Ralph Waldo Emerson Biography - Brandeis University
He stayed forsome time in England and Scotland, where he made the acquaintanceof such British literary notables as Samuel Taylor Coleridge,Thomas Carlyle, William Wordsworth and John Stuart Mill.
Emerson arrived back in New York in October 1833 and a yearlater settled with his mother in Concord, Massachusetts andbecame active as a lecturer in Boston.
Ralph Waldo Emerson Biography | Biography Online
Waldo Emerson was not a practicing literary critic in the sense that and were, and he was not a theorist as , or Friedrich Ernst Schleiermacher were. Yet he was for America what was for England, the major spokesman for a new conception of literature. From his early essays on English literature and his important first book, (1836), to his greatest single literary essay, "The Poet" (1844), to his late essays on "Poetry and Imagination" and "Persian Poetry" in 1875, Emerson developed and championed a concept of literature as literary activity. The essence of that activity is a symbolizing process. Both reader and writer are involved in acts of literary expression which are representative or symbolic. Emerson's position is an extreme one, and in (1965) René Wellek has said that "the very extremity with which he held his views makes him the outstanding representative of romantic symbolism in the English-speaking world." Emerson's romantic symbolism, biographical and ethical in intent, poetic in expression, is an attitude that still stirs debate and still can have a liberating and encouraging effect on the modern reader. Emerson always cared more for the present than the past, more for his reader than for the text in hand or the author in question. Poets, he said, are "liberating gods"; and Emerson at his best is also a liberator. "Meek young men grow up in libraries, believing it their duty to accept the views, which Cicero, which Locke, which Bacon have given, forgetful that Cicero, Locke, and Bacon were only young men in libraries, when they wrote those books."
Emerson went to Boston Public Latin School when he was nine, and to Harvard College when he was fourteen. After college, he tried teaching, then attended divinity school at Harvard. In 1829 he was ordained minister of Boston's Second Church. That same year he married Ellen Tucker. It was very much a love match, and Emerson was deeply shaken by her death only a year and a half later on 8 February 1831. At the same time, he was becoming increasingly reluctant to remain as minister to his church. In October 1832 he resigned, the immediate reason being that he felt he could no longer officiate at a ceremony (communion) that had become meaningless to him. With his wife dead and his career broken off, Emerson now sold his house and furniture and set out for Europe. He spent nine months abroad, almost six of them in Italy, working from Sicily to Naples to Rome, Florence, Venice, then on to Switzerland and Paris. In Paris, at the Jardin des Plantes, he experienced the full power and appeal of the new botanical and zoological sciences, and he now turned decisively from theology to science, vowing to become a naturalist. Going on to England and Scotland, he met , , and, particularly, Thomas Carlyle, who became a lifelong friend and correspondent.
Ralph waldo emerson the american scholar and self reliance
Ralph Waldo Emerson was born on May 25, 1803, in Boston, Massachusetts. He was the son of William and Ruth (Haskins) Emerson; his father was a clergyman, as many of his male ancestors had been. He attended the Boston Latin School, followed by Harvard University (from which he graduated in 1821) and the Harvard School of Divinity. He was licensed as a minister in 1826 and ordained to the Unitarian church in 1829.
The American Scholar by Emerson essays
Emerson spent the rest of his life centered in Concord, with another trip to England in 1847-1848, one to California in 1871, and a final trip to Egypt in 1872. Each winter he would travel through New England and the East Coast, and as far west as there were cities on his annual lecture tour, for which he was his own booking agent, advertiser, and arranger. The rest of the year he spent in Concord, which soon became one of the intellectual centers of the country, a sort of American Weimar. The group around Emerson, usually called the Transcendentalists, were defined in one way by Emerson's 1838 Divinity School address, which offended orthodox Unitarians by locating religious authority in the religious nature of human beings, rather than in the Bible or the person of Christ. The , a new magazine founded by the group and edited first by , showed the group's interest in the literature of Idealism. In religion, in philosophy, and in literature, the group around Emerson was liberal, learned, forward-looking and reform-minded. The Emersonian "movement" (it was Emerson who said there are always two parties in society, the Establishment and the Movement) or "the newness" was eventually overshadowed by the Civil War, the coming of industrialism, and the rise of realism. But in the late 1830s, 1840s, and into the 1850s, Emerson was at the center of much that was new, exciting, and vital in American cultural life.
Ralph Waldo Emerson, `The American Scholar ..
Ralph Waldo Emerson was born on May 25, 1803, in Boston, Massachusetts. In 1821, he took over as director of his brother’s school for girls. In 1823, he wrote the poem "Good-Bye.” In 1832, he became a Transcendentalist, leading to the later essays "Self-Reliance" and "The American Scholar." Emerson continued to write and lecture into the late 1870s. He died on April 27, 1882, in Concord, Massachusetts.