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Essential Transcendentalists

Richard G. Geldard - Author

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ISBN 9781585424344 | 272 pages | 06 Oct 2005 | Tarcher | 5.47 x 8.22in | 18 - AND UP
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An anthology of core writings by the New England Transcendentalists

An anthology of core writings by the New England Transcendentalists, providing a unique overview of these landmark figures as spiritual thinkers.

Interest abounds in the work of the Transcendentalists, such as Emerson, Thoreau, and Bronson Alcott. Each year, tens of thousands of readers rediscover Transcendental thought in books and articles, and in visits to historic sites, such as Walden Pond. But few appreciate the truly mystical and contemplative qualities of the Transcendentalists, and the spiritual movements and figures they have since inspired.

As Richard G. Geldard-one of today's leading scholars of Emerson-illustrates in The Essential Transcendentalists, Transcendentalism adds up to a school of practical spiritual philosophy that aims to guide the individual toward inner development, much like that of Stoicism in Western antiquity. This current of New England mysticism has influenced modern-day luminaries as diverse as essayist Annie Dillard and Ernest Holmes, founder of the worldwide Religious Science movement.

Through revealing commentary, historical overview, and selections from classic works, The Essential Transcendentalists provides a distinctive and heretofore neglected examination of the spiritual breadth and depth of "Yankee mysticism."

I. PRIMARY TEXTS

Introduction to the Primary Texts

Sampson Reed
Observations on the Growth of the Mind

James Marsh
Preface to Aids to Reflection

Amos Bronson Alcott, Early Journals
“Orphic Sayings”
Preface to Conversations with Children

Ralph Waldo Emerson, Nature, Introduction
Nature, Chapter 1


II. INDIVIDUAL VOICES

Introduction to Individual Voices

Ralph Waldo Emerson
“The Transcendentalist”
“Circles”

Frederic Henry Hedge
“Questionings”

Amos Bronson Alcott, Journal Entries, 1837

Margaret Fuller, “Flaxman”
“The Sacred Marriage”
“The Great Lawsuit”

Henry David Thoreau, “Where I Lived, and What I Lived For,” from Walden
“Civil Disobedience”


III. THE TRANSCENDETAL HERITAGE

Introduction to the Transcendental Heritage

Movements and Institutions

Solitary Voices
Walt Whitman
Emily Dickinson
Wallace Stevens

The Nature Writers
Loren Eiseley
Annie Dillard


Notes

Selected Bibliography

Index


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