Representative Men: Seven Lectures

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Harvard University Press, 1987 - 409 стор.

In 1845 Emerson delivered a series of lectures entitled "Uses of Great Men; Plato, or the Philosopher; Swedenborg, or the Mystic; Montaigne, or the Skeptic; Shakespeare, or the Poet; Napoleon, or the Man of the World; and Goethe, or the Writer." Emerson's approach to his great men stands in interesting contrast to that of his friend Carlyle in his Heroes and Hero Worship of 1841.

Although by 1845 Emerson had been lecturing for over ten years, Representative Men, published in 1850, was the first of his works to consist of his lectures as delivered, with only minima! revision and expansion. The book retains the immediacy of the spoken word, and the freedom and daring inspired by a live audience.

This critical edition is based on Emerson's holograph manuscript, which served as printer's copy for the first American edition, collated with subsequent editions and with Emerson's own corrections. The historical introduction relates the book to Emerson's life and times and discusses its literary origins, composition, and contemporary reception. A textual introduction and apparatus have been provided by the textual editor, and there are full informational notes. The volume has been awarded the seal of the Center for Scholarly Editions

Joseph Slater, General Editor
Douglas Emory Wilson, Textual Editor

 

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Зміст

Historical Introduction
xi
Statement of Editorial Principles
lxvi
Uses of Great Men I
3
New Readings
45
Notes
169
Textual Apparatus
256
The Manuscript
306
Revisions in the Manuscript
317
Parallel Passages
381
Index
399
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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 1803. From a long line of religious leaders, Emerson became the minister of the Second Church (Unitarian) in 1829. He left the church in 1832 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 1833 and settled in Concord, Massachusetts. He began lecturing in Boston. His first book, Nature (1836), published anonymously, detailed his belief and has come to be regarded as his most significant original work on the essence of his philosophy of transcendentalism. The first volume of Essays (1841) contained some of Emerson's most popular works, including the renowned Self-Reliance. Emerson befriended and influenced a number of American authors including Henry David Thoreau. It was Emerson's practice of keeping a journal that inspired Thoreau to do the same and set the stage for Thoreau's experiences at Walden Pond. Emerson married twice (his first wife Ellen died in 1831 of tuberculosis) and had four children (two boys and two girls) with his second wife, Lydia. His first born, Waldo, died at age six. Emerson died in Concord on April 27, 1882 at the age of 78 due to pneumonia and is buried in Sleepy Hollow Cemetery in Concord, Massachusetts.

Douglas Emory Wilson, the former General Editor, was Textual Editor of the Collected Works of Ralph Waldo Emerson at the time of his death in 2005.

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