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- Complete Works of Ralph Waldo Emerson (12 Volume Centenary Edition)
- Essays, First Series by Emerson, Ralph Waldo
Clearly I have changed since high school; as well as the world around me. These essays now seem much deeper and more insightful than they did the first time around. Emerson is not an easy read but he made me think differently about the world around me than I did before reading him.
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About myself as well. What a great gift that is! Jan 13, Jakk Makk rated it liked it. How to properly appreciate Emerson Acquire audiobook and digital photo frame, then copy a series of Bob Ross painting images. Edit Emerson into sentences. Set the sentences to play one every ninety seconds, accompanied by an image. Hang in bathroom.
You now have an infinite number of pregenerated shower thoughts spaced out far enough to appreciate them. Oct 28, Dave Maddock rated it really liked it Shelves: philosophy. Emerson, for whom my eldest son is named, had a profound effect on me as a teenager. His essays were the first piece of "serious" literature I undertook to read for personal education around age Though I can't say I wholly subscribe to them these days, his ideas on individualist spirituality resonated with me, coming from a Christian family which encouraged self-discovery--with the caveat that your discoveries were orthodox.
For someone as intellectually curious as I am, this environment led Emerson, for whom my eldest son is named, had a profound effect on me as a teenager. For someone as intellectually curious as I am, this environment led to frustration as a teen when I actually did what I was told--read the Bible in earnest.
From his "Divinity School Address": It is not instruction, but provocation, that I can receive from another soul. What he announces, I must find true in me, or wholly reject; and on his word, or as his second, be he who he may, I can accept nothing. He is most profound here when riffing on maintaining individual identify amidst society. The objection to conforming to usages that have become dead to you is that it scatters your force.
It loses your time and blurs the impression of your character. If you maintain a dead church, contribute to a dead Bible-Society, vote with a great party either for the Government or against it, spread your table like base housekeepers,--under all these screens I have difficulty to detect the precise man you are.
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View all 6 comments. Aug 20, Marcus rated it really liked it Shelves: non-fiction , american. No review, just one quote about children from the essay "Nature": Read it, it's kind of funny. The child with his sweet pranks, the fool of his senses, commanded by every sight and sound, without any power to compare and rank his sensations, abandoned to a whistle or a painted chip, to a lead dragoon or a gingerbread-dog, individualizing everything, generalizing nothing, delighted with every new thing, lies down at night overpowered by the fatigue which this day of continual pretty madness has incurred.
The No review, just one quote about children from the essay "Nature": Read it, it's kind of funny. But Nature has answered her purpose with the curly, dimpled lunatic. She has tasked every faculty, and has secured the symmetrical growth of the bodily frame by all these attitudes and exertions,— an end of the first importance, which could not be trusted to any care less perfect than her own. This glitter, this opaline lustre plays round the top of every toy to his eye to insure his fidelity, and he is deceived to his good.
We are made alive and kept alive by the same arts. Let the stoics say what they please, we do not eat for the good of living, but because the meat is savory and the appetite is keen. Emerson teaches me something new every time I read him. Jul 14, Bekah rated it it was amazing. Emerson, oh so wise: A chief event of life is the day in which we have encountered a mind that startled us.
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A friend may well be reckoned the masterpiece of nature. A great man is always willing to be little. A man is what he thinks about all day long. All life is an experiment. The more experiments you make the better. As long as a man stands in his own way, everything seems to be in his way. Before we acquire great power we must acquire wisdom to use Emerson, oh so wise: A chief event of life is the day in which we have encountered a mind that startled us. Before we acquire great power we must acquire wisdom to use it well.
Character is higher than intellect.
A great soul will be strong to live as well as think. Jun 12, David K. When I was 14 years old, my mother gave me Emerson's Essays as a gift. She always did things like this, which made me a lifelong reader of great literature. Emerson's wisdom reinforced the wisdom I had already heard or learned and added to it as well. So with that and Franklin's Autobiography, I made a list for self-improvement, another theme that I was at least conscious of for the rest of my life.
Perfecto R. Having such a list was considered unusual enough, but with check-marks next to each attribute of character that addressed each one at a time, was considered highly eccentric. When confronted with this, I was at first chagrined, but then I became stubborn about it and insisted that it was a superior thing. I believe they agreed with that in time. Emerson arms his readers with a tight logic on the right way to live: a "gentleman" can converse with men of all castes and creeds, be self-reliant above all things, utility is a virtue precursor to pragmatism , etc.
Emerson is required reading for all Americans, for he embodies the spirit that gives it its greatness. I intend to read Emerson's works for a third time. Every once in a while we stumble upon a book which we are almost ashamed of not liking. This is the case for me. I just did not like it. I was basically forcing myself to read every essay without skipping. It was so tedious and I just really didn't care what he has to say.
There were a few quotes that I thought were beautiful, but those were maybe in the whole book. Other than that I found it very hard to read and I really didn't care for his ideas and thoughts on those topics. No Every once in a while we stumble upon a book which we are almost ashamed of not liking. Not even his famous Self Reliance. I am not saying that he wasn't an intelligent man and that his essays aren't indeed a masterpiece for many. But I just am not one of them. I do have this sort of love-hate feelings to many philosophy works. I am interested and yet when I read it I have no idea why I did it.
It sure isn't for everyone. I have a suspicion that one's views on Emerson depend very much on whether one feels they are living up to his statutes or not. Emerson is all about doing things your own way, being your best self, not giving in to excuses. Many of us, including myself, find that a bitter pill to swallow; or depending on the day, words of encouragement; or, axioms in which we are in total agreement. I always found his words uplifting, encouraging.
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Do I live up to his standards? Does anyone? There is still someth I have a suspicion that one's views on Emerson depend very much on whether one feels they are living up to his statutes or not. There is still something to be said for having standards though. That earnestness and sacrifice are just boring useless rules our grandparents tried to instill, that never worked except to turn our parents into total cunts.
I'm real bitter today. Wonder what Waldo would say about that However, I must agree with Aunt Mary about the strange mix of subjects, which I found tedious meanderings characterize by rhetorical flourish with little or no substance behind it. It was a real chore to finish this book for me—although it was an excellent sleep aide.
Complete Works of Ralph Waldo Emerson (12 Volume Centenary Edition)
View 1 comment. Jan 12, Matheus rated it really liked it. My mother gave me her copy of this a few years ago. Finally picked it up at just the right time, and holy crap is this good.
Essays, First Series by Emerson, Ralph Waldo
Some of it I didn't get or had a hard time with the language or just didn't feel like reading about the particular essay topic that day. Most was just clear as a bell and rich with meaning and insight. I can't do justice to it and his gift to us with these essays in this pithy little review. Mar 29, Heidi rated it it was amazing.