Garrison Keillor and Friends
Garrison Keillor's Podcast
A few minutes on a hilltop in Concord
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A few minutes on a hilltop in Concord

Podcast 24 — For a moment I thought maybe Henry should’ve had a dog to keep him company but a dog would’ve spooked the wildlife he wanted to see, so what’s the point. Loneliness is an asset.
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Thoreau’s great work wasn’t Walden but his daily journal in which he wrote about his walks in the woods and fields, what he saw, what he loved. Walden is blighted by a great deal of pontificating about solitude and independence. If there had been a Mrs. Thoreau, she’d have agreed with him on “Our life is frittered away by detail. Simplify, simplify.” And she would’ve scoffed at his nonsense — “If one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours.” He was chewing on the wrong weed when he came up with that, a line that has led people to waste years writing a bad novel who could’ve been happy bus drivers. Henry wouldn’t have said so much about the necessity of solitude with a woman looking over his shoulder.

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Garrison Keillor and Friends
Garrison Keillor's Podcast
Funny, poignant, sentimental, and sometimes controversial thoughts of the day