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Self-Reliance and Other Essays by Ralph…

Self-Reliance and Other Essays

by Ralph Waldo Emerson

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Emerson's sentences seem not to know each other. I read this somewhere recently, along with the question of whether or not the man had A.D.D. I found it mostly a chore reading through these essays, struggling hard to get a sense of connection or flow anywhere. However, in his own words... "There is a good ear, in some men, that draws supplies to virtue out of very indifferent nutriment."

It's chiefly two things that make me rate a book highly: entertainment and enlightenment. I was not entertained at all by this book - rather bored. There were a few points, particularly in Self-Reliance and Friendship that bordered on enlightenment, but seemed more like inspiration in the end to me: nice words that feed the heart, but only while the mind is looking the other way.

I would not recommend this book, or these essays. I think he had a talent, but he could not take it past the full-stop; great sentences, but poor paragraphs. I still think he was a man of some genius, and have taken a lot of what he and the transcendentalists represented to heart... however I believe some choice quotations and fragments do better justice than his meandering and fanciful writings. ( )
  jculkin | Feb 1, 2016 |
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A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0486277909, Paperback)

The six essays and one address in this volume outline the great transcendentalist's moral idealism as well as hinting at the later scepticism that colored his thought. In addition to the celebrated title essay, the others included here are "History," "Friendship," "The Over-Soul," "The Poet" and "Experience," plus the well-known and frequently read Harvard Divinity School Address.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:06:44 -0400)

Essayist, poet, and philosopher Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882) propounded a transcendental idealism emphasizing self-reliance, self-culture, and individual expression. This volume contains six essays and one address.

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