I'm pretty sure this is how Henry David Thoreau's Walden reads to everyone.
The Pond in Winter
Talk of a divinity in man! As if you could kill time without injuring eternity.
The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation. One may almost doubt if the wisest man has learned anything of absolute value by living. If there is not a new man, how can the new clothes be made to fit? In the long run men hit only what they aim at. I doubt if there are three such men in Concord.
"The false society of men-
Morning work! men have become the tools of their tools. The civilized man is a more experienced and wiser savage.
Men say they know many things;
House................................. $ 28.12-1/2
No wonder man has lost his elasticity.
"The evil that men do lives after them."
When a man dies he kicks the dust.
A man is not a good man to me because he will feed me if I should be starving, or warm me if I should be freezing, or pull me out of a ditch if I should ever fall into one. I never knew, and never shall know, a worse man than myself.
Each one is a man, an Irishman, or a Yankee man. If the bell rings, why should we run?
The symbol of an ancient man's thought becomes a modern man's speech. If all were as it seems, and men made the elements their servants for noble ends! Morning air! It is surprising how many great men and women a small house will contain. Wiser men were demigods to him.
Again the works of man shine as in the spring. Sky water. Flint's Pond! Stocked with men! No, no; if the fairest features of the landscape are to be named after men, let them be the noblest and worthiest men alone. If it had lasted longer it might have tinged my employments and life.
"Debate with no man hast thou,
That saith that hunters ben not holy men."
We easily come to doubt if they exist. Perhaps the facts most astounding and most real are never communicated by man to man. How shall a man know if he is chaste? Why will men worry themselves so? There's good sport there if the water be not too high.
I was myself excited somewhat even as if they had been men.
What if all ponds were shallow?
Man was born.
In a pleasant spring morning all men's sins are forgiven.
How long, pray, would a man hunt giraffes if he could? Neither men nor toadstools grow so. What are men celebrating? Why has every man a conscience, then? Men at all? The mass of men serve the state thus, not as men mainly, but as machines, with their bodies. If a plant cannot live according to its nature, it dies; and so a man.
And thus our literary voyage draws to a close. Thanks David Thorpe for the Moby-Dick summary and Microsoft for their great program. As a final bonus, here's a short and sweet version of Hills Like White Elephants by somebody.
Hills Like White Elephants
'What should we drink?' the girl asked. 'Let's drink beer.'
'I've never seen one,' the man drank his beer.
The girl looked at the bead curtain. 'Anis del Toro. The man called 'Listen' through the curtain. 'Yes,' said the girl. 'All right. The girl looked across at the hills.
The warm wind blew the bead curtain against the table.
'It's lovely,' the girl said.
The girl did not say anything.
'We'll be fine afterwards. 'All right. 'I realize,' the girl said. 'Would you please please please please please please please stop talking?'
'I'll scream,' the girl said.
The girl smiled brightly at the woman, to thank her.
Are you concerned that you may be a character trapped in a Tom Waits song? Be smart and learn the warning signs before it's too late. Also, it's too late. It has always been too late.
I'm haunted by a recurring vision of a skeleton flipping me off. To avoid seeing this terrifying image in bumper sticker form, I pay someone with a blank bumper to drive in front of me at all times.
Featured articles and columns that don't fit anywhere else on Something Awful.