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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They eat and drink , that they may afterwards execute the ideal . Thus is art
vilified ; the name conveys to the mind its secondary and bad senses ; it stands in
the imagination as somewhat contrary to nature , and struck with death from the
And thou shalt not be able to rehearse the names of thy friends in thy verse , for
an old shame before the holy ideal . And this is the reward ; that the ideal shall be
real to thee , and the impressions of the actual world shall fall like summer rain ...
Yes , O Goethe ! but the ideal is truer than the actual . That is ephemeral , but this
changes not . Moreover , because Nature is moral , that mind only can see , in
which the same order entirely obtains . An interchangeable Truth , Beauty and ...
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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