You are not thinking big unless you are thinking local is something you can think when you are thinking about Thoreau. Imagine if a feature writer came upon Thoreau, as Thoreau ran around noting river heights, flower blooming times, the habits of farmers and immigrants. (Think Robert Frost as a village surveyor.) The headline?

Imagine if Thoreau had gotten around the country, as he began to want to, at the end of his life. Imagine if he had to answer questions about his writing, which he probably did at some point. Or in lieu of imagining those things, check out Dan Barry's answers to questions about his writing, which is noticing, of the finest kind, if you ask someone who has spent a little time watching Thoreau. (Barry, above, as photographed by Angel Franco, his partner in national noticing.) Also, did I mention that Thoreau, though he loved to rant about newspapers, also loved newspapers?

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