By Joel Myerson
There's no query that Emerson has maintained his position as one of many seminal figures in American background and literature. In his time, he was once the said chief of the Transcendentalist stream and his poetic legacy, schooling beliefs, and non secular suggestions are crucial to the formation of yank highbrow lifestyles. during this quantity, Joel Myerson, one of many best specialists in this interval, has accumulated jointly glowing new essays that debate Emerson as a made from his instances. person chapters supply a longer biographical examine of Emerson and his impact on American existence, by way of experiences of his idea of individualism, nature and typical technology, faith, antislavery, and women's rights.
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Additional info for A Historical Guide to Ralph Waldo Emerson (Historical Guides to American Authors)
In fact, in his journals he explicitly rejected friendship as a disciple-making enterprise when he wrote: "The new individual must work out the whole problem of science, letters, & theology for himself. . The private soul ascends to transcendental virtue . . but this liberty is not transferable to any disciple . . nor to the man 34 Ralph Waldo Emerson himself when he falls out of his trance & comes down from the tripod" (JMN, 7:202, 216). The value, then, that Emerson found in meeting and walking or talking with his friends confirmed one of his general rules about friendship and conversation: When they are best, they provide one with "a series of intoxications" that yield inspiration ("Inspiration," W, 8:292).
But this liberty is not transferable to any disciple . . nor to the man 34 Ralph Waldo Emerson himself when he falls out of his trance & comes down from the tripod" (JMN, 7:202, 216). The value, then, that Emerson found in meeting and walking or talking with his friends confirmed one of his general rules about friendship and conversation: When they are best, they provide one with "a series of intoxications" that yield inspiration ("Inspiration," W, 8:292). As journal entries such as these about Alcott suggest, in the presence of his friends Emerson found his faith in the ideal justified, and he felt himself personally and intellectually enlarged: I think [Alcott] has more faith in the Ideal than any man I have known.
These are gleams of a world in which we do not live: they astonish the understanding. . There is every degree of remoteness from the line of things in the line of words. By & by comes a word true & closely embracing the thing. That is not Latin nor English nor any language, but thought. The aim of the author is not to tell truth—that he cannot do, but to suggest it. He has only approximated it himself, & hence his cumbrous embarrassed speech: he uses many words, hoping that one, if not another, will bring you as near to the fact as he is.
A Historical Guide to Ralph Waldo Emerson (Historical Guides to American Authors) by Joel Myerson