Course Details

600: A Transcendental Summer: Thoreau and Dickinson in "Glad July"

July 16-20
1:45 PM - 3:15 PM

Take a week for the natural delights that sparked spiritual truths for Thoreau, whose account of bean fields and water in Walden influenced the poet in her garden. Dipping into Walden’s waters with about 50 pages a day from the Norton edition, matched with one or two of Dickinson’s more balmy poems handed out in each class, this will be a highly selective introduction to major pillars of American literature in their sunnier modes. One lecture on the first day will kick off the week that will thereafter be given to reading passages together, sharing interpretations of essays (Thoreau) and poems/letters (Dickinson) that are among the most perfectly crafted.

Class Format: Reading and Discussion

Hours of Reading: 1-2 hours/session

Study Group Leader(s):

Eleanor Heginbotham
Eleanor Elson Heginbotham, author of two books and many articles on Emily Dickinson, professor of American literature in foreign lands, Minnesota, and Washington, has enjoyed the "retirement" possibilities of OLLI classes. She has taught and taken many study groups on many of her favorite authors. She has enjoyed summers at Walden and in Amherst.

Reading List:

Walden, Civil Disobedience, and Other Writings. Third Edition, Henry David Thoreau. Ed. William Rossi. W.W. Norton & Company, 2008, ISBN: 13-978-0-393-93090.
Other versions permitted.