Emerson essays and lectures library of america


Emerson: Essays and Lectures

They had four children. The loss of their first, Waldo, who died in at the age of five, was very hard. Their other children were Ellen, Edith and Edward Waldo. In most ways Emerson's life as a private scholar was conventional, in some regards, even stern. He always wore a black suit, did not like loud laughter, and would not tolerate gossip or flippant mention of love.

Death could not be the subject of jest in his presence. But, though not good at repartee, he was a man of gentle humor, especially of the self-deprecating sort, and was much beloved, even revered, by friends and neighbors. He experimented now and then with currently popular notions, such as vegetarianism, which he found did him no good. He tried, as an egalitarian gesture, having the servants sit at table with the family for meals, but they objected. He tried working in his yard and garden on the theory that manual labor should be part of the scholar's life, but it left him too tired to do his other work.

He concluded, "The writer shall not dig. In his Concord study Emerson read many hundreds of volumes and in several languages, including the latest scientific publications and the newly translated sacred texts of Eastern religions, as well as history and literature. He was much taken with the Idealist philosophy of Immanuel Kant, especially as it came to him through the writings of Samuel Taylor Coleridge and William Wordsworth.

The influence of Hindu scriptures and Persian poetry, which Emerson had been reading for years, were fully incorporated in his thought and work after In he published his first book, Nature , in an anonymous edition of copies that took six years to sell out. His growing influence came largely through his lectures, but also through his participation in an informal group of bright and articulate younger ministers, who began meeting in September, , to discuss theology, philosophy and related subjects.

Variously called Hedge's Club after Frederic Henry Hedge , whose idea it was , the Symposium in honor of Plato's dialogue of that name and the Transcendentalist Club, the group met off and on for about four years. Regarded by many of the older ministers as "radicals," these young men spread their own and Emerson's ideas in sermons, other forms of public address and published articles. Emerson was widely seen as their leader.

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In it he challenged his audience to cease imitating Europe and to ground their ideas in American resources, sincerity and realism. It has been called "America's Intellectual Declaration of Independence. In the eight graduating seniors asked Emerson to address them. He spoke in protest against a stale, inherited Christianity and called for fresh religious inspiration. The old is for slaves.


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Refuse the good models. Cast conformity behind you, and acquaint men at first hand with Deity. He was taken by surprise when his "Divinity School Address" was both acclaimed and denounced vigorously in a storm of controversy. Theodore Parker , the newly ordained minister in West Roxbury, thought the speech "sublime. But his critics were also responding to the orthodox of New England's Standing Order churches, who accused the Unitarians of little by little abandoning Christianity.

Emerson had denounced an over-emphasis on miracles to highlight his own emphasis on "soul," personal and self-evident experience of the Divine.

ISBN 13: 9780940450158

But to an older generation of colleagues, he seemed to bring only unwelcome confirmation of the accuracy of orthodox charges. Hence the force of their attack, which Emerson's defenders soon answered with equal force. Emerson wrote to his brother Charles, "They say the world is vexed with us on account of our wicked writings.

I trust it will recover its composure.

Essays and Lectures

Ware, "These things look thus to me! To you, otherwise. Let us say out our uttermost word, and let the all-pervading truth, as it surely will, judge between us. But the so-called Transcendentalist controversy did not soon subside. Not for a generation was Emerson again invited to speak at Harvard. Emerson did not like the term, "Transcendentalism," preferring "Idealism. Emerson's reputation flourished, as did the demand for his addresses, as the lecture circuit rapidly became a popular cultural institution. Acting as his own booking agent and speaking dozens of times each year on grueling train tours across the country, Emerson was able to support his family, his mother and a retarded brother.

Six feet tall and with erect posture and poise, he spoke with a clear, resonant voice.

Commitment to Privacy

A reporter asked a scrubwoman who always attended his lectures whether she understood them. Emerson, even by intimates, he was once told by a friend that he could have had more influence had he been personally warmer. He replied that he never intended to be a substitute for the kitchen stove. In great part Emerson was a successful orator because he ever remained a preacher. All his addresses resolve themselves into sermons of uplift.

In exchanging the pulpit of Second Church, Boston for the rostrum, he accepted a call to a much larger audience, the country. Emerson was reluctant to campaign directly for radical social reform, but his involvement with the antislavery movement grew as the national crisis over slavery escalated during the s and early s. He scorned the Abolitionists for the bitterness of their agitation.

Yet he spoke out strongly in defense of Elijah Lovejoy, lynched for his anti-slavery publications, and later defended the abolitionist radical John Brown. He delivered his first public antislavery address in , a commemoration of the British emancipation of the slaves in the West Indies. When the Fugitive Slave Act was passed in , he referred to it as "this filthy enactment" and wrote in his journal, "I will not obey it, by God! Go where it is threatened and say, 'I am for it and do not wish to live in the world a moment longer than it exists.

Now, a new series, Library of America Paperback Classics, offers attractive and affordable books that bring The Library of America's authoritative texts within easy reach of every reader. Each book features an introductory essay by one of a leading writer, as well as a detailed chronology of the author's life and career, an essay on the choice and history of the text, and notes. It is joined in the series by three companion volumes, gathering Emerson's poems, translations, and selections from his journals.

Category: Poetry; Pictures of this item not already displayed here available upon request.

Ralph Waldo Emerson

Inventory No: First Edition Thus; First Printing. Book is fine but for a few folded pages, in a near fine dust jacket.

geutinggrangai.tk Extra postage may be required for heavy or oversize books. Book is fine in near fine dust jacket. Red cloth boards are rubbed on edges. Insect nibbles on end pages. Text pages are clean with no markings in text, binding is sound. With Afterthoughts New York: G.


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  • Putnam's Sons, Not in the BAL 'ana' section. Terra-cotta paper wrappers printed in black. Housed in custom black leather backed maroon cloth boards. Last page blank. Bookplate of Myron E. Roberts [to front pastedown of custom boards]. Wrappers detached [due to manner in which the item is housed in the 'protective' boards], otherwise a VG copy. Blue cloth binding with silver stamped lettering. Issued without dust jacket.

    Slight spine push. Fine copy. Sehr gut erhalten. Oesch Verlag, Pp: Zustand: wirkt ungelesen, keine Beschaedigungen, keine Eintragungen. Ruecken, Ecken, Kanten sehr gut.

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    NY, P. A good reading copy; cover has white spots all over; bumped points; cover scuffed. Text has no markings, binding is sound. A clean, tidy copy, not dated, c, previous owners name. Very Good. Clarendon Books P.

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