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The Essential Writings of Ralph Waldo Emerson (Modern Library Classics) Paperback – September 12, 2000
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As one of the architects of the transcendentalist movement, Emerson embraced a philosophy that championed the individual, emphasized independent thought, and prized "the splendid labyrinth of one's own perceptions." More than any writer of his time, he forged a style distinct from his European predecessors and embodied and defined what it meant to be an American. Matthew Arnold called Emerson's essays "the most important work done in prose."
Top Customer Reviews
For those who are not familiar with his works, it should be noted that Emerson is, without a doubt, a very unique writer. I was surprised when I realized that there is more poetry in his philosophy than in most verse books, yet he is always lucid; and that his poems, although hued by an impressive depth of thought, remain always passionate. He was renown as a brilliant lecturer, and his essays have all the force and simplicity of the oral form. Few people are so rich in memorable aphorisms, and one finds a treasure of a quote in every sentence: "A drop is a small ocean"; "We are not built like a ship to be tossed, but like a house to stand"; "Whoso be a man, must be a non conformist"; "Punishment is a fruit that unsuspected ripens within the pleasure which concealed it"...
Those looking for a good introduction to Emerson can't do wrong buying this Modern Library Edition. In fact, those who are familiar with Emerson but are looking for an inexpensive paperback to carry around probably should pick this one up too.Read more ›
30 years ago, when I entered high school, we studied the Transcendentalists in a basic lit class, and something about Emerson just glowed in my mind. The teacher told me that with time I'd get to know other authors better, and Emerson would take his place alongside a legion of others. But he was in a degree mistaken. Emerson never did diminish. I have never fallen out of love with him. And the relationship is a serious one. When the shadow of doubt creeps over me that my presence on this planet might be some kind of horrendous mistake, I still crack open a volume of Emerson. And he has never failed to recall me to myself.
Self-Reliance has to be one of the most understood pieces in the collection. Mr. Emerson speaks in a tone that is easily understood and thoughts explained in plain english, no degree required to understand. And once understood, ideas are easy to apply to our own life to better understand what we have read.
Without a doubt, this book is a must in any thinkers library. Walt Whitman says it best about this book, "I was simmering, simmering, simmering. Emerson brought me to a boil." A genius of a book.
Thirty-six hours later I was setting the book onto my shelves, but for the sole purpose of retiring for some much needed sleep before spending another five or six hours finishing the book. The editors deserve a tremendous amount of credit for putting the essays and letters together in a way that allows the reader to walk cleanly through the book without losing sight of the author. Having finished the book, I have to admit that Emerson is in a dead-heat with Throreau (for me) as the most inspiring and intelligent of the time. Amazingly clean read with delightful insights that are still relevant today.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I think it is probably safe to assert that to read Emerson is to be forever indebted to him. His wording, his clearness of thought, his determination, his warmth... Read morePublished 8 days ago by Hershey baum
Really strange prejudicial writing in this book- not his spiritual writings at all.Published 2 months ago by threadeater
One of the best philosophy/self development books I ever read.
I refer this book to so many people. Read more
This is a gift to yourself. It is an amazing read. You will need a good notebook to write down all the magnificent thoughts and ideas that this man uncovered and shared with the... Read morePublished 6 months ago by linda kantor
In school I just learned about Ralph Waldo Emerson the poet. They never taught about him as a thinker and philosopher. This book was amazing. The man was an absolute genius. Read morePublished 7 months ago by Christopher Dean