The Annotated Emerson

Hardcover | February 7, 2012

byRalph Waldo EmersonEditorDavid MikicsForeword byPhillip Lopate

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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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From the Publisher

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 ...

David Mikics is John and Rebecca Moores Professor of English at the University of Houston.

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Format:HardcoverDimensions:576 pages, 9.49 × 9.02 × 0.04 inPublished:February 7, 2012Publisher:HarvardLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0674049233

ISBN - 13:9780674049239

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Editorial Reviews

Mikics has put together a handsome edition of Emerson's most popular and enduring work. First-time readers of Emerson will find the collection useful because the annotations reference the common occurrences of Emerson's attention and, along with the illustrations, place Emerson's work in the context of the 19th century. More-experienced readers of Emerson will value the many annotations that reference his journals, letters, and other essays not gathered here.