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Two Fish on One Hook

A Transformative Reading of Thoreau's Walden

Raymond Tripp

160 pp.  

Lindisfarne Books


Published:  November 1998


Here is a book about Walden that takes Thoreau on his own terms. Two Fish on One Hook is a transcendental study of Thoreau’s transcendental work. It offers us the task of doing as Thoreau does, exhorting us to follow the patterns Thoreau sets up in Walden and to approach his work as “an act of communication”—one that urges us to listen, to hear, and to act upon what he has to say, one that becmes a transformative experience.
“Thoreau’s first step is to remind us of how very idle and blockheaded we are. The busy folk ‘mind[ing] their own affairs’ he leaves to their own devices. Books about Walden are also obliged to begin on the right note by sounding Thoreau’s stern wake-up call. Many will find it a jarring note, but there is no better way to wake up from the Procrustean ‘sense of men asleep’ and to get ‘a sick one to lay down his bed and run’ into Walden in time. It may be wisdom to let the dead bury the dead; but Thoreau is convinced that ‘a man is not requried to bury himself.’ He, therefore, begins by asking his readers “Why should they begin digging their graves as soon as they are born?’”
Raymond Tripp

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