Emerson in His Journals (Magill's Literary Annual 1983)
During his lifetime, Ralph Waldo Emerson kept a continuous journal of more than two hundred miscellaneous diaries, notebooks, and ledgers, beginning when he was a Harvard undergraduate and continuing until late in his life. This compilation of more than three million words has recently been made fully available in the sixteen-volume Harvard edition of Emerson’s Journals and Miscellaneous Notebooks (1960-1982). Out of these riches, Harvard English professor Joel Porte has assembled a new one-volume selection, Emerson in His Journals, which offers a substantially new portrait of the private Emerson. Editor Porte has judiciously selected and edited passages from the complete Harvard edition to present a full and balanced view of Emerson’s personality. Porte’s new volume quietly incorporates the meticulous scholarship of the Harvard edition without cluttering up his text with elaborate footnotes or scholarly apparatus. Instead, he simply divides the journal entries into nine chronological sections, with a brief introduction for each, and otherwise allows Emerson to speak for himself. The passages Porte has chosen reveal a candor and frankness not hitherto apparent in previous selections from The Journals of Ralph Waldo Emerson (1909-1914, ten volumes).
Great minds need to be reappropriated by every generation, and this...
(The entire section is 2370 words.)
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Bibliography (Magill's Literary Annual 1983)
American Literature. LIV, December, 1982, p. 607.
Choice. XX, October, 1982, p. 264.
Christian Science Monitor. August 25, 1982, p. 15.
Library Journal. CVII, September 1, 1982, p. 1660.
The New York Times Book Review. LXXXVII, June 20, 1982, p. 14.
The New Yorker. LVIII, May 24, 1982, p. 134.
Times Literary Supplement. August 27, 1982, p. 915.
(The entire section is 39 words.)