New PDF release: Emerson and the Art of the Diary

By Lawrence Rosenwald

ISBN-10: 0195053338

ISBN-13: 9780195053333

This primary prolonged literary description and research of Emerson's journals, argues that they, and never his essays, are Emerson's masterpiece, constituting one of many maximum commentaries on nineteenth-century the USA by way of one among our such a lot acute formal intelligences. First constructing the serious method had to study the magazine shape, a style lengthy ignored by way of literary students, Rosenwald is going directly to examine how Emerson the diarist chanced on his shape and what shape he discovered. integrated are comparisons among the journals and Emerson's lectures and essays, different Transcendentalist journals, the German aphorism-book, and books of citation by way of Montaigne and Eckermann. ultimately, the writer provides an account of ways, in his previous age, Emerson misplaced his mastery of the shape.

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Sample text

Some exceptions: on the whole subject, Andre Jolles, Einfacke Formen (Halle: Niemeyer, 1930), also the discussion of Jolles in Ducrot and Todorov, Dictionnaire encyclopedique, pp. , DerAphorismus (Darmstadt: Wisscnschaftlichc Buchgesellschaft, 1976; Wege der Forschung 356) and Fricke, Aphorismus; on the anecdote see Heinz Grothe, Anekdote (Stuttgart: Mctzger, 1984); on the meditation see Louis Martz, The Poetry of Meditation (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1954). P R O L E G O M E N A / 23 great Puritan diarist Samuel Sewall.

To read a diary we will want to find the local language for the play of chance and control. In the twentieth century, we may want John Cage's language: Observing the effects of the ego on my earlier works, I tried to remove it, by the use of chance techniques, in my later works. We discipline the ego because it alone stands between us and experience. I wanted to let the environment—or experience—into my music. . [My aim was] to make a musical composition the continuity of which [was] free of individual taste and memory (psychology) and also of the literature and "traditions" of the art.

Describing the art of the entry presents no theoretical problem, only a practical one: our general ignorance regarding the small forms of literature. Our sense of literary writing is macroscopic; it is more attentive to large forms than to small, the forms of lyric poetry excepted. We know little about the small discursive forms: the aphorism, the apothegm, the proverb, the bon mot, the Spruch, the sententia, the maxim, the reflection. We know little about the small narrative forms, the many varieties of anecdote.

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Emerson and the Art of the Diary by Lawrence Rosenwald


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