Ralph Waldo Emerson is internationally renowned as helping define American identity as we know it. What is less known is the degree to which he has inspired and influenced generations of other internationally celebrated writers and thinkers. As "America's Plato," it is perhaps not surprising that Emerson has drawn a great amount of critical (in both senses of the word) attention; what is surprising, though, is the fact that so much of the attention was given by the likes of Thomas Carlyle, Matthew Arnold, the James brothers, Walt Whitman, D. H. Lawrence, George Santayana, Marcel Proust, Virginia Woolf, T. S. Eliot, John Updike, and William Gass. Estimating Emerson is the most comprehensive collection yet assembled of the finest minds writing on one of America's finest minds. It serves as both a resource for easily accessing the abundant and profound commentary on Emerson's work and as a compendium of exceptional prose to inspire further thought about his contribution to our thinking.
David LaRocca, a writer in residence in the Library's Allen Room,is a Fellow at The Moving Picture Institute in New York, editor of Stanley Cavell's Emerson's Transcendental Etudes (Stanford), and author of On Emerson (Wadsworth) and the forthcoming Emerson's English Traits and the Natural History of Metaphor (Bloomsbury 2013). In this presentation La Rocca will discuss his work as editor of Estimating Emerson (Bloomsbury 2013) and read selections of criticsim on Emerson by some of the 67 celebrated writers collected in the new book.
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