Ralph Waldo Emerson Essays Second Series 1844

Ralph Waldo Emerson Essays Second Series 1844-36
To trust oneself and follow our inner promptings corresponds to the highest degree of consciousness.Emerson concurred with the German poet and philosopher Johann Wolfgang von Goethe that originality was essentially a matter of reassembling elements drawn from other sources.

Emerson would in 1835 refuse a call as minister to East Lexington Church but did preach there regularly until 1839.Emerson’s enduring reputation, however, is as a philosopher, an aphoristic writer (like Friedrich Nietzsche) and a quintessentially American thinker whose championing of the American Transcendental movement and influence on Walt Whitman, Henry David Thoreau, William James, and others would alone secure him a prominent place in American cultural history.Transcendentalism in America, of which Emerson was the leading figure, resembled British Romanticism in its precept that a fundamental continuity exists between man, nature, and God, or the divine.What is beyond nature is revealed through nature; nature is itself a symbol, or an indication of a deeper reality, in Emerson’s philosophy.Matter and spirit are not opposed but reflect a critical unity of experience.Ralph Waldo Emerson was born on May 25, 1803, in Boston to Ruth Haskins Emerson and William Emerson, pastor of Boston's First Church.The cultural milieu of Boston at the turn of the nineteenth century would increasingly be marked by the conflict between its older conservative values and the radical reform movements and social idealists that emerged in the decades leading up through the 1840s.In 1830, Emerson married Ellen Tucker who died the following year of tuberculosis. Together they had four children, the eldest of whom, Waldo, died at the age of five, an event that left deep scars on the couple and altered Emerson's outlook on the redemptive value of suffering.Emerson’s first book was published anonymously in 1836 and at Emerson's own expense.Later developments in his thinking shifted the emphasis from unity to the balance of opposites: power and form, identity and variety, intellect and fate.Emerson remained throughout his lifetime the champion of the individual and a believer in the primacy of the individual’s experience.

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