A Fine, Decorative Binding of Self Reliance by Ralph Waldo Emerson. From The collection of Michael Patrick McCarty

Ralph Waldo Emerson

 

A Beautifully Bound Volume of Self Reliance By Ralph Waldo Emerson. From The Collection of Michael Patrick McCarty
A Scarce Edition of Self Reliance by Ralph Waldo Emerson From My Personal Collection

 

“Any relation to the land, the habit of tilling it, or mining it, or even hunting on it, generates the feeling of patriotism. He who keeps shop on it, or he who merely uses it as a support to his desk and ledger, or to his manufactory, values it less”.

 

“Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail”.

 

“There is a time in every man’s education when he arrives at the conviction that envy is ignorance; that imitation is suicide; that he must take himself for better for worse as his portion; that though the wide universe is full of good, no kernel of nourishing corn can come to him but through his toil bestowed on that plot of ground which is given him to till. The power which resides in him is new in nature, and none but he knows what that is which he can do, nor does he know until he has tried…Trust thyself: every heart vibrates to that iron string”.

 

“But books are good only as far as a boy is ready for them. He sometimes gets ready very slowly…He hates the grammar and Gradus, and loves guns, fishing-rods, horses, and boats. Well, the boy is right; and you are not fit to direct his bringing up, if your theory leaves out his gymnastic training. Archery, cricket, gun and fishing-rod, horse and boat, are all educators, liberalizers; and so are dancing, dress, and the street-talk; and,— provided only the boy has resources, and is of a noble and ingenuous strain,–these will not serve him less than the books. Provided always the boy is teachable, (for we are not proposing to make a statue out of punk,) football, cricket, archery, swimming, skating, climbing, fencing, riding, are lessons in the art of power, which it is his main business to learn;–riding, specially, of which Lord Herbert of Cherbury said, “a good rider on a good horse is as much above himself and others as the world can make him.” Besides, the gun, fishing-rod, boat, and horse, constitute, among all who use them, secret freemasonries. They are as if they belonged to one club”.

 

“The end of the human race will be that it will eventually die of civilization.”

 

– Ralph Waldo Emerson, From Self-Reliance, And Character, Behavior, Beauty, And More

 

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The Annotated Emerson (Hardcover)

A brilliant essayist and a master of the aphorism (“Our moods do not believe in each other”; “Money often costs too much”), Emerson has inspired countless writers. He challenged Americans to shut their ears against Europe’s “courtly muses” and to forge a new, distinctly American cultural identity. But he remains one of America’s least understood writers. And, by his own admission, he spawned neither school nor follower (he valued independent thought too much). Now, in this annotated selection of Emerson’s writings, David Mikics instructs the reader in a larger appreciation of Emerson’s essential works and the remarkable thinker who produced them.

Full of color illustrations and rich in archival photographs, this volume offers much for the specialist and general reader. In his running commentaries on Emerson’s essays, addresses, and poems, Mikics illuminates contexts, allusions, and language likely to cause difficulty to modern readers. He quotes extensively from Emerson’s Journal to shed light on particular passages or lines and examines Emerson the essayist, poet, itinerant lecturer, and political activist. Finally, in his Foreword, Phillip Lopate makes the case for Emerson as a spectacular truth teller―a model of intellectual labor and anti-dogmatic sanity.

Anyone who values Emerson will want to own this edition. Those wishing to discover, or to reacquaint themselves with, Emerson’s writings but who have not known where or how to begin will not find a better starting place or more reliable guide than The Annotated Emerson.


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