Joel Myerson's A Historical Guide to Ralph Waldo Emerson (Historical Guides PDF

By Joel Myerson

ISBN-10: 0195120930

ISBN-13: 9780195120936

There is not any query that Emerson has maintained his position as one of many seminal figures in American heritage and literature. In his time, he was once the said chief of the Transcendentalist move and his poetic legacy, schooling beliefs, and spiritual recommendations are indispensable to the formation of yank highbrow existence. during this quantity, Joel Myerson, one of many top specialists in this interval, has collected jointly glowing new essays that debate Emerson as a made of his instances. person chapters offer a longer biographical learn of Emerson and his influence on American existence, via experiences of his proposal of individualism, nature and usual technology, faith, antislavery, and women's rights.

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Extra info for A Historical Guide to Ralph Waldo Emerson (Historical Guides to American Authors)

Example text

Emerson's journals and letters of 1835 reveal his sense that he 20 Ralph Waldo Emerson had not completely answered the question of how he ought to live; nevertheless, established by the end of the year in Concord with his new wife, he could believe himself fairly well restored to sound professional and personal ground. He occupied himself with long stints of writing in his journals, where he drafted prose for potential use in new lectures. He took occasional day trips to Cambridge and Boston for new reading materials, and at home he left the solitude of his study for extended walks in Concord's woods or along her riverbanks.

He attended performances of Shakespeare's King Lear and Rossini's opera La Cenerentola, and he dined with Frederic Chopin. By all accounts, when he was abroad this time, Emerson cut a thoroughly cosmopolitan figure, and while his first journey to Europe had restored him personally and shown him the way to his true professional calling, he returned home from this trip an established international figure with an increasingly wide following. One important result of this tour was that Emerson, ever the penetrating observer, came home with several journals full of insight into English history, manners, and character (see JMN, 10).

Whether life may not be poetic as well as stupid" (CEC, p. 272). The challenge before him in 1835 was to bring order to the formlessness of the words he had been gathering; they required a unifying theme, a unifying vision, to hold them together before they could achieve a degree of finality in print. As the year opened, he shared this thought with his brother William: "I think when I have done with my lectures which begin shortly I shall write & print a discourse upon Spiritual & Traditional Religion, for Form seems to be bowing Substance out of the World & men doubt if there can be any such thing as a spiritual nature out of the carcass in which once it dwelt" (7 January 1835; L, 1:430-31).

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A Historical Guide to Ralph Waldo Emerson (Historical Guides to American Authors) by Joel Myerson


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