Friday, September 21, 2007

Thoreau's Landfill

Below, a satellite view of Walden Woods, where Henry David Thoreau famously and eloquently expressed the American suburban impulse in Walden and other books.

Besides entreating us (too successfully) to escape civilization by retreating into the woods, Thoreau's writings also preached the less dubious and more easily forgotten virtues of self-reliance, frugality, and a thoughtful relationship with nature. These latter arguments have apparently not convinced Walden's current inhabitants, who live just to the east of the state park in cul-de-sacked McMansions with backyard tennis courts.

The legacy of Walden rounds itself out with a closed landfill just to the north of the pond, and beyond that, the four-lane expressway that carries modern Thoreauvians to their despised City every weekday.

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