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What is Transcendentalism? 
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Post Re: Quoting
Thomas Hood wrote:
]Thoreau is the most hated man in America.

Do you really believe this to be so, Tom? I meant to ask you about this long ago. Being hated by Harold Bloom might only indicate that hatred of him occurs on the fringe. I would say that to the extent people think about him at all, he is held in something like reverence. I once attended the Annual Gathering in Concord, where of course the reverence quotient was high. Indifferent to him? Yes, mostly. Hating him? I don't think so.

Will



Fri Sep 05, 2008 8:22 am
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DWill:

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Indifferent to him? Yes, mostly. Hating him? I don't think so.


I rather think anyone who sticks their head up over the parapet and disturbs the status quo, seems to be intensely hated in 'some' quarter or other.

The people whose names we think of as great social reformers seem to be either loved or hated, not much indifference. Even the ones like Gandhi and Jesus who only taught love and tolerance were hated. At least they both died violent deaths. I hadn't heard of Thoreau, so I'm not in a position to comment, but it seems to be once they gain a following, then they are seen as powerful and dangerous. Or even just as a nuisance.

Looking back at historical figures, it seems to be the ones who have the knack of making people think about how they behave, and why, are the ones who are often treated with fear and loathing.


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He was born with the gift of laughter and a sense that the world is mad....

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Fri Sep 05, 2008 8:42 am
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Post Re: Quoting
DWill wrote:
Thomas Hood wrote:
]Thoreau is the most hated man in America.

Do you really believe this to be so, Tom?


Yes, the most hated man in America. Consider Lawrence's negative view of Thoreau:

Quote:
. . .I think it will be useful for you to get my "take" on HDT and Walden. I see an ordinary 30 year old New England shiftless loafer living off of his (mother and sisters or Aunt and cousins? Which is it Thomas?) Can you just imagine the dinner table talk for 7 years? "Did you find work today Henry David? Well did you even look? You know you're not going to put you feet under my table forever without contributing something. I work my fingers to the bone trying to keep body and soul together and make ends meet ....Yatata yatata yatata." Hell it's no wonder he went to Walden to get some peace and quiet. He loved the peace (give us the citation Thomas hereinafter "qcv." It's no mystery to me why he liked solitude.


and Lawrence (wish he were here) is an admirer. I suppose you have already read it, but here is Robert Louis Stevenson's bizarre essay on Thoreau:

http://thoreau.eserver.org/stevens1.html

Stevenson's reactions are, I believe, typical. Thoreau has always rubbed people the wrong way, even persons of ability and culture like Stevenson. Henry Salt got Stevenson to apologize for this essay, but it is usually printed without the apology. The hippie movement caused a great deal of suffering, and Thoreau is an easy target for revenge.

Tom



Fri Sep 05, 2008 12:01 pm
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Post Re: Quoting
Thomas Hood wrote:
DWill wrote:
Thomas Hood wrote:
]Thoreau is the most hated man in America.

Do you really believe this to be so, Tom?


Yes, the most hated man in America.

Tom


Tom,
I can't imagine how you could make such a flip statement without backing it up with more evidence than Lawerence's negative comments and RL Stevenson's essay. Surely they, a mere two, do not constitute a representative sample of the USA; Stevenson not even being an American.



Fri Sep 05, 2008 12:55 pm
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Post Re: Quoting
Thomas Hood wrote:
Stevenson's reactions are, I believe, typical.... The hippie movement caused a great deal of suffering, and Thoreau is an easy target for revenge.

We're never going to get anywhere with this argument because of the difficulty of quantifying this "hatred." What one British critic says, at any rate, doesn't lend much support to "most hated man in America." The phrase also seems to assume a present tense for this hatred. But where do we see that? The number of people who would class themselves as environmentalists is quite large. Among nearly all of these, Thoreau would be a hero. As far as blaming Thoreau for the hippie movement, no knowledgeable cultural critic could make this connection. It is really stretching things to say that Thoreau's ideas produced the hippie movement, and I have to doubt that he has really gotten much blame.
Now, I might agree that in the ethos of the 60s we see a Thoreauvian legacy, but this is not identical to the cultural phenomenon of hippiedom.
No doubt, though, you are right about him "rubbing people the wrong way". He sometimes does this with me, but I admire him greatly.

DWill



Fri Sep 05, 2008 1:26 pm
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Post Re: Quoting
DWill wrote:
Thomas Hood wrote:
Stevenson's reactions are, I believe, typical.... The hippie movement caused a great deal of suffering, and Thoreau is an easy target for revenge.

We're never going to get anywhere with this argument because of the difficulty of quantifying this "hatred." What one British critic says, at any rate, doesn't lend much support to "most hated man in America." The phrase also seems to assume a present tense for this hatred. But where do we see that?


I see it in persons and books. Perhaps I should be meeting your persons and reading your books. Hatred of Thoreau is what I have experienced. Lawrence's (uncorrected :) ) view is much kinder than what I have often encountered. In some colleges Thoreau is covered in Abnormal Psychology. Don't you remember the era of dropouts, communes, and campus takeovers? This isn't ancient history, and the animosity continues. One English instructor I knew was threaten with a "contributing to the deliquency of a minor" charge for teaching American Transcendentalism.

Robert Lewis Stevenson isn't just "one British critic." As people go, he was among the best and the brightess. I give him credit for saying what others felt but didn't have the guts to say.

Tom



Fri Sep 05, 2008 2:50 pm
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Seems Thoreau had a different way of thinking than others . . . and why not? If that's how he really felt, he had as much right as anyone else to put his thoughts into words.

Suppose we all felt exactly the same way? What in the hell would we read?

Ha ha!



Sat Sep 06, 2008 1:14 am
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Post Re: Quoting
Thomas Hood wrote:
WildCityWoman wrote:
Was the hippie movement all that bad? Once they got onto meditating with the Krishna's, they got off the drugs.


Carly, much of the hippie movement was destructive. They were "anti," remember. The lifestyle was impossible. As in any children's crusade, there were hundreds of thousands of casualities. You mention "Krishna." Perhaps you are unaware of the horrors of the Krishna Consciousness movement:

http://www.rickross.com/reference/krish ... hna21.html

The hippie and non-hippie conflict is as old as humanity.

Hippie:

THE PASSIONATE SHEPHERD TO HIS LOVE

Come live with me, and be my love;
And we will all the pleasures prove
That hills and valleys, dales and fields,
Woods, or steepy mountain yields.

And we will sit upon the rocks,
Seeing the shepherds feed their flocks
By shallow rivers, to whose falls
Melodious birds sing madrigals.

And I will make thee beds of roses
And a thousand fragrant posies;
A cap of flowers, and a kirtle
Embroidered all with leaves of myrtle;

A gown made of the finest wool
Which from our pretty lambs we pull;
Fair-lined slippers for the cold,
With buckles of the purest gold;

A belt of straw and ivy-buds,
With coral clasps and amber-studs:
And if these pleasures may thee move,
Come live with me, and be my love.

The shepherd-swains shall dance and sing
For thy delight each May-morning:
If these delights thy mind may move,
Then live with me and be my love.
-- Marlowe

Square:

[The nymph's reply to the shepherd]


If all the world and love were young,
And truth in every shepherd's tongue,
These pretty pleasures might me move
To live with thee and be thy love.

Time drives the flocks from field to fold,
When rivers rage and rocks grow cold;
And Philomel becometh dumb;
The rest complains of cares to come.

The flowers do fade, and wanton fields
To wayward winter reckoning yields:
A honey tongue, a heart of gall,
Is fancy's spring, but sorrow's fall.

The gowns, thy shoes, thy beds of roses,
Thy cap, thy kirtle, and thy posies
Soon break, soon wither, soon forgotten,



Sat Sep 06, 2008 1:21 am
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Post Re: Quoting
WildCityWoman wrote:
But Tom . . . how do you personally know that Krishna people are that bad? Because somebody wrote that they were?

My eldest daughter studied spirituality and meditation with the Krishna's for a long time - I visited the ashram, spent a few days there and truly enjoyed my stay.

Nobody pressured me for money, or ordered me out on the street to beg - I didn't notice that everybody was sleeping with each others spouses . . . none of the things that I'd 'heard' or 'read' about them showed themselves to me.

Maybe it's different with other groups . . . dunno'.


Yes, I know because some years ago there was an article about them on the 60 Minutes TV program. Google "ISKCON child abuse" if you'd like to know the details. Maybe things were a little more civilized in Canada, but I doubt it. When groups have too much power over members, sexual and financial abuse always occur.

I hope you will not reopen old wounds by questioning your daughter about this. If you would like more information:

http://www.surrealist.org/betrayalofthe ... views.html
Betrayal of the Spirit: My Life behind the Headlines of the Hare Krishna Movement
by Nori J. Muster, University of Illinois Press, 1997

Tom



Sat Sep 06, 2008 8:22 am
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Post Re: Quoting
Thomas Hood wrote:
WildCityWoman wrote:
But Tom . . . how do you personally know that Krishna people are that bad? Because somebody wrote that they were?

My eldest daughter studied spirituality and meditation with the Krishna's for a long time - I visited the ashram, spent a few days there and truly enjoyed my stay.

Nobody pressured me for money, or ordered me out on the street to beg - I didn't notice that everybody was sleeping with each others spouses . . . none of the things that I'd 'heard' or 'read' about them showed themselves to me.

Maybe it's different with other groups . . . dunno'.


Yes, I know because some years ago there was an article about them on the 60 Minutes TV program. Google "ISKCON child abuse" if you'd like to know the details. Maybe things were a little more civilized in Canada, but I doubt it. When groups have too much power over members, sexual and financial abuse always occur.

I hope you will not reopen old wounds by questioning your daughter about this. If you would like more information:

http://www.surrealist.org/betrayalofthe ... views.html
Betrayal of the Spirit: My Life behind the Headlines of the Hare Krishna Movement
by Nori J. Muster, University of Illinois Press, 1997

Tom


My daughter was in her early 30's when she joined up with HK . . . she loves it . . . she has no wounds from Krishna . . .

She's moved off it now . . . but still, when she gets a chance, she takes her kids up to the 'farm'.

She's had her problems as a single mother, same as any other woman has -but she was never hurt by way of the Krishna movement. I always saw her at her best when she was with them, in fact.

Things are not always as they appear, Thomas.



Sat Sep 06, 2008 11:19 am
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Post Re: Quoting
WildCityWoman wrote:
Things are not always as they appear, Thomas.


I agree, Carley. Sometimes they are better, and sometimes they are worse. May we find the wisdom to know the difference :) 

Tom



Sat Sep 06, 2008 11:41 am
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Post Re: Quoting
Thomas Hood wrote:
WildCityWoman wrote:
Things are not always as they appear, Thomas.


I agree, Carley. Sometimes they are better, and sometimes they are worse. May we find the wisdom to know the difference :) 

Tom


Sounds good to me, Dude . . .

Hari Bol!

;-)



Sat Sep 06, 2008 1:53 pm
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