Emerson: An Introduction



Emerson is a very popular writer of America. He was born in 1803. After graduation he became clergy of a Boston church. This great author married in 1829 but his wife left this world in 1831. He resigned from the post of clergy in 1832 because he could not conduct those religious rituals in which he did not believe. After resignation Emerson went to Europe and stayed there for almost a year. During his stay in England he met Wordsworth, Coleridge and Carlyle. They became his lifelong friends. On his return he moved from Boston to Concord, a nearby town. He married again in 1835. After that he started his writing and began to deliver lectures in the USA. He delivered nearly 1500 lectures in all. His lectures were the principal means of support of his life. Emerson’s literary flowering took place during 1834 to 1844. During this period he formulated his basic ideas and wrote several essays for which he is popular today.


At the start of his literary career he appeared as a controversial figure due to his opposition to authority. But very soon he got recognition as a sound and original thinker, orator and author. He became very popular in the entire nation. He got a title ‘The Sage of Concord’.
Emerson is known for the following compositions:
1. Nature (1836) is Emerson’s first published book. It expresses the fundamental concepts of Transcendentalism.
2. The American Scholar (1837) & The Divinity School Address (1838) are his popular lectures that express his disregard for authority. Emerson clearly rejects the church domination over the spiritual life of the individual. He advocates that man himself is his own church. According to him ‘truth is attainable only through intuition; it can’t be received second hand.’
3. Essays: Self Reliance, The Over-Soul, Compensation, Spiritual Laws, Love, Friendship, History, The poet, Experience and New England Reformers.
4. Poems: The Sphinx, The Rhodora, Each and All, The Problem, The Visit, The Humble Bee, The Snow Storm, Concord Hymn, Ode to Beauty, Brahma, Days, Merlin, Bacchus.


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