Emerson and the Art of the Diary

Hardcover | April 30, 1999

byLawrence Rosenwald

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This first extended literary description and analysis of Emerson's journals, argues that they, and not his essays, are Emerson's masterpiece, constituting one of the greatest commentaries on nineteenth-century America by one of our most acute formal intelligences. First developing thecritical methodology needed to examine the journal form, a genre long neglected by literary scholars, Rosenwald goes on to consider how Emerson the diarist found his form and what form he found. Included are comparisons between the journals and Emerson's lectures and essays, other Transcendentalistjournals, the German aphorism-book, and books of quotation by Montaigne and Eckermann. Finally, the author gives an account of how, in his old age, Emerson lost his mastery of the form.

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The book's argument begins with sharp refutation of common fallacies about journals and diaries generally, thus establishing a set of requirements for the study of any diary.

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This first extended literary description and analysis of Emerson's journals, argues that they, and not his essays, are Emerson's masterpiece, constituting one of the greatest commentaries on nineteenth-century America by one of our most acute formal intelligences. First developing thecritical methodology needed to examine the journal ...

Lawrence Rosenwald is at Wellesley College.

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Format:HardcoverDimensions:176 pages, 8.54 × 5.75 × 0.75 inPublished:April 30, 1999Publisher:Oxford University Press

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0195053338

ISBN - 13:9780195053333

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From Our Editors

The book's argument begins with sharp refutation of common fallacies about journals and diaries generally, thus establishing a set of requirements for the study of any diary.

Editorial Reviews

"Professor Rosenwald sheds valuable light on the nature and process of diaries and journals. This is an important tool in the Emerson arsenal. A study of Emerson's Journals should begin with this book. Emerson's life and personality become more alive from reading this significantcontribution to the field of Emerson scholarship."--Frank Schulman, Emerson-Unitarian Church