The Journals and Miscellaneous Notebooks
1843-47 v. 9
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Journals and Miscellaneous Notebooks by Ralph Waldo Emerson
Book DescriptionThe pages of these five journals covering the years 1843 to 1847 are filled with Emerson's struggle to formulate the true attitude of the scholar to the vexing question of public involvement. Pulled between his belief that a disinterested independence was a requisite for the writer and the public demands heaped upon him as a leading intellectual figure, he notes to himself that he "pounds...tediously" on the "exemption of the writer from all secular works."Although Emerson concluded his editorship of "The Dial" in 1844, he was continually beset by calls for public service, most of which drew their impetus from the reformist syndrome of the 1840's. In response to such issues as the Temperance Movement, the utopian communities, and Henry Thoreau's experiment in self-reliance at Walden Pond, Emerson exercised sympathetic skepticism and held a growing conviction that the society of the day was not the lost cause many of his contemporaries believed it to be.These journals record Emerson's optimistic attitudes and show how later they existed side by side with concerns that, under the impulse of abolition, Texas, and the Mexican War, led him to some bitter conclusions about the state of the nation. Thoreau's refusal to pay his poll tax in dem onstration against slavery and the war particularly horrified him, and he confides inhis journal that Thoreau's action diverted attention from the possibility of real reform.The moral ambivalence and cynicism of the day strengthened Emerson's belief that the self-reliant individual was the only answer. These individuals--men like Garrison, Phillips, and Carlyle--were, in Emerson's estimation, destined to set the standards by which society would be judged. Encouraged by the prospective publication of his first volume of poetry in 1846, Emerson also spent much of this period composing verse. Among the poems in these journals are "Uriel," "Merlin," "Ode to Beauty," and a section from "Initial, Daemonic, and Celestial Love."In anticipation of his second visit to Europe, Emerson began preparing a lecture series on "Mind and Manners of the Nineteenth Century." In these lectures he would take to the Old World his observations on the complexities of the times.
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Book DetailsISBN: 9780674484719
(235mm x 155mm x 38mm)
Imprint: Harvard University Press
Publisher: Harvard University Press
Publish Date: 1-Jan-1971
Country of Publication: United States
Books By Author Ralph Waldo Emerson
Ralph Waldo Emerson, Hardback (September 2015)
Ralph Waldo Emerson: The Major Poetry presents a selection of definitively edited texts that remind us why Emerson s poetry matters and why he remains one of our most important theoreticians of verse. Drawn chiefly from the multivolume Collected Works, each poem is accompanied by a headnote for the student and general reader."
Portable Emerson, Paperback (December 2014)
Through his writing and his own personal philosophy, the author unburdened his young country of Europe's traditional sense of history and showed Americans how to be creators of their own contexts. This book deals with his story.
Ralph Waldo Emerson: Essays: First and Second Series, Paperback / softback (October 2014)» View all books by Ralph Waldo Emerson
This major new volume offers a wide selection of works from Emerson's lectures and essays, including some that have seldom been reprinted such as "Quotation and Originality." In addition, leading Emerson critic Richard Poirier provides helpful annotations to a generous selection of poems.
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Author Biography - Ralph Waldo Emerson
Ralph H. Orth is Professor of English at the University of Vermont. Alfred R. Ferguson was, until his death, Professor of English at the University of Massachusetts, Boston.
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