Deliberately invoking Thoreau’s commitment to “living a border life,” a life located between the world of nature and that of the polis, these varied essays explore the writer’s thinking and writing as situated not merely against, but across and beyond borders and boundaries—whether geographic, temporal, or spiritual. Arguing that literary texts are governed by mediation and dialogue, lines of force becoming lines of connection that entail complex patterns and interweavings, the contributors draw on methodologies that freely combine literary and philosophical approaches with cultural and political ones—in turn moving us beyond borders.
Contributors include the volume editors as well as Kristen Case, Danielle Follett, Rochelle Johnson, John J. Kucich, Daniel S. Malachuk, Henrik Otterberg, Sandra Harbert Petrulionis, Benjamin Pickford, David M. Robinson, Christa Holm Vogelius, and Michael C. Weisenburg.
"This volume is superbly conceived, and its essays are original, well thought out and diligently researched, and executed in a manner that will assuredly make a difference in the ways scholars of American transcendentalism read, understand, and appreciate Thoreau’s unique and lasting contributions to the movement."—Ronald A. Bosco, general editor of The Collected Works of Ralph Waldo Emerson
"Rather than the caricature of the cranky, navel-gazing, elite wilderness warrior who loved trees more than people, this volume shows, with incredible fidelity, how nuanced, complicated, and compassionate Thoreau was—and how vital he remains."—Daegen Miller, author of This Radical Land: A Natural History of American Dissent