111 The Americanest American – Ralph Waldo Emerson

In 1984, the literary scholar Harold Bloom had this to say about Ralph Waldo Emerson: “Emerson is the mind of our climate, the principal source of the American difference in poetry, criticism and pragmatic post-philosophy…. Emerson, by no means the greatest American writer… is the inescapable theorist of all subsequent American writing. From his moment to ours, American authors either are in his tradition, or else in a counter-tradition originating in opposition to him.” Who was Emerson? How did he become so influential? What did he unlock in American literature? And what can we take from his works today?

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2 thoughts on “111 The Americanest American – Ralph Waldo Emerson”

  1. So pretty much Emerson was the hippie of his era. It is easy to see how he would fit into society right now. It was interesting to hear about how he and Thoreau were connected.
    And Poe….Jingle Man….hahahahaha (still laughing)

    1. I totally agree about Emerson – he constantly surprises me with his contemporary outlook and the vivacity of his outlook. It was fun to see someone find the perfect put-down for Poe – so often it’s the other way around!

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