“I wished to live deliberately” – A visit from Henry David Thoreau

Date(s) - 10/22/17 2:00 pm - 3:00 pm

Location: Memorial Hall

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Join us at Monson Memorial Hall for a performance by Kevin Radaker, Thoreau reenactor!

In a dramatic monologue set in 1860, when America was poised upon the brink of the Civil War, Radaker will present the provocative spirit and words of Henry David Thoreau, America’s mid-nineteenth-century apostle of the wilderness, social critic, and political dissenter. Immediately after the 45-minute dramatic monologue, Radaker, while still in character as Thoreau, will answer questions from the audience for 15-20 minutes. Then, after Radaker is introduced to the audience, he will answer questions as a scholar of Thoreau for another 15-20 minutes.

Considered one of the greatest writers in American literature, Henry David Thoreau is best known for his book Walden (1854) and his essay “Civil Disobedience” (1849), which inspired Mahatma Gandhi and Martin Luther King, Jr. during this past century. During his lifetime, Thoreau celebrated the sanctity of nature; spoke eloquently on the pitfalls of conformity, materialism, and technological advancement; and urged the individual to follow the dictates of his conscience rather than the law when convinced that a law was unjust.

Kevin Radaker is Professor of English at Anderson University in Anderson, Indiana. Besides publishing several articles on Thoreau in academic journals and delivering numerous papers, Radaker has presented his “Thoreau” over 400 times throughout the United States since 1991.

Part of the Thoreau Bicentennial Statewide Read, celebrating Henry David Thoreau’s 200th anniversary. Brought to you by the Monson Free Library, Palmer Public Library, and Wilbraham Public Library.