Ralph Waldo Emerson. (1803-1882) Lived primarily in Massachusetts, with stints in SC, FL, and England AKA: Waldo, the Concord Sage, The Prophet of the American Religion (Harold Bloom)
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"We will walk on our own feet; we will work with our own hands; we will speak our own minds...A nation of men will for the first time exist, because each believes himself inspired by the Divine Soul which also inspires all men.“
—from the 1837 Harvard Phi Beta Kappa Address
The term Transcendentalism was derived from the German philosopher Kant, who called "all knowledge transcendental which is concerned not with objects but with our mode of knowing objects.“
Arose within the context of Unitarianism, the dominant religion in Boston in the early 1800s. Their beliefs were based on:
Emerson’s definition of a Transcendentalist (1841):
[The Transcendentalist] "believes in miracle, in the perpetual openness of the human mind to new influx of light and power; he believes in inspiration, and in ecstasy."
A complex collection of beliefs:
This belief in the Inner Light led to an emphasis on the authority of the Self:
--source, PBS: I Hear America Singing
1: considering human beings as the most significant entity of the universe
2: interpreting or regarding the world in terms of human values and experiences
Due to my Dropbox account by no later than midnight on Sunday, 2/2.
Barry Lopez, “The Hot Spring”
John W. Sexton, “Untitled, Haibun”
**Because these are short, please read them at least twice. The first time, just let yourself experience them, maybe making brief notes or underlining something when it grabs you. The second time, read it with an eye to craft, to how the author achieved that effect.