Thoreau on How to Use Civil Disobedience to Advance Justice

“Under a government which imprisons unjustly, the true place for a just man is also a prison.”

read article

The Art of Not-Having-to-Ask, from Buddhist Monks to Amanda Palmer by Way of Thoreau
The Art of Not-Having-to-Ask, from Buddhist Monks to Amanda Palmer by Way of Thoreau

How to unlearn everything our transactionalist culture has taught us about “the market” and relearn our natural open-handed generosity.

read article

The Art of Constructive Criticism: Trailblazing Feminist Margaret Fuller Rejects Young Thoreau and Helps Him Improve His Writing
The Art of Constructive Criticism: Trailblazing Feminist Margaret Fuller Rejects Young Thoreau and Helps Him Improve His Writing

“I can have no advice or criticism for a person so sincere; but, if I give my impression of him, I will say, ‘He says too constantly of Nature, she is mine.’ She is not yours till you have been more hers.”

read article

Thoreau on the Sacredness of Libraries and His Ideal Sanctuary for Books
Thoreau on the Sacredness of Libraries and His Ideal Sanctuary for Books

“Those old books suggested a certain fertility … as if they were making a humus for new literatures to spring in.”

read article

Thoreau on Hard Work, the Myth of Productivity, and the True Measure of Meaningful Labor
Thoreau on Hard Work, the Myth of Productivity, and the True Measure of Meaningful Labor

“Those who work much do not work hard.”

read article

Thoreau on the Difference Between an Artisan, an Artist, and a Genius
Thoreau on the Difference Between an Artisan, an Artist, and a Genius

“The bird of paradise is obliged constantly to fly against the wind.”

read article

Thoreau on How Silence Ennobles Speech and the Ideal Space for Conversation
Thoreau on How Silence Ennobles Speech and the Ideal Space for Conversation

“There are many fine things which we cannot say if we have to shout.”

read article

The Diffusion of Useful Ignorance: Thoreau on the Hubris of Our Knowledge and the Transcendent Humility of Not-Knowing
The Diffusion of Useful Ignorance: Thoreau on the Hubris of Our Knowledge and the Transcendent Humility of Not-Knowing

“My desire for knowledge is intermittent, but my desire to bathe my head in atmospheres unknown to my feet is perennial and constant.”

read article

Thoreau on What It Really Means to Be Awake
Thoreau on What It Really Means to Be Awake

“I know of no more encouraging fact than the unquestionable ability of man to elevate his life by conscious endeavor.”

read article

Self-Refinement Through the Wisdom of the Ages: New Year’s Resolutions from Some of Humanity’s Greatest Minds
Self-Refinement Through the Wisdom of the Ages: New Year’s Resolutions from Some of Humanity’s Greatest Minds

Enduring ideas for personal refinement from Seneca, Thoreau, Virginia Woolf, Carl Sagan, Alan Watts, Emerson, Bruce Lee, Maya Angelou, and more.

read article

View Full Site

Brain Pickings participates in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn commissions by linking to Amazon. In more human terms, this means that whenever you buy a book on Amazon from a link on here, I receive a small percentage of its price, which goes straight back into my own colossal biblioexpenses. Privacy policy.