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Selected Journals, 1820-1842
When Emerson died in 1882 he was the most famous public intellectual in America. Yet his most remarkable literary creation-his journals- remained unpublished. Begun when he was a precocious Harvard junior of 16 and continued without significant lapse for almost 60 years, Emerson's journals were his life's work. They were the starting point for virtually everything in his c ...more
Hardcover, 992 pages
Published March 4th 2010 by Library of America
(first published 2010)
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I'd read that the essential Emerson is in the Journals, that he used his writings there for the bedrock ideas of his essays and lectures. I can see how that's true. In these Journals he doesn't record only daily events. He reflects and in those reflections he wrote down as part of daily routine is the philosophy he lived by and which he thought we all should live by. There are events of course. He'd record the visit of someone like Margaret Fuller, or relate an anecdote abut Bronson Alcott or Th ...more
Emerson, Ralph Waldo. SELECTED JOURNALS 1820-1842. (2010). ****. This is one of the latest issues from The Library of America, and came out with a companion volume that completed the selections from Emerson’s journals for the period 1841-1877. These are massive compilations distilled from the 16-volume scholarly edition published by Harvard University Press. I have to admit that I skimmed most of this volume, and will probably not read the second – the subjects are too dense to take all in witho ...more
The first volume of Emerson's journals took about 300 pages until they became a little more interesting, some point after the death of his first wife. It was tragic how he never got over Ellen, mentioning her often over the years, even when he was remarried and had children. The episode where he exhumed her corpse was a little disturbing...what was the point of digging the body up? At any rate, I use the word "interesting" loosely, as I was constantly dozing off while trying to read through the ...more
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 ...moreMore about Ralph Waldo Emerson...