Selected Writings of Ralph Waldo Emerson

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Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated, Oct 1, 2003 - Fiction - 531 pages
8 Reviews
Emerson wrote in Nature, his statement of the principles of transcendentalism. 'I become a transparent eyeball'. Nature, published in 1836 when Emerson was thirty-three, is collected here with his book of observations on the English people; a famous sermon against administering communion in church; a sketch of his step-grandfather; the eulogy he delivered at the funeral of his Concord friend and neighbor Henry David Thoreau; twenty-three poems; and addresses, lectures, and essays on such subjects as slavery, self-reliance, and organized Christianity's obsession with the person of Jesus. These selections span Emerson's career as author and traveling lecturer, and chart his evolving thought - the concepts of the 'oversoul', individualism without egotism, and antimaterialism; a belief in intuition, independence, and "the splendid labyrinth of one's own perceptions.

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Review: Selected Writings

User Review  - Jack Hansen - Goodreads

Thoroughly enjoyed this compilation of Emerson's notes and diary entries as he evolved into the amazing man he was, revered as one of the world's greatest thinkers in his lifetime. Read full review

Review: Selected Writings

User Review  - Nick - Goodreads

The book's in two parts: Journals and Letters, and Essays and Addresses. I've only read the first part so far, but intend to return the second "someday". Anyway, I enjoyed the first part. Many of the ... Read full review

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About the author (2003)

Ralph Waldo Emerson, the son of a Unitarian minister and a chaplain during the American Revolution, was born in 1803 in Boston. He attended the Boston Latin School, and in 1817 entered Harvard, graduating in 1820. Emerson supported himself as a schoolteacher from 1821-26. In 1826 he was "approbated to preach," and in 1829 became pastor of the Scond Church (Unitarian) in Boston. That same year he married Ellen Louise Tucker, who was to die of tuberculosis only seventeen months later. In 1832 Emerson resigned his pastorate and traveled to Eurpe, where he met Coleridge, Wordsworth, and Carlyle. He settled in Concord, Massachusetts, in 1834, where he began a new career as a public lecturer, and married Lydia Jackson a year later. A group that gathered around Emerson in Concord came to be known as "the Concord school," and included Bronson Alcott, Henry David Thoreau, Nathaniel Hawthorne, and Margaret Fuller. Every year Emerson made a lecture tour; and these lectures were the source of most of his essays. Nature (1836), his first published work, contained the essence of his transcendental philosophy , which views the world of phenomena as a sort of symbol of the inner life and emphasizes individual freedom and self-reliance. Emerson's address to the Phi Beta Kappa society of Harvard (1837) and another address to the graduating class of the Harvard Divinity School (1838) applied his doctrine to the scholar and the clergyman, provoking sharp controversy. An ardent abolitionist, Emerson lectured and wrote widely against slavery from the 1840's through the Civil War. His principal publications include two volumes of Essays (1841, 1844), Poems (1847), Representative Men (1850), The Conduct of Life (1860), and Society and Solitude (1870). He died of pneumonia in 1882 and was buried in Concord.

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