Synopses & Reviews
A new, wide-ranging selection of Ralph Waldo Emersons most influential writings, this edition captures the essence of American Transcendentalism and illustrates the breadth of one of Americas greatest philosophers and poets.
The writings featured here show Emerson as a protester against social conformity, a lover of nature, an activist for the rights of women and slaves, and a poet of great sensitivity. As explored in this volume, Emersonian thought is a unique blend of belief in individual freedom and in humility before the power of nature. “I become a transparent eyeball,” Emerson wrote in Nature, “I am nothing; I see all; the currents of the Universal Being circulate through me; I am part or particle of God.” Written over a century ago, this passage is a striking example of the passion and originality of Emersons ideas, which continue to serve as a spiritual center and an ideological base for modern thought.
About the Author
Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803 —1882) was a renowned lecturer and writer, whose ideas on philosophy, religion, and literature influenced many writers, including Henry David Thoreau and Walt Whitman. After an undergraduate career at Harvard, he studied at Harvard Divinity School and became an ordained minister, continuing a long line of ministers in his family. He traveled widely and lectured, and became well known for his publications Essays and Nature.
Table of Contents
Foreword by Robert D. Richardson, Jr.
EARLY ESSAYS AND LECTURES
Pray Without Ceasing (1826)
The American Scholar (1837)
Cherokee Letter (1838)
The Divinity School Address (1838)
From ESSAYS, FIRST SERIES (1841)
From ESSAYS, SECOND SERIES (1844)
From REPRESENTATIVE MEN (1850)
Uses of Great Men
Montaigne; or, the Skeptic
LATER ESSAYS AND LECTURES
Emancipation in the British West Indies (1844)
Each and All
Ode: Inscribed to W.H. Channing