Thoreau and the Art of Life

Thoreau and the Art of Life Cover

Thoreau and the Art of Life

Reflections on Nature and the Mystery of Existence

By Henry David Thoreau; Roderick MacIver (Editor)

North Atlantic Books, Paperback, 9781556438837, 95pp.

Publication Date: March 16, 2010

Featuring nearly 100 luminous watercolor illustrations, "Thoreau and the Art of Life "collects eloquent passages from the writings" "of the seminal author and philosopher. Drawn mainly from" "his journals, the short excerpts provide fascinating insight into" "his thought processes by presenting his raw, unedited feelings" "about the things that meant the most to him. The book reflects" "Thoreau's deep beliefs and ideas about nature, relationships, creativity, " "spirituality, aging, simplicity, and wisdom. By eloquently" "expressing his thoughts about life and what gives it value, he" "leads the reader to a closer examination of life. Thoreau's work" "asks us to live our own truths with joy and discipline and to recognize" "that we live in a universe of extraordinary beauty, mystery, " "and wonder.
An avid reader of Thoreau, editor and illustrator Roderick" "MacIver organized the passages by themes: love and friendship;" "art, creativity, and writing; aging, disease, and death; human society" "and culture; nature and the human connection to the natural" "world; and wisdom, truth, solitude, and simplicity. The book" "includes a chronology and brief biography. Thoreau's words of" "wisdom combined with MacIver's vivid illustrations of the American" "landscape will resonate with nature enthusiasts and a broad" "range of readers interested in art, environmentalism, literature, and" "philosophy.
It is something to be able to paint a particular picture, or to carve a statue, and so to make a few objects beautiful, but it is more glorious to carve and paint the very atmosphere and medium through which we look, which morally we can do. To affect the quality of the day, that is the highest of arts. Every man is tasked to make his life, even in its details, worthy of the contemplation of his most elevated and critical hour.
Henry David Thoreau.

About the Author
Henry David Thoreau was an American author, poet, and philosopher, who is best known for his works Waldena treatise about living in concert with the natural worldand Civil Disobedience, in which he espoused the need to morally resist the actions of an unjust state. Thoreau s work heavily reflects the ideologies of the American transcendentalists, and he has long been considered a leading figure in the movement along with Ralph Waldo Emerson, Bronson Alcott, and, at first, Nathaniel Hawthorne (who changed his views later in life). In addition to his writing, which totaled more than twenty volumes, Thoreau was an active abolitionist, and lectured regularly against the Fugitive Slave Law. Thoreau died in 1862, and is buried along with Louisa May Alcott, Ellery Channing, and other notable Americans in Sleepy Hollow Cemetery in Concord, Massachusetts.

Born in Canada, Roderick MacIver currently splits his time between Vermont and his studio in New York's Adirondacks. His work is inspired by a love of wild nature. Readers and art patrons write hundreds of letters a year to Heron Dance Press responding to the sense of peace and serenity embodied in his watercolors. Roderick MacIver founded Heron Dance Press, a nonprofit organization, in 1995 to celebrate the seeker's journey and the spirit and beauty of all that is wild.The quarterly journal published by Heron Dance now has over 30,000 paid subscribers and its free weekly e-newsletter, A Pause for Beauty, has almost 20,000 subscribers.

Praise For Thoreau and the Art of Life

Thoreau and the Art of Life is a work of intrinsic beauty and calmness. The confluence of Roderick MacIver’s art and Thoreau’s text is so natural it is hard to say whether the art illustrates the words or the words depict the art.”
—Jeffrey S. Cramer, Curator of Collections, the Walden Woods Project/Thoreau Institute at Walden Woods, Lincoln, Massachusetts