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Posts tagged "Ralph Waldo Emerson"


The Church and the Whorehouse: What’s the Difference?

“The church and the whorehouse arrived in the Far West simultaneously. And each would have been horrified to think it was a different facet of the same thing. But surely they were both intended to accomplish the same thing: the singing, the devotion, the poetry of the churches took a man out of his bleakness […]

Ralph Waldo Emerson and the Most Pernicious Piece of Literature in the American Canon

Homina homina homina. The Riff column in The NY Times Magazine has been such a treasure trove this past year. Recent case in point: “The Foul Reign of ‘Self-Reliance’,” in which Benjamin Anastas exposes what he considers to be the havoc wreaked by Ralph Waldo Emerson’s seminal essay on generations of Americans. And while some might […]

Ralph Waldo Emerson Almost Didn’t Go Back to Church

The original American Transcendentalist, son of a minister, describes what happens when the pulpit becomes a reality-free zone in what is probably the most sympathetic passage of his infamous Divinity School Address. He might have been heading in a discomforting direction, but the image he paints here is indelible, ht RB: I once heard a […]