I.     English 380  10 am  Monday January 23 2006

II.   conference schedule

III. Wordsworth:

A.  Platonic Pastoral of solitude; body and soul separate—see Marvel

1.    that serene and blessed mood, In which the affections gently lead us on,- Until, the breath of this corporeal frame And even the motion of our human blood  Almost suspended, we are laid asleep In body, and become a living soul:  While with an eye made quiet by the power Of harmony, and the deep power of joy,  We see into the life of things.

2.    Thoreau--solitude

B.  Nostalgia, Eden, the Golden Age,  pastoral of youth

1.    That time is past, And all its aching joys are now no more,  And all its dizzy raptures. Not for this Faint I, nor mourn nor murmur, other gifts  Have followed; for such loss, I would believe, Abundant recompence. For I have learned  To look on nature, not as in the hour Of thoughtless youth; but hearing oftentimes  The still, sad music of humanity,

2.    and in thy voice I catch The language of my former heart, and read  My former pleasures in the shooting lights Of thy wild eyes. Oh! yet a little while  May I behold in thee what I was once, More dear, both for themselves and for thy sake!

3.    Immortality Ode

a)             Heaven lies about us in our infancy!

b)             Shades of the prison-house begin to close

c)                  Upon the growing Boy,

d)             But He beholds the light, and whence it flows,

e)                  He sees it in his joy;

f)              The Youth, who daily farther from the east

g)                 Must travel, still is Nature's Priest,

h)                 And by the vision splendid

i)                   Is on his way attended;

j)              At length the Man perceives it die away,

IV.         Thoreau  Walking:

A.  Title

1.    cf. Das Wandern—

2.    wordsworth, Coleridge, keats, shelley:  

3.    taking walks for journals; our walks

B.  Nature vs. Culture  (Freedom, Wildness)

1.    extreme statement of primitivism—cf. Walden 31 on civilized and savage

C.  SaunteringÉcrusade; pilgrimage; what is pilgrimage; adventure; taking risk—my pilgrimage to Walden

D.  Desiderata—

1.    Four hours a dayÉnot exercise; search for springs—cal poly land exploration; nightwalks—his and yours

2.    But it sometimes happens that I cannot easily shake off the village. The thought of some work will run in my head, and I am not where my body is; I am out of my senses. In my walks I would fain return to my senses. What business have I in the woods, if I am thinking of something out of the woods?

a)   bill mckibbon introduction

3.    within ten miles: Cal Poly Land

a)   Two or three hours' walking will carry me to as strange a country as I expect ever to see. A single farm-house which I had not seen before is sometimes as good as the dominions of the king of Dahomey.(11) There is in fact a sort of harmony discoverable between the capabilities of the landscape within a circle of ten miles' radius, or the limits of an afternoon walk, and the three-scoreyears and ten of human life. It will never become quite familiar to you.

4.    fences and private propertyÉsurveyor as demon

5.    West and Wild; on wildness

6.    climbing the white pine—the topmost candles: unknown treasures to discover

7.    cockerel crow

8.    apocalyptic sunset

V.  Thoreau:Walden

A.  McKibbon Introduction

1.    influence of Thoreau; power—anybody had that experience

2.    chatter in head; calmer vibrations—cf walking

3.    invitation, persuasion—rhetorical purpose of this edition; simplicity

4.    ThoreauÕs message—the most important for our time; not a technical fix—contra natural capitalism, etc

a)   living more lightly

b)   how much is enough

c)    how do I know what I really want—Òtell me what I amÓ

d)   is this accurate?

e)    consumer flatulence

5.    cranks and gurus

6.    like Socrates in Symposium, Thoreau is seductive; makes you miserable about your life

7.    Method: simplification—the river of simplifiersÉxxii

8.    Why are we trappedÉthe Economy and the age of Information

9.    notice your thoughts; get out in woods, keep a journal; solitude

10.world is sweet

B.  EconomyÉthe business plan for happiness

1.    importance of I

2.    desperation—

a)   not speaking to those who are happy and well employed now  14

b)   crushed with inheritance

c)    antimaterialism—laying up treasures

d)   debt and no time

e)    women wasting time  6  mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation

f)    the wealthy impoverishedÉquestion of the good life and happiness

3.    choice is there—

a)   old vs young  7

b)   what is necessary

c)    little has been tried; uniqueness and unpredictability  9

d)   trust; have faith—lillies of the field

e)    trouble and anxiety

f)    antidote: primitivism—what you really need is heat; New HollanderÕs need  11

g)   philosopher and voluntary poverty  12-13

h)   live in the present

4.    whimsical self description: 14-18—his roles and business plan

5.    the actual necessities

a)   on clothing and fashion: 19-24

b)   shelter: whatÕs the minimalÉnatural materials

(1)  difficulty of home ownership; cost of rent is withering  27É.savage state
(2)  mortgages
(3)  injustice: luxury and indigence 31   nb
(4)  men have become tools of their tools;
(5)  lives must be strippedÉvia negativa
(6)  to his own experiment: narrative begins on 37
(a)  idyllic account of building the house
(b)  grim narrative of buying from the displaced Collins family 39-40
(c)   rejection of division of labor
(d)  of architectural ornamentsÉ43, ask architect
(e)   cost accounting—humor
(7)  student can build a house very cheap  45Ésection on students possibilitiesÉto 48
(8)  back to ornamental architecture: grandeur is vulgar  53

c)    unnecessary inventions: 48-9Éthe railroad, which dominates his life

(1)  farming simply; herds are keepers of men  51

d)   food cost

(1)  food easy to come by if you control appetite: diet: unleavened bread, then no bread, no saltÉgolden age, no trade

e)    furniture—unnecessary burdenÉthrowing stuff awayÉbonfire of vanitiesÉsavonarola

f)    support self by manual labor six weeks of the yearÉtrade curses everything  65

g)   independence and solitude:  66-7

6.    67-77 on doing good—donÕt waste your time—ThoreauÕs American Individualism

VI.         Sounds

A.  Sound of prose—phrases, sentences, the rhythm of the chapter

B.  natural  sounds not books. paying attention—noticing plants  108

C.  otium and contemplation—vita contemplativeÉ106; no time, spaced out; Marvel in garden

D.  housework and pleasureÉfurniture

E.   sounds of railroad—negotium: 108-116

1.    appreciation  of atropos 112; pastoral elegy116—the pine mast; golden age

F.   otium returns; its sounds: bells, cow, whippowills, hootowls, sad bullfrogs to glad rooster (119-121)