Can Harvard Learn Anything From Ralph Waldo Emerson?

The author Henry James stated that Ralph Waldo Emerson– who was when the nation’s cherished essayist-laureate, author of the renowned American effusion called “Self-Reliance” and the semiofficial theorist of entrepreneurial individualism– experienced a deadly defect. Emerson’s disabling flaw, James believed, was innocence: He had no “sense of the dark, the nasty, the base.” The author stated of the author: “A ripe unconsciousness of evil is … among the most lovely indications by which we understand him.”

James and Emerson were giants of American literature long earlier, however they came from various generations. Emerson (1803-82) composed his essential essays (those sun-shot prose wonders of the nation’s early morning energy) in the years before the Civil War, before that disastrous fracture in American history. James (1843-1916) composed his elaborately shadowed books well after Appomattox. It was the Civil War that presented the ignorant nation to its fallen self. The dispute introduced, to name a few things, Restoration and Jim Crow, the Gilded Age and the burglar barons, mass migration from Ireland, Italy and Eastern Europe. James and Emerson matured in 2 various Americas. No surprise, then, that they had various concepts about the nation’s capability for excellent or wicked.

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