Cover: Journals and Miscellaneous Notebooks of Ralph Waldo Emerson, Volume I: 1819–1822 in HARDCOVER

Journals and Miscellaneous Notebooks of Ralph Waldo Emerson, Volume I: 1819–1822

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$161.50 • £140.95 • €146.95

ISBN 9780674484504

Publication Date: 01/01/1960


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[In these early journals and notebooks,] Emerson was not writing for posterity. He was straightening out his own thoughts and accumulating his ‘savings Bank’ (as he said) which he could draw on for his published work. The manuscripts contain everything, from college essays, notes on lectures, and commonplace book jottings to accounts, lists of books to be read, indexes, and jokes. The editors have placed first things first. They will print all the journals, by which they mean ‘those volumes which consist predominantly of Emerson’s prose records of his experiences and thoughts.’ As for the miscellaneous notebooks, priority will be given to those which contain ‘personal, literary, and intellectual records.’ …That the editors have been able to order this fascinating chaos is a tribute to their patience, intelligence, and skill. There will never have to be another edition.The New York Times Book Review

[W]e want the fullest possible picture of the mind of a great Representative Man, and writer, like Emerson. This the new edition of the journals will do much to furnish. These earliest journals, boyish and immature as they are…have very decidedly the interest that, not only for the student, attaches to the spectacle of a young and potentially creative mind struggling to free itself from convention and commonplace and to arrive at its own idiosyncrasy of insight and truthtelling.The Nation

These papers reveal how the mighty affirmations grew out of struggle, suffering, sorrow, and doubt, as well as the ecstasies of his poetic life. Older editions of these journals and notebooks were incomplete, sometimes inaccurate, selected to prettify the real story. Now…we shall have everything (including illustrations of Emerson’s gifted doodling)… Beautifully manufactured for permanence, this book represents the magnificent enterprise of some of our major University Presses.The Chicago Tribune

The editorial work is a marvel to behold. Never have we seen an edition that so clearly and definitively represents a manuscript with all its cancellations, interlineations, and so on. It is a model of editorial practice. It is to be hoped that scholars and libraries will do their best to encourage the efforts of the editorial board.Thoreau Society Bulletin

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