Emerson and Eros: The Making of a Cultural Hero

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SUNY Press, 2012年2月1日 - 278 頁
Traces the spiritual, psychological, and intellectual evolution of one of America’s most important cultural figures.

This critical biography traces the spiritual, psychological, and intellectual growth of one of America’s foremost oracles and prophets, Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803–1882). Beginning with his undergraduate career at Harvard and spanning the range of his adult life, the book examines the complex, often painful emotional journey inward that would eventually transform Emerson from an average Unitarian minister into one of the century’s most formidable intellectual figures. By connecting Emerson’s inner life with his outer life, Len Gougeon illustrates a virtually seamless relationship between Emerson’s Transcendental philosophy and his later career as a social reformer, a rebel who sought to “unsettle all things” in an effort to redeem his society.

In tracing the path of Emerson’s evolution, Gougeon makes use of insights by Joseph Campbell, Erich Neumann, Mircea Eliade, and N. O. Brown. Like Emerson, all of these thinkers directly experienced the fragmentation and dehumanization of the Western world, and all were influenced both directly and indirectly by Emerson and his philosophy. Ultimately, this study demonstrates how Emerson’s philosophy would become a major force of liberal reformation in American society, a force whose impact is still felt today.

Len Gougeon is Distinguished University Fellow and Professor of American Literature at the University of Scranton. A former president of the Ralph Waldo Emerson Society, he is the author of Virtue’s Hero: Emerson, Antislavery, and Reform and coeditor (with Joel Myerson) of Emerson’s Antislavery Writings.

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Biography, quite simply, gives the lie to literary criticism, and that is why it is such an affront to many literary critics. The genre suggests literature cannot be an end in itself, but rather that ... 閱讀評論全文

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Reentering Reality
21
2 THE SPIRIT AND THE FLESH
45
Emerson In His Journals 18201836
75
Emersons Early Public Voice 18361844
125
Recentering America 18441871
159
EMERSON WHOLENESSAND THE SELF
193
NOTES
199
WORKS CITED
241
INDEX
255
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第 103 頁 - IF the red slayer think he slays, Or if the slain think he is slain, They know not well the subtle ways I keep, and pass, and turn again. Far or forgot to me is near ; Shadow and sunlight are the same ; The vanished gods to me appear ; And one to me are shame and fame.
第 126 頁 - On my saying, What have I to do with the sacredness of traditions, if I live wholly from within ? my friend suggested, — " But these impulses may be from below, not from above." I replied, " They do not seem to me to be such ; but if I am the Devil's child, I will live then from the Devil.
第 128 頁 - To believe your own thought, to believe that what is true for you in your private heart is true for all men, — that is genius.
第 28 頁 - Meantime within man is the soul of the whole; the wise silence; the universal beauty, to which every part and particle is equally related; the eternal ONE. And this deep power in which we exist and whose beatitude is all accessible to us, is not only self-sufficing and perfect in every hour, but the act of seeing and the thing seen, the seer and the spectacle, the subject and the object, are one.
第 236 頁 - You express a great deal of anxiety over our willingness to break laws. This is certainly a legitimate concern. Since we so diligently urge people to obey the Supreme Court's decision of 1954 outlawing segregation in the public schools, at first glance it may seem rather paradoxical for us consciously to break laws. One may well ask: "How can you advocate breaking some laws and obeying others?
第 58 頁 - A hero ventures forth from the world of common day into a region of supernatural wonder: fabulous forces are there encountered and a decisive victory is won: the hero comes back from this mysterious adventure with the power to bestow boons on his fellow man.
第 3 頁 - The planter, who is Man sent out into the field to gather food, is seldom cheered by any idea of the true dignity of his ministry. He sees his bushel and his cart, and nothing beyond, and sinks into the farmer, instead of Man on the farm.
第 139 頁 - Our young people are diseased with the theological problems of original sin, origin of evil, predestination, and the like. These never presented a practical difficulty to any man, — never darkened across any man's road, who did not go out of his way to seek them. These are the soul's mumps and measles, and hooping-coughs, and those who have not caught them cannot describe their health or prescribe the cure. A simple mind will not know these enemies.

關於作者 (2012)

Len Gougeon is Distinguished University Fellow and Professor of American Literature at the University of Scranton. A former president of the Ralph Waldo Emerson Society, he is the author of Virtue s Hero: Emerson, Antislavery, and Reform and coeditor (with Joel Myerson) of Emerson s Antislavery Writings.

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