Emerson's Transatlantic Romanticism

Emerson's Transatlantic Romanticism

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Ralph Waldo Emerson was an intellectual magpie, taking ideas from all over the world in his long career. In the 1830s and early 1840s, the era with which this book principally deals, his influence came from Europe. The first half of Emerson's Transatlantic Romanticism provides an original account of Emerson's creative debts to the British and European philosophers and Romantics, including Locke, Reid, the Higher Criticism, Coleridge and Carlyle. Importantly, it firmly locates this intellectual encounter in his New England context, and especially in the epistolary relationship he had with his astonishing aunt, Mary Moody Emerson. In its second half, this book accounts for the way that Emerson's transatlantic thought penetrates his writing, be it that of his letters, his journals, his lectures or his essays, creating a unique Romantic prose style in which idea and word become united in an epistemology of form.The panharmonicon has found its limitsa€”not necessarily those of the form, but those of the performer or, more accurately, the performance. ... Emerson contrasts this laboura€”the word a#39;tinkeringa#39; suggesting both skilled manual work and something rather clumsy and imperfecta€”with how, when writing a letter a#39;to anyone whom I love, I have no lack of words or thoughts: I am wiser than myselfa#39; ( JMN7, 405).

Title:Emerson's Transatlantic Romanticism
Author: David Greenham
Publisher:Palgrave Macmillan - 2012-09-04

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