The Essays of Ralph Waldo Emerson (Collected Works)
The only collection of the complete First and Second Series of essays by America's most popular sage, available in an affordable paperback edition. A must for students of American culture and literature.
Growing up I've always been hopscotching from book to book looking for the tome that could lead my life. When I was 10 or 11 I began pulling the b ...more
The child with his sweet pranks, the fool of his senses, commanded by every sight and sound, without any power to compare and rank his sensations, abandoned to a whistle or a painted chip, to a lead dragoon or a gingerbread-dog, individualizing everything, generalizing nothing, delighted with every new thing, lies down at night overpowered by the fatigue which this day of continual pretty madness has in...more
A chief event of life is the day in which we have encountered a mind that startled us.
A friend may well be reckoned the masterpiece of nature.
A great man is always willing to be little.
A man is what he thinks about all day long.
All life is an experiment. The more experiments you make the better.
As long as a man stands in his own way, everything seems to be in his way.
Before we acquire great power we must acquire wisdom to use it well.
Character is higher than intellect. A ...more
This was very dense prose. It didn't flow very well and it was easy to lose track of the points he was trying to make.
I bookmarked on my electronic copy many interesting things he had to say. Just one example ...
"... the poet is the Namer or Language-maker, naming things sometimes after their appearance, sometimes after their essence ... The poets made all the words ... For though the origin of most of our words is forgot ...more
I don't 100% agree with Emerson's dualistic view of things. I try and take into account his life and times, but what I love about Emerson is how deeply he thought and what he ...more
Strangely, the essay I had the most trouble with, as a personal philosophy, was the essay on peace. I'm a pro-peace guy, but as a philosophy Emerson's pacifism seemed hopelessly naive.