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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In her 1948 analysis , Vivian Hopkins concludes that Goethe ' s was the greatest
single influence on Emerson ' s aesthetic theory : “ Heightening Emerson ' s
aesthetic consciousness , helping Emerson to shape his theory of organic form ...
But , like most New Englanders of the time , the young Emerson had disliked
Goethe ' s paganism and Continental worldliness — his " velvet life , " " bad
morals , ” and “ love - of - ease . ” However , after returning from his 1834 visit with
This subtle element of egotism in Goethe certainly does not seem to deform his
compositions , but to lower the moral influence of the man . He differs from all the
great in the total want of frankness . Who saw Milton , who saw Shakspeare , saw
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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