Emerson's Literary Criticism
Ralph Waldo Emerson has always fascinated students of criticism and of American literature and thought. Emerson& ’ s Literary Criticism supplies the continuing need for an anthology. This collection brings together Emerson& ’ s literary criticism from a wide variety of sources. Eric W. Carlson has culled both the major statements of Emerson's critical principles and many secondary observations that illuminate them. Here are more than sixty selections on thirty-five critical topics. Headnotes provide valuable background. Carlson relates Emerson& ’ s critical principles to his philosophy, social thought, and literary milieu, and also to biographical details. Intended for the student as well as the researcher, this book amply illustrates Alfred Kazin's contention that Ralph Waldo Emerson was "one of the shrewdest critics who ever lived."
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He is clearly modern , and shares with Richter , Châteaubriand , Manzoni and
Wordsworth the feeling of the Infinite , which so labors for expression in their
different genius . But all his lines are arbitrary , not necessary . When we read
Despite the broad title , Emerson discusses only Wordsworth , Tennyson , Bulwer
- Lytton , and Goethe ' s Wilhelm Meister . Wordsworth ' s simple rural life as a
poet of the commonplace — “ Man and writer were not to be divided ” - Emerson
Montaigne is delightful in his egotism . Byron is always egotistic , but interesting
thereby , through the taste and genius of his confession or his defiance .
Wordsworth has the merit of just moral perception , but not that of deft poetic
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Emerson's literary criticismUser Review - Not Available - Book Verdict
Editor Carlson gathered this selection of Emerson's literary criticism in 1979. The great poet here ruminates on "Art as Experience," "The Creative Process," "Writers and Books," and more. Read full review