But when it comes to Thoreau's much-adored "Walden," Schulz rips into this American icon (1817-1862) with a gusto that would do a bookie's knee-capper proud.
Since I stand guilty in the never-have-read-it-spotlight Schulz casts on "Walden" and its author, I hesitate to comment on her commentary other than to say that her criticisms of the oh-so-burnished, pantheonic place reserved for this book whose audience I too have seen genuflecting is ... well, "ludicrous" is a good deal kinder than Schulz is with her verbal brass knuckles. Misanthrope, hypocrite, narcissist ... the laundry list and evidence to support it goes on and on.Like many canonized works, it ["Walden"] is more revered than read, so it exists for most people only as a dim impression retained from adolescence or as the source of a few famous lines: “I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately.” “If you have built castles in the air, your work need not be lost; that is where they should be. Now put the foundations under them.” “Simplicity, simplicity, simplicity!”
I liked the Schulz piece. It almost -- but not quite -- made me want to read "Walden."