July 13, 2007

On Emerson and Emerson’s History

On Emerson and Emerson’s History


Whether we actually complete both series or not, the point is the start, the initiative is all, what Susan Sontag called “the beginning mind.” In what follows I’ve tried to offer some opening general impressions on Emerson, as well as more specific observations on History, the first essay of the first series. As far as a plan or schedule, I think we should read the essays in sequence, as Emerson, perhaps, intended. For, as Douglas Crase points out, the “light” as the end of History leads into that “gleam of light” at the beginning of Self-Reliance. Separate threads will be set up for each individual essay, with specific headers written by volunteers to kick things off.

The only general guide for reading and discussion that I can think of right now, is to look out for repetitions and resonances within and between the essays. Emerson encodes his ideas in startling imagery. How these images fit into and form the overall picture he’s painting, is, I think, key.

So, let’s get started…

Mynocturama in an Email to Mary

Related Content