The Over Soul Ralph Waldo Emerson pdf Soul

Emerson is here talking about the concept of "organic form" as opposed to "mechanic form." The distinction was clearly made by . "The form is mechanic, when on any given material we impress a pre-determined form, not necessarily arising out of the proportions of the material--as when to a mass of wet clay we give whatever shape we wish it to retain when hardened." Thus, for most modern poets, to use a sonnet form is to use mechanic form. "The organic form, on the other hand, is innate; it shapes as it developes, itself from within, and the fullness of its development is one and the same with the perfection of its outward form." Emerson's own essays grew organically, and both 's and 's can be seen as examples of the organic form here described. In Emerson's doctrine of forms, the form should follow from the nature of the evolving material. In Emerson's terminology, form depends on soul.

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His later works include Society and Solitude (1870),which contained material he had been using on lecture tours;Parnassus (1874), a collection of poems; Letters and Social Aims(1876); and Natural History of Intellect (1893), Journals(1909-1914).

Emerson became something of a celebrity - "The Sage ofConcord." He was awarded a Doctoral degree by Harvard in 1866.


Self reliance and the oversoul essays by ralph waldo emerson

-Excerpt from , Ralph Waldo Emerson

In 1850 Emerson was prominent in opposition tothe enactment of the Fugitive Slave Law.

When the Fugitive Slave Act was passed in 1850, he referred toit as "this filthy enactment" and wrote in his journal, "I willnot obey it, by God!" Speaking before the citizens of Concord, hesaid, "This is a law which every one of you will break on theearliest occasion; a law which no man can obey or abet withoutloss of his self-respect and forfeiture of the name ofgentleman."

The Conduct of Life (1860) was the first of his books to enjoyimmediate popularity.


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In December 1839 Emerson gave two lectures on literature as part of a series called "The Present Age," much of the material of which went into a paper called "Thoughts on Modern Literature," published in the in October 1840 and reprinted in (1893). Here Emerson lists, in order of importance, three classes of literature. "The highest class of books are those which express the moral element; the next, works of imagination; and the next, works of science." Though he calls "the first literary genius of the world, the highest in whom the moral is not the predominating element," he insists that 's work "leans on the Bible: his poetry supposes it." By contrast, "the Prophets do not imply the existence of or ." is secondary, the prophets of the Bible are primary. These views compensate and balance those in the Divinity School address. Indeed seems to have been intended by Emerson as a sort of corrective of some of his early views and various misinterpretations of them. One of the best things in "Thoughts on Modern Literature" is a long and very specific treatment of the problem of subjectivity. Defending the subjectivism of the age, Emerson is at great pains to distinguish true subjectivism (the right of each single soul, each subject "I" to "sit in judgment on history and literature, and to summon all facts and parties before its tribunal") from narrow-minded insistence on one's own personality or mere "intellectual selfishness." "A man may say , and never refer to himself as an individual," says Emerson in a phrase that prefigures his concept of the representative poet.