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Emerson's Wife. A novel by Amy Belding Brown.
's great subject, says Emerson, is not so much the fall of man as liberty. The English poet advocated civil, ecclesiastical, literary, and domestic liberty. He opposed slavery, denied predestination, argued for freedom of the press, and favored the principle of divorce. 's writings are valuable not as literary artifacts, Emerson argues, but as pathways to the man. Emerson insists on linking the person and the writing. 's poems, like his prose, reflect the "opinions, the feelings, even the incidents of the poet's life." In general Emerson rates 's prose at least as high as his poetry, and he boldly redefines 's prose poetry in an important critical statement. "Of his prose in general, not the style alone, but the argument also, is poetic; according to Lord Bacon's definition of poetry, following that of , 'Poetry, not finding the actual world exactly conformed to its idea of good and fair, seeks to accommodate the shows of things to the desires of the mind, and to create an ideal world better than the world of experience.'"
was and is difficult to categorize, as it could be viewed as a:
That divided and rebel mind,that distrust of a sentiment because our arithmetic has computed the strengthand means opposed to our purpose, these have not.
in the next room his voice is sufficiently clear and emphatic.
For, the sense ofbeing which in calm hours rises, we know not how, in the soul, is not diversefrom things, from space, from light, from time, from man, but one withthem, and proceeds obviously from the same source whence their life andbeing also proceed.
It seems he knows how to speak to his contemporaries.
Whatis the nature and power of that science-baffling star, without parallax,without calculable elements, which shoots a ray of beauty even into trivialand impure actions, if the least mark of independence appear?