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Selected Essays by Ralph Waldo Emerson
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Selected Essays by Ralph Waldo Emerson

3.98  ·  Rating Details  ·  321 Ratings  ·  13 Reviews
This scarce antiquarian book is a selection from Kessinger Publishing's Legacy Reprint Series. Due to its age, it may contain imperfections such as marks, notations, marginalia and flawed pages. Because we believe this work is culturally important, we have made it available as part of our commitment to protecting, preserving, and promoting the world's literature. Kessinger ...more
Hardcover, 338 pages
Published September 10th 2010 by Kessinger Publishing (first published 1876)
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Robert
Mar 12, 2008 Robert rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Ok, here's the deal because I know I am in the minority. This is just a really tough book to understand. I tried really hard to follow it, but found myself getting lost often. Emerson is a great writer, and when I was in highschool I did read some of his selections, but reading over 300 pages was pretty greulling. There were some quotes that I really liked and connected with, but overall its not something that I enjoyed.

One other negative was that the book I read was supposed to have interpretat
...more
Julie
Reading Emerson with my Unitarian book group is interesting. For them, he's not just an entry in the American literary canon; he might just hold the answers to some of life's questions. It's an unusual approach for me, but refreshing. Reminds me of my freshman year of college, when I read Plato and Dante and Machiavelli not to analyze and criticize, but for their potential truth value.

In the end, though, I remain deeply suspicious of the early Emerson, and particularly his belief in a universal
...more
Sharla
Jan 10, 2016 Sharla rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read this book many years ago when barely a teenager. Recently I noticed it on my mother's bookshelf and decided to refresh my memory by reading it again. I was surprised to realize these essays probably helped to shape my thinking and beliefs. That is not a bad thing.
John Wiswell
Aug 17, 2007 John Wiswell rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Philosophy readers, artists, classic readers, Americana readers
Ralph Waldo Emerson was one of the fathers of the American spirit, not crafting its bill of rights or structure of government, but in defining individuality, pragmatism and spirituality for a new country built on people escaping the old. The seminal essay, "On Self-Reliance," is worth the price of this book alone, as it echoes everything our mothers told us as kids - but the rub is, this is where they got it. It is not the hardest-edged philosophy, Hell, anyone can read this and make sense of it ...more
Judith
Aug 02, 2012 Judith rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
e-book/project gutenberg: text is from the 1907edition by Charles E. Merrill Co, New York, ed. by Edna H.L. Turpin. It's a textbook with 275 pages and includes a variety of essays and some biographical/historical context and information:
- Life of Emerson
- Critical opinions
- Chronological list of principal works
- "The American Scholar"
- "Compensation"
- "Self Reliance"
- "Friendship"
- "Heroism"
- "Manners"
- "Gifts"
- "Nature"
- "Shakespeare: or the Poet"
- "Prudence"
- "Circles"

I enjoyed this a lot, muc
...more
Erica
Sep 10, 2007 Erica rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nonfiction
Emerson's more popular essays are rather astounding. I think he is one of those writers whose popular work really is his goodwork--the less popular stuff comes off as didactic and repetitive. My favorites: "John Brown," "Self-Relaince," "American Scholar," and "The Poet." "The Poet" in particular is interesting in how Emerson equates the figure of the poet to "beauty" and "naming" and also speaks of the poet as having "godlike" qualities. But, Emerson quotes his own poetry three times in this es ...more
Scott
Feb 23, 2008 Scott rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
One of the great tragedies of my grad school experience was that I read so many excellent books so quickly that I can't remember much of them except that they were good. Someone with my handwriting has written thoughtful comments all over the margins of this book, but I couldn't tell you the first thing about Emerson except perhaps that beauty and nature are good, and one should be true to oneself. Did I get that right, Mr. Emerson?
Shelli
Mr. Emerson is one of my favorite authors, and has been since the early 1980s. His style is direct and enlightening, and you'll get a great view of religion in New England in the early 1800s.
Abby
Sep 20, 2014 Abby rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nonfiction, essays
Beautiful, essential American prose. Emerson holds such strong opinions about everything, and he was probably a real pain in person, but he sure can write a compelling essay.
Armando
Mar 20, 2008 Armando rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I am always referring back to these wonderful essays time and time again. Self Reliance is still one of my favorites!
Ima.lotus
May 22, 2011 Ima.lotus rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A book which makes you need a cup of coffee and a second reading.
Laura
Aug 30, 2009 Laura rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Good stuff.
Bob Gilbert
Mar 13, 2008 Bob Gilbert rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Just lovely.
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in 1803, Ralph Waldo Emerson was born in Boston. Educated at Harvard and the Cambridge Divinity School, he became a Unitarian minister in 1826 at the Second Church Unitarian. The congregation, with Christian overtones, issued communion, something Emerson refused to do. "Really, it is beyond my comprehension," Emerson once said, when asked by a seminary professor whether he believed in God. (Quoted ...more
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“Let us be poised, and wise, and our own, today. Let us treat men and women well; treat them as if they were real; perhaps they are.” 19 likes
“Thus inevitably does the universe wear our color, and every object fall successively into the subject itself. The subject exists, the subject enlarges; all things sooner or later fall into place. As I am, so I see; use what language we will, we can never say anything but what we are.” 9 likes
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