Introduction by Mary Oliver Commentary by Henry James, Robert Frost, Matthew Arnold, Oliver Wendell Holmes, and Henry David Thoreau
The definitive collection of Emerson’s major speeches, essays, and poetry, The Essential Writings of Ralph Waldo Emerson chronicles the life’s work of a true “American Scholar.” As one of the architects of the transcendentalist movement, Emerson embraced a philosophy that championed the individual, emphasized independent thought, and prized “the splendid labyrinth of one’s own perceptions.” More than any writer of his time, he forged a style distinct from his European predecessors and embodied and defined what it meant to be an American. Matthew Arnold called Emerson’s essays “the most important work done in prose.”
INCLUDES A MODERN LIBRARY READING GROUP GUIDE
Waters that keep me afloat
By Margaret Magnus - December 4, 2003
My daughter sent me one of these e-mail questionnaires intended to reveal your personality. One of the questions on it was, "What person, living or dead, would you give $10,000 to spend an hour with?" In that moment, I typed in "Ralph Waldo Emerson". He's not the only one, but I certainly would beg, borrow or steal $10,000 for an hour with him -- not Thoreau, not Whitman, not Schiller... but Emerson I would. And Goethe I would. Still my simple heart lies closer to Emerson than to Goethe.
30 years ago, when I entered high school, we studied the Transcendentalists in a basic lit class, and something about Emerson just glowed in my mind. The teacher told me that with time I'd get to know other authors better, and Emerson would take his place alongside a legion of others. But he was in a degree mistaken. Emerson never did diminish. I have never fallen out of love with him. And the relationship is a serious one. When the shadow of doubt creeps over me that my presence on this... read more
A Life Companion
By Bati - February 28, 2006
I think it is probably safe to assert that to read Emerson is to be forever indebted to him. His wording, his clearness of thought, his determination, his warmth... He has all the qualities one could ask for in a writer, and all one could ask for in a mentor. Nietzsche held Emerson's books the closest, and said they were above his praise; Borges added "Whitman and Poe have overshadowed Emerson's glory, as inventors, as founders of cults; line by line, they are inferior to him". James, the very Whitman, Proust, Frost, have all also praised him sincerely. Judging from other reviews, the love for Emerson hasn't diminished, more than a century after his passing.
For those who are not familiar with his works, it should be noted that Emerson is, without a doubt, a very unique writer. I was surprised when I realized that there is more poetry in his philosophy than in most verse books, yet he is always lucid; and that his poems, although hued by an impressive depth of thought,... read more
Altering pieces of work
By Seth "nytimes25" - October 30, 2003
With all the books written about philosophy today, and in the past, this should be perhaps, by far, the most sought after work. Camus and Dostoevsky have contributed much to thought and philosophy of existentialism, but this seems to, in its own way, surpass any labeling of a type of philosophy.Self-Reliance has to be one of the most understood pieces in the collection. Mr. Emerson speaks in a tone that is easily understood and thoughts explained in plain english, no degree required to understand. And once understood, ideas are easy to apply to our own life to better understand what we have read.Without a doubt, this book is a must in any thinkers library. Walt Whitman says it best about this book, "I was simmering, simmering, simmering. Emerson brought me to a boil." A genius of a book.
This collection was designed for optimal navigation on Kindle and other electronic devices. It is indexed alphabetically, chronologically and by category, making it easier to access individual books, ...
Providing an important introduction, this book is a compilation of judiciously selected, thoroughly edited writings of B. R. Ambedkar. It serves as an excellent guide to the evolution of his thought ...