Thoreau's Journal: 18-Sep-1859

Dr. Bartlett handed me a paper to-day, desiring me to subscribe for a statue to Horace Mann. I declined, and said that I thought a man ought not any more to take up room in the world after he was dead. We shall lose one advantage of a man’s dying if we are to have a statue of him forthwith. This is probably meant to be an opposition statue to that of Webster. At this rate they will crowd the streets with them. A man will have to add a clause to his will, “No statue to be made of me.” It is very offensive to my imagination to see the dying stiffen into statues at this rate. We should wait till their bones begin to crumble—and then avoid too near a likeness to the living.


Anonymous said...

There is a statue of Thoreau outside the replica of his cabin at Walden Pond.

I always thought it was against his views of such things and now we have proof that he would never have wanted a statue of him there, or anywhere else for that matter.

I am sure whoever made and placed the statue meant well, but it needs to be removed.

And Thoreau's journal entries need to be more widely known.

Anonymous said...

Thoreau died 145 years ago. I wonder if his bones have begun to crumble.

cowsandplows said...

Ah, but he says that we should "avoid too near a likeness...," and the statue above the pond does just that. In some ways, the statue seems only vaguely human, looking almost like a blurred photograph of Thoreau walking away from his cabin.

Anonymous said...

I say get rid of the statue, as it is both ugly and not in the spirit of Henry, who as we see directly in his Journal did not believe in statues of men.