Friday, October 23, 2015

Thoreau's distortions

Only by elastic measures can "Walden" be regarded as nonfiction.

. . .

Begin with false premises and you risk reaching false conclusions. Begin with falsified premises and you forfeit your authority. Apologists for Thoreau often claim that he merely distorted some trivial facts in the service of a deeper truth. But how deep can a truth be—in deed, how true can it be—if it is not built from facts?
Kathryn Schulz, "Pond Scum: Henry David Thoreau's Moral Myopia," New Yorker, Oct. 19, 2015, p. 40, 44

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