Monday, March 05, 2007

Thoreau and Dostoevsky

It has occurred to me, that though dissimilar in tone, Thoreau's "Walden" and Dostoevsky's "Notes from the Underground" bear certain similarities (though no doubt more differences). I thought it would be entertaining to juxtapose quotes from each. Who proves wiser in today's example? And which is which?

"Why should we live with such hurry and waste of life? We are determined to be starved before we are hungry. Men say that a stitch in time saves nine, and so they take a thousand stitches today to save one tomorrow. As for work, we haven't any of consequence."

"Perhaps the only goal on earth toward which mankind is striving lies in this incessant process of attaining, in life itself, and not in the thing to be attained."

Two Kilobunnies,



  1. I've never read Thoreau but I'd say that the second quote is Dostoyevsky for he always writes straight and to the point, and his quote is the wiser.

  2. You would be right. Your prize is to read Thoreau!

  3. Anonymous12:44 PM PST

    This reminds of the theological debate over whether the object of faith is more central to spirituality than is the activity of faith.


  4. You're referring to Dostoevsky's quote. Paul said, "If there is no resurrection, we of all men are most miserable." Other Christians have said, "Because of the life it has given me, I would rather live as a Christian even if it were untrue."

    I side with Paul. Believing in something untrue may better your life, but it's not worth it. The object must be true or ultimately, you're screwed. Of course, true faith is never attained in this world, and in the next one it is obviated by sight--making both faith and hope obsolete, as Paul posits in I Cor. 13.


Please share your opinion!

Unexpected Light

Unexpected Light
Selected Poems and Love Poems 1998-2008 ON SALE NOW!