“A man is rich with everything he can do without”: Henry David Thoreau, this unknown lake

Special issue “Thinking about ecology”

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There are many ways of thinking and practicing ecology. Reading thick IPCC reports, campaigning in green parties, moderating the consumption of useless objects… There is another nice way to do it: go swimming in a pretty body of water in Concord, not far from Boston, and meditate there while looking for the flight of a bird, admiring the port of the trees which curve on the wave. The place is called Walden Pond.

By soaking in it, we will pay homage to the one to whom it owes its fame, Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862). The man was a poet, naturalist, philosopher, and one of the first great names in American literature; he is also considered, thanks to his two-year immersion in this hole of greenery, as a precursor of ecology.


Thoreau is a son of the middle classes of the United States, a country that was brand new at the time. His family owns a small pencil factory in Concord, a small town in New England. He leaves her only to go to study at Harvard University, located not far from his home. With other young intellectuals, taken p

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