Society and Solitude by Ralph Waldo EmersonPerhaps no writer has so dramatically shaped the course of American philosophy as Ralph Waldo Emerson, whose meditations on spirituality, freedom, and the power of knowledge have informed and inspired generations of activists, scholars, and thinkers. Published in 1870, Society and Solitude is Emersons last great work, a collection of lectures he delivered on tour, in which he found profound insight on such seemingly prosaic topics as Art, Eloquence, Domestic Life, Books, Courage, Success, and Old Age. A man builds a fine house; and now he has a master, and a task for life; he is to furnish, watch, show it, and keep it in repair, the rest of his days, says Emerson in his lecture here on Works and Days. Such penetrating wit and wisdom continues to speak to us today. American poet and philosopher RALPH WALDO EMERSON (1803-1882) was a driving force behind the Transcendental Movement of the early 18th century. He studied at Harvard Divinity School; however, after a crisis of faith embraced individualism, rejected authority, and despaired of spiritless Christian conventions. His works include the essay collection Nature, Conduct of Life, and Parnassus, a poetry chapbook as well as Compensation and Self-Reliance from his lecture series.
Nature - Ralph Waldo Emerson
Selected Writings of Ralph Waldo Emerson - Society and Solitude Summary & Analysis
Known primarily as the leader of the philosophical movement transcendentalism, which stresses the ties of humans to nature, Ralph Waldo Emerson, American poet and essayist, was born in Boston in From a long line of religious leaders, Emerson became the minister of the Second Church Unitarian in He left the church in because of profound differences in interpretation and doubts about church doctrine. He visited England and met with British writers and philosophers. It was during this first excursion abroad that Emerson formulated his ideas for Self-Reliance. He returned to the United States in and settled in Concord, Massachusetts.
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I fell in with a humorist on my travels, who had in his chamber a cast of the Rondanini Me dusa, and who assured me that the name which that fine work of art bore in the catalogues was a misnomer, as he was convinced that the sculptor who carved it intended it for Memory, the mother of the Muses. In the conversation that followed, my new friend made some extraordinary confessions. He had good abilities, a genial temper, and no vices; but he had one defect, — he could not speak in the tone of the people. There was some paralysis on his will, such that when he met men on common terms he spoke weakly and from the point, like a Edition: current; Page: [ 10 ] flighty girl. His consciousness of the fault made it worse. He envied every drover and lumberman in the tavern their manly speech.