Introduction by Mary Oliver
Commentary by Henry James, Robert Frost, Matthew Arnold, Oliver Wendell Holmes, and Henry David Thoreau
The definitive collection of Emerson's major speeches, essays, and poetry, "The Essential Writings of Ralph Waldo Emerson" chronicles the life's work of a true "American Scholar." As one of the architects of the transcendentalist movement, Emerson embraced a philosophy that championed the individual, emphasized independent thought, and prized "the splendid labyrinth of one's own perceptions." More than any writer of his time, he forged a style distinct from his European predecessors and embodied and defined what it meant to be an American. Matthew Arnold called Emerson's essays "the most important work done in prose."
INCLUDES A MODERN LIBRARY READING GROUP GUIDE.
About the Author
Herman Melville said that Ralph Waldo Emerson possessed a "self-conceit so intensely intellectual that at first one hesitates to call it by its right name," though he later admitted Emerson was "a great man." Both were probably true. The Sage of Concord gave more than 1500 speeches in his lifetime, and Self-Reliance is probably his most important work.
Born in a small town in Ohio, Mary Oliver published her first book of poetry in 1963 at the age of twenty-eight. Over the course of her long career, she has received numerous awards. Her fourth book, American Primitive, won the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry in 1984. Oliver currently lives in Provincetown, Massachusetts.
"I was simmering, simmering, simmering. Emerson brought me to a boil."