EMERSON

Front Cover
Harvard University Press, 2004 - Biography & Autobiography - 416 pages
15 Reviews

"An institution is the lengthened shadow of one man," Ralph Waldo Emerson once wrote--and in this book, the leading scholar of New England literary culture looks at the long shadow Emerson himself has cast, and at his role and significance as a truly American institution. On the occasion of Emerson's 200th birthday, Lawrence Buell revisits the life of the nation's first public intellectual and discovers how he became a "representative man."

Born into the age of inspired amateurism that emerged from the ruins of pre-revolutionary political, religious, and cultural institutions, Emerson took up the challenge of thinking about the role of the United States alone and in the world. With characteristic authority and grace, Buell conveys both the style and substance of Emerson's accomplishment--in his conception of America as the transplantation of Englishness into the new world, and in his prodigious work as writer, religious thinker, and philosopher. Here we see clearly the paradoxical key to his success, the fierce insistence on independence that acted so magnetically upon all around him. Steeped in Emerson's writings, and in the life and lore of the America of his day, Buell's book is as individual--and as compelling--as its subject. At a time when Americans and non-Americans alike are struggling to understand what this country is, and what it is about, Emerson gives us an answer in the figure of this representative American, an American for all, and for all times.



Table of Contents:

List of Illustrations
Abbreviations Used in This Book

Introduction
1. The Making of a Public Intellectual
2. Emersonian Self-Reliance in Theory and Practice
3. Emersonian Poetics
4. Religious Radicalisms
5. Emerson as a Philosopher?
6. Social Thought and Reform: Emerson and Abolition
7. Emerson as Anti-Mentor

Notes
Acknowledgments
Index



Reviews of this book:
I learned from and greatly enjoyed reading Lawrence Buell's Emerson.
--Susan Sontag, Times Literary Supplement

Reviews of this book:
Lawrence Buell has written a comprehensive, penetrating and timely study, the distillation of a lifetime's scholarship, of this great thinker and writer, 'the poet of ordinary days,' as his disciple, John Dewey, beautifully called him.
--John Banville, Irish Times

Reviews of this book:
In this book Buell distills a lifetime of study and teaching on Emerson. Its tone is easy and confident, friendly and inviting, and Buell's aim is to share his admiration for America's first public intellectual with a new generation of readers.
--P. J. Ferlazzo, Choice

Reviews of this book:
In this book Lawrence Buell shows us why Emerson remains worth reading in our own time...What Buell has to say here about Emerson is not only persuasive but also consistently interesting, surprisingly original...and, best of all, written in straightforward, lucid language...Buell's discussion of the relationship between Emerson and his prize pupil, Henry David Thoreau, is brilliant.
--Daniel W. Howe, Common-Place

This is a splendid book, an important one, and one that will have wide appeal. This will be an indispensable book on Emerson, putting the keys to that complex man and his work into the reader's hand. If you want to know why we are still reading and talking about Emerson, start here.
--Robert Richardson, author of Emerson: The Mind on Fire and Henry Thoreau: A Life of the Mind.

Lawrence Buell has made it his business to set forth exciting new lines of inquiry. He has done so once again: bringing Emerson up to date, moving him away from a nation-based paradigm, and firing him up as an entry point to a global, cross-lingual circuit.
--Wai Chee Dimock, author of Empire for Liberty.

This book is a literary-cultural event: the harvest of the past half-century of Emersonian revaluations and the harbinger, guide, and provocation for the next generations of Emerson scholars and critics. One cannot call a work on Emerson definitive, even provisionally, but I cannot imagine that any Americanist - or for that matter, anyone interested in America, specialist or non-specialist -- will be able to do without this book in the foreseeable future.
--Sacvan Bercovitch, author of The American Jeremiad, and The Puritan Origins of the American Self.

This a splendid book, an important one, and one that will have wide appeal. This will be an indispensable book on Emerson, putting the keys to that complex man and his work into the reader's hand. If you want to know why we are still reading and talking about Emerson, start here.
--Robert Richardson, author of Emerson: The Mind on Fire and Henry Thoreau: A Life of the Mind

Lawrence Buell has made it his business to set forth exciting new lines of inquiry. He has done so once again: bringing Emerson up to date, moving him away from a nation-based paradigm, and firing him up as an entry point to a global, cross-lingual circuit.
--Wai Chee Dimock, author of Empire for Liberty

This book is a literary-cultural event: the harvest of the past half-century of Emersonian revaluations and the harbinger, guide, and provocation for the next generations of Emerson scholars and critics. One cannot call a work on Emerson definite, even provisionally, but I cannot imagine that any Americanist--or, for that matter, anyone interested in America, specialist or nonspecialist--will be able to do without this book in the foreseeable future.
--Sacvan Bercovitch, author of The American Jeremaid and The Puritan Origins of the American Self
  

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Review: Emerson

User Review  - Nora - Goodreads

Loads of new words for me. Some of the writing seems a bit archaic which makes it harder to understand. simply said it is not easy going for me. It goes into many of his work and this makes the works ... Read full review

Review: The Discovery of Global Warming (New Histories of Science, Technology, and Medicine)

User Review  - John Kaufmann - Goodreads

Excellent book on the history global warming/climate change. This book will give you a good understanding of the basic technical concepts underlying the science of climate change. It does so by ... Read full review

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Contents

The Making of a Public Intellectual
7
Emersonian SelfReliance in Theory and Practice
59
Emersonian Poetics
107
Religious Radicalisms
158
Emerson as a Philosopher?
199
Social Thought and Reform Emerson and Abolition
242
Emerson as AntiMentor
288
Notes
337
Acknowledgments
383
Index
385
Copyright

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JSTOR: The Topical Notebooks of Ralph Waldo Emerson, Volume I.
The series promises to illumi- nate the middle and later Emerson; for it was not until the 1850s that he began to keep "topical" notebooks devoted primarily ...
links.jstor.org/ sici?sici=0002-9831(199106)63%3A2%3C332%3ATTNORW%3E2.0.CO%3B2-U

Lawrence Buell, Emerson: A National Icon for a Post National Age
After the traditionally biographical background chapter, "The Making of a Public Intellectual," Buell builds a portrait of Emerson through his central roles ...
www.questia.com/ PM.qst?a=o& se=gglsc& d=5006569653

PAL: Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882)
was not written by Emerson; for details, logon to RWE Quotes or read Joel Myerson's "Emerson's 'Success'--Actually, It Is Not," Emerson Society Papers 11. ...
web.csustan.edu/ english/ reuben/ pal/ chap4/ emerson.html

Emerson -- Lawrence Buell
"An institution is the lengthened shadow of one man," Ralph Waldo Emerson once wrote--and in this book, Buell looks at the long shadow Emerson himself has ...
www.frontlist.com/ detail/ 0674016270

Harvard Gazette: Emerson impression remains clear at Harvard
Throughout campus, Emerson's 200th birthday is focus of fetes, forums, and exhibitions
www.hno.harvard.edu/ gazette/ daily/ 0304/ 02-emerson.html

The Massachusetts Historical Society | Events | The Emerson ...
The MHS would like to thank everyone who helped make the 2003 Emerson ... Born in 1803, the son of a minister, Ralph Waldo Emerson gave up his own career in ...
www.masshist.org/ events/ emerson.cfm

Ralph Waldo Emerson: Selected Bibliography
Bibliography of secondary works on Ralph Waldo Emerson.
www.wsu.edu/ ~campbelld/ amlit/ emerbib.htm

American Scientist Online - Emerson as a Scientific Thinker
Although Emerson went on to make his mark primarily in the areas of ... Emerson's Life in Science is the best: Of the spate of books on Emerson that have ...
www.americanscientist.org/ template/ AssetDetail/ assetid/ 28374;jsessionid=baa9

Lance Newman - Emerson's Life in Science: The Culture of Truth ...
Understanding Emerson: "The American Scholar" and His Struggle for Self-Reliance . ... The inventors of American literature chose Ralph Waldo Emerson as the ...
muse.jhu.edu/ journals/ american_literature/ v076/ 76.2newman.html

Song of Himself - New York Times
NOT for nothing did Henry James Sr. call Ralph Waldo Emerson a man without a handle. Ever since the craggy-faced former minister took to -- and dominated ...
query.nytimes.com/ gst/ fullpage.html?res=9F06E5D7143EF933A2575BC0A9659C8B63

About the author (2004)

Lawrence Buell is Powell M. Cabot Research Professor of American Literature at Harvard University.

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