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Marshall Essay on ‘Reconsidering Thoreau’ in LitHub

rustic cabin perched on outcropping with large juniper tree to the right
Professor Megan Marshall’s family’s cabin in Echo Lake, California. Photo courtesy of Megan Marshall.

Literary Hub published Charles Wesley Emerson Professor Megan Marshall‘s essay, “Reconsidering Thoreau in a Burning World,” a meditation on loss, climate change, and the human connection to nature.

Marshall penned the essay after spending an anxious week last summer following the news and social media to learn the fate of her family’s “Cabin in the Woods” as the Caldor Wildfire threatened to consume it.

What was there of value in my life today that I couldn’t trace back to lessons learned in that cabin, whose primal significance I’d first realized while reading Walden as a 15-year-old in high school English class? I can remember it now, the feeling that Thoreau had written his book for me, because I, too, had lived in a simple cabin by a lake and fronted, in my own way, “the essential facts of life,” to borrow Thoreau’s famous phrase.

Related: Marshall Essay in Thoreau Anthology Gets Glowing Review: New York Times

Read Marshall’s essay on LitHub.


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