The Essential Writings of Ralph Waldo Emerson (Modern Library Classics) Paperback – 12 Sep 2000
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"I was simmering, simmering, simmering. Emerson brought me to a boil."
This is the most inclusive available edition of Emerson's writings in trade paper format, with a new introduction by bestselling poet Mary Oliver.See all Product description
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"When we speak of nature in this manner, we have a distinct but most poetical sense in the mind. We mean the integrity of impression made by manifold natural objects. It is this which distinguishes the stick of timber of the wood-cutter, from the tree of the poet. The charming landscape which I saw this morning, is indubitably made up of some twenty or thirty farms. Miller owns this field, Locke that, and Manning the woodland beyond. But none of them owns the landscape. There is a property in the horizon which no man has but he whose eye can integrate all the parts, that is, the poet. This is the best part of these men's farms, yet to this their warranty-deeds give no title."
"To go into solitude, a man needs to retire as much from his chamber as from society. I am not solitary whilst I read and write, though nobody is with me. But if a man would be alone, let him look at the stars. The rays that come from those heavenly worlds, will separate between him and what he touches. One might think the atmosphere was made transparent with this design, to give man, in the heavenly bodies, the perpetual presence of the sublime. Seen in the streets of cities, how great they are! If the stars should appear one night in a thousand years, how would men believe and adore; and preserve for many generations the remembrance of the city of God which had been shown! But every night come out these envoys of beauty, and light the universe with their admonishing smile."
collections of Emerson's writings tend to leave quite a lot of stuff out - this contains all his major writings. Recommended.
Emerson is an absolutely key figure who helped forge an uniquely American philosophical disposition. With 'Nature', 'The American Scholar', 'The Divinity School Address' and 'Self-Reliance' Emerson marked his place in world culture and influenced generations of writers and thinkers. One of his early pupils, Thoreau, took Emersonian self-reliance to new heights in his 'Civil disobedience', a seminal essay which influence Gandhi and Martin Luther king.
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