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Emerson and the Art of the Diary - Lawrence Rosenwald

Emerson and the Art of the Diary

Hardcover Published: 1st September 1988
ISBN: 9780195053333
Number Of Pages: 172

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This first extended literary description and analysis of Emerson's journals, argues that they, and not his essays, are Emerson's masterpiece, constituting one of the greatest commentaries on nineteenth-century America by one of our most acute formal intelligences. First developing the critical methodology needed to examine the journal form, a genre long neglected by literary scholars, Rosenwald goes on to consider how Emerson the diarist found his form and what form he found. Included are comparisons between the journals and Emerson's lectures and essays, other Transcendentalist journals, the German aphorism-book, and books of quotation by Montaigne and Eckermann. Finally, the author gives an account of how, in his old age, Emerson lost his mastery of the form.

"An indispensable book for any student of nineteenth century prose. I read it with admiration and pleasure. Even confirmed lovers of Emerson's Essays will find it hard to resist Mr. Rosenwald's bold claim that Emerson achieves his greatest formal perfection in the Journals rather than in the published works, and every reader will delight in discovering the new artist Mr. Rosenwald reveals in Emerson, 'the greatest American diarist of the century.'"--Barbara Packer, University of California, Los Angeles "Not only elucidates the odd and wonderful diversities and coherences of Emerson's journals, but explores the interrelationships between text and reader that define the act of reading....Rosenwald presents pleasing and teasing insights about matters as particular as Emerson's use of pronouns and 'idiomatic system of indexing.' He suggests surprising ways of thinking about such pragmatic concerns as the kind of book a diarist writes in and the manner of arranging words on the page. And he offers challenging insights into the way Emerson's journals reveal their author's relation to his American movement."--The New York Times Book Review "Rosenwald has made a major contribution to studies of diaries....Recommended for academic libraries."--Choice "It is difficult to do justice here to the range of intricacy of Rosenwald's arguments, or even to the valuable service he performs as an appreciator of the journals....Important, freshly conceived, and well-written."--American Literature "[Rosenwald] offers a new Emerson, one not really read before, and he is convincing in showing the rival claims of this sociable, literary, and democratic Emerson."--Resources for American Literary Study "An indispensable book for any student of nineteenth century prose. I read it with admiration and pleasure. Even confirmed lovers of Emerson's Essays will find it hard to resist Mr. Rosenwald's bold claim that Emerson achieves his greatest formal perfection in the Journals rather than in the published works, and every reader will delight in discovering the new artist Mr. Rosenwald reveals in Emerson, 'the greatest American diarist of the century.'"--Barbara Packer, University of California, Los Angeles "Not only elucidates the odd and wonderful diversities and coherences of Emerson's journals, but explores the interrelationships between text and reader that define the act of reading....Rosenwald presents pleasing and teasing insights about matters as particular as Emerson's use of pronouns and 'idiomatic system of indexing.' He suggests surprising ways of thinking about such pragmatic concerns as the kind of book a diarist writes in and the manner of arranging words on the page. And he offers challenging insights into the way Emerson's journals reveal their author's relation to his American movement."--The New York Times Book Review "Rosenwald has made a major contribution to studies of diaries....Recommended for academic libraries."--Choice "It is difficult to do justice here to the range of intricacy of Rosenwald's arguments, or even to the valuable service he performs as an appreciator of the journals....Important, freshly conceived, and well-written."--American Literature "[Rosenwald] offers a new Emerson, one not really read before, and he is convincing in showing the rival claims of this sociable, literary, and democratic Emerson."--Resources for American Literary Study "In refocusing attention on Emerson's journals and notebooks he will almost certainly force scholars of Emerson's work to reexamine the critical role the journals played in his career. Given the provocative nature of Rosenwald's ideas and the thoroughness of his scholarship, the ensuing debate promises to be both lively and productive."--Journal of English & Germanic Philology "Interesting and persuasive."--Notes and Queries "Professor Rosenwald sheds valuable light on the nature and process of diaries and journals. This is an important tool in the Emerson arsenal. A study of Emerson's Journals should begin with this book. Emerson's life and personality become more alive from reading this significant contribution to the field of Emerson scholarship."--Frank Schulman, Emerson-Unitarian Church

Prolegomenap. 3
From Commonplace Book to Journalp. 29
Authority and Rebellionp. 30
Strayings and Temptationsp. 44
A Conscious Beginningp. 53
The Form of the Mature Journalp. 61
Introductionp. 61
Interlude: A Practical Note
The Journal vs. the Essaysp. 65
Is the Journal Really a Work of Art? (Part 1) The Journal as Artifact
Emerson and his Diaristic Circlep. 83
The Journal and the Aphorism Bookp. 98
Is the Journal Really a Work of Art? (Part 2) Emerson the Gregarious Revolutionary, or, A Consideration of Two Artistic Forms
The Journal and the Quotation Bookp. 121
The Loss of Formp. 139
Indexp. 155
Table of Contents provided by Syndetics. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780195053333
ISBN-10: 0195053338
Audience: Professional
Format: Hardcover
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 172
Published: 1st September 1988
Publisher: Oxford University Press Inc
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 21.7 x 14.4  x 1.9
Weight (kg): 0.38