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The Cambridge Companion to Ralph Waldo Emerson provides a critical introduction to pastor and poet, Ralph Waldo Emerson, author of Nature and The Conduct of Life. The tradition of American literature and philosophy as we know it at the end of the twentieth century was largely shaped by Emerson's example and practice. This volume offers students, scholars, and the general reader a collection of fresh interpretations of Emerson's writing, milieu, influence, and cultural significance. All essays are newly commissioned for this volume, written at an accessible yet challenging level, and augmented by a comprehensive chronology and bibliography.
Emerson and Thoreau are the most celebrated odd couple of nineteenth-century American literature. Appearing to play the roles of benign mentor and eager disciple, they can also be seen as bitter rivals: America's foremost literary statesman, protective of his reputation, and an ambitious and sometimes refractory protégé. The truth, Joel Porte maintains, is that Emerson and Thoreau were complementary literary geniuses, mutually inspiring and inspired. In this book of essays, Porte focuses on Emerson and Thoreau aswriters. He traces their individual achievements and their points of intersection, arguing that both men, starting from a shared belief in the importance of #147;self-culture," produced a body of writing that helped move a decidedly provincial New England readership into the broader arena of international culture. It is a book that will appeal to all readers interested in the writings of Emerson and Thoreau.
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