Sunday, 17 August 2014

Book Notes: Self-Reliance and Other Essays" by Ralph Waldo Emerson

Self-Reliance and Other EssaysSelf-Reliance and Other Essays by Ralph Waldo Emerson

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


Goodreads' star system is annoying. Having 5 as "it was amazing" might as well read "it was totally awesome" or "literally the best" or some other idiotic way of dumbing down that which should not be dumbed down. All such contemporary things are rather pedestrian. Nevertheless, there is not really anywhere else to capture my readings, so here it is for now. Emerson's essays are like reading a religious text: every sentence has something that works just for you (or, more accurately, me). It is profound, yet moribund, exciting yet prosaic in its antiquity, biased in its bigotry, yet soundly rational and calm and erudite all at once. This is not a work to read once. Indeed, it will need to be read several times at different levels of maturity or experience. There is little doubt that Emerson is right up there with the likes of Rousseau, but due to timing or otherwise, he doesn't quite sit on the same bench as the masters. Regrettably, this is due to marketing rather than merit, but so too is most of history. How else might one find such gems as Emerson? My dogs loved it so much, they ate the front cover. It was the only book they have ever touched.



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