Featuring nearly 100 luminous watercolor illustrations, Thoreau and the Art of Life collects eloquent passages from the writingsof the seminal author and philosopher. Drawn mainly fromhis journals, the short excerpts provide fascinating insight intohis thought processes by presenting his raw, unedited feelingsabout the things that meant the most to him. The book reflectsThoreau’s deep beliefs and ideas about nature, relationships, creativity,spirituality, aging, simplicity, and wisdom. By eloquentlyexpressing his thoughts about life and what gives it value, heleads the reader to a closer examination of life. Thoreau’s workasks us to live our own truths with joy and discipline and to recognizethat we live in a universe of extraordinary beauty, mystery,and wonder.
An avid reader of Thoreau, editor and illustrator RoderickMacIver organized the passages by themes: love and friendship;art, creativity, and writing; aging, disease, and death; human societyand culture; nature and the human connection to the naturalworld; and wisdom, truth, solitude, and simplicity. The bookincludes a chronology and brief biography. Thoreau’s words ofwisdom combined with MacIver’s vivid illustrations of the Americanlandscape will resonate with nature enthusiasts and a broadrange of readers interested in art, environmentalism, literature, andphilosophy.
“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
“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