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Nature and Selected Essays (Penguin Classics) Paperback – May 27, 2003
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About the Author
Larzer Ziff is a research professor of English at Johns Hopkins University who has written extensively on American literary culture.
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Top Customer Reviews
The title essay of this collection, 'Nature' is one of Emerson's most famous works. In it he in a sense talks about forgetting the fundamentalist reading of Scriptures and finding a true meeting with God through Nature.
For Emerson , Nature is the great harmonizer and harmony. He writes of our proper moral relation to it as a way of bringing the divinity into our lives.
Emerson makes an analogy between the moral and the spiritual which he claims we can only understand intellectually in proportion to our virtue or the goodness of our character.
In writing of Language and Nature he writes that true poetic speech has a command over, and can move and shape Nature.
Emerson is famous for his optimistic tone and message, but as Stephen Whicher long ago pointed out Emerson also has a darker side and knows the evils that can come in life.
Nevertheless, Emerson's essays in general and "Nature" in particular eventually caught on with an American readership that was becoming increasingly literate and attuned to similar such beliefs that were then slowly filtering in from Europe. In "Nature," Emerson took the essentials of Neo-Platonism, a system of values that connected objects of the material world with their spiritual counterparts, and allied them with the Wordsworthian creed that the world of physical nature is but a reflection of a higher nature that is itself a manifestation of God in nature. The philosophical glue binding man to nature and to God was Emerson's solid belief that man needed more than the evidence of his senses to apprehend a "true" picture of the universe.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I've always been a huge Ralph Waldo Emerson fan. Any fan of literature and nature that has not read this definitely should.Published 7 months ago by Sarah F.
Book is ok, but had considerable underlinig and notetaking not specified in advert.Published 14 months ago by John P. Dolan