Two Fish on One Hook

A Transformative Reading of Thoreau's Walden

Raymond P. Tripp

Out of print

Quick Look

220 x 140 mm
Lindisfarne Books
Art & Literature
160 pages
Publication date:
01 Jan 1999


This study of Thoreau’s transcendental work 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 becomes a transformative experience.

It is all too easy, however, to admire Thoreau’s art and miss his meaning. Thoreau has constructed Walden on transparent overlays of meaning -- biography, literature, philosophy, and religion -- but in whatever way we read it, Thoreau’s words are what work the communicative transformation of his readers. Form, meaning, and language are Thoreau’s instruments for unearthing the truth, and Tripp steadfastly follows their spiraling movement down the concentric intricacies of Thoreau’s message through the broad structure of Walden, section by section, chapter by chapter, sentence by sentence, word by word until at last they merge, patterns and purposes, form and idea, heaven and earth, at Walden Pond.


Raymond P. Tripp, Jr. is Professor Emeritus at the University of Denver, where he has taught American Literature and Medieval Studies.

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