Emerson, Romanticism, and Intuitive Reason | 0th Edition
The Transatlantic Light of All Our Day
AUTHOR: Keane, Patrick J.
PUBLISHER: University of Missouri Press
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"Emerson, Romanticism, and Intuitive Reason" is a comparative study in transatlantic Romanticism, focusing on Emerson s part in the American dialogue with British Romanticism and, as filtered through Coleridge, German Idealist philosophy. The book s guiding theme is the concept of intuitive Reason, which Emerson derived from Coleridge s distinction between Understanding and Reason and which Emerson associated with that light of all our day in his favorite stanza of Wordsworth s Ode: Intimations of Immortality. Intuitive Reason became the intellectual and emotional foundation of American Transcendentalism. That light radiated out to illuminate Emerson s life and work, as well as the complex and often covert relationship of a writer who, however fiercely self-reliant and original, was deeply indebted to his transatlantic precursors. The debt is intellectual and personal. Emerson s supposed indifference to, or triumph over, repeated familial tragedy is often attributed to his Idealism a complacent optimism that blinded him to any vision of the tragic. His art of losing may be better understood as a tribute to the healing power, the consolation in distress, which Emerson considered Wordsworth s principal value. The second part of this book traces Emerson s struggle with the help of the benignant influence shed by that light of all our day to confront and overcome personal tragedy, to attain the equilibrium epitomized in Wordsworth s Elegiac Stanzas: Not without hope we suffer and we mourn. As a study in what has been called the paradox of originality, the book should appeal to those interested in the Anglo-American Romantic tradition and the innovations of the individual talent especially in the capacity of a writer such as Emerson not only to absorb his precursors but also to use them as a stimulus to his own creative power."
PUBLICATION DATE: 11/22/2005
CATEGORY: Literary Criticism, Philosophy