Last Monday, Brooke taught the first class he has given in two years, since the week before his accident. It’s on Thoreau’s Walden, a book he says that if read closely and attentively enough, can completely revise your ways of thinking, not just in the chapters “Economy,” “Where I Lived and What I Lived For,” and “Reading” that he’s covering tomorrow, but throughout. While his former English-Department colleagues might quibble, Brooke says it’s one of the best examples of the sublime in literature anywhere.
Teaching Walden is a double milestone. He’s teaching the class, and he’s coming home for the day (and the night) to do it. He’ll do that every Monday for six weeks, or until he’s ready to come home for good. We haven’t been ready to brag about how well the first class went, but perhaps after tomorrow’s session we’ll be able to tell you some of the details. It is a milestone, a big one.