July 21, 2022

Henry David Thoreau’s classic book Walden is one of my favorite books. I love when serious books still have fun parts sprinkled here and there.

“We are in great haste to construct a magnetic telegraph from Maine to Texas; but Maine and Texas, it may be, have nothing important to communicate… We are eager to tunnel under the Atlantic and bring the old world some weeks nearer to the new; but perchance the first news that will leak through into the broad flapping American ear will be that Princess Adelaide has the whooping cough.”

This reflects how I think about most of social media apps, supposedly connecting people. Deleting WhatsApp, for instance, was one of the best decisions I’ve made. Oh the horror of being added to countless groups *shivers*

(Disclaimer: I read the text in English as a way to force myself to speak out loud to improve my poor pronunciation skills. I read the text in German to provide learners of the language with audio snippets, hopefully from books they love. Check out forvo for word pronunciations by native speakers for all the words in the world.)

“A lady once offered me a mat, but as I had no room to spare within the house, nor time to spare within or without to shake it, I declined it, preferring to wipe my feet on the sod before my door. It is best to avoid the beginnings of evil.”

“Einmal bot mir eine Dame eine Fußmatte an. Da ich aber in meinem Haus keinen Raum zu schonen hatte, weder drinnen noch draußen Zeit genug, sie auszuschütteln, lehnte ich dankend ab und zog es vor, meine Schuhe auf dem Rasen vor der Tür abzuputzen. Es ist das beste, das Übel gleich von Anfang an zu vermeiden.“

“As if you could kill time without injuring eternity.”

“Als könne man die Zeit totschlagen, ohne die Ewigkeit zu verletzen.“

You can find the book in different formats on the Gutenberg website. Full audio can also be found there.

Autumn at Walden Pond” by jitze

Rèplica de la cabana de Henry David Thoreau, Walden Pond, Concord, USA” by Sebastià Giralt

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