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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The limits of artificial society are never quite out of sight . The vicious conventions
, which hem us in like prison walls and which the poet should explode at his
touch , stand for all they are worth in the newspaper . We are never lifted above ...
It gave the hint of a cultivated society which we found nowhere else . It was
founded on power to do what was necessary , each person finding it an
indispensable qualification of membership that he could do something useful , as
in mechanics ...
Since the constellation of great men who appeared in Greece in the time of
Pericles , there was never any such society ; - yet their genius failed them to find
out the best head in the universe . Our poet ' s mask was impenetrable . You
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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