Selected Writings by Ralph Waldo Emerson

Selected Writings

From one of the greatest figures of 19th-century America... This new edition offers a broad view of the author's finest work, featuring his critical essays, poems, and letters, plus a considerable amount of material from the Journals, including an entry discovered in 1964 in the Library of Congress.

Details Selected Writings

TitleSelected Writings
Release DateOct 7th, 2003
PublisherSignet Classics
GenreNonfiction, Philosophy, Writing, Essays, Classics, Literature

Reviews Selected Writings

  • Roy Lotz
    People do not deserve to have good writing, they are so pleased with bad. I expect most people read Emerson in college, which I suppose is the perfect time to do so. The man seems constantly to be speaking to the young, wide-eyed, enthusiastic, hopeful liberal arts major in me. Theres just something wonderfully youthful about Emersons attitude; he never grew out of that adolescent feeling of omnipotence, that we can all recreate the world if we a...
  • Dollie
    After reading Emersons name in three different places in one week, I decided I should probably finally read him and see why people seem to like him so much. Well, I read his journal, his essays and his poems and I can tell you, I liked nothing about any of them. The only thing I liked was that he didnt give a hoot what anyone thought of him. I found his journal depressing, his essays full of God and you couldnt count on his poems to rhyme! I did ...
  • Catherine
    This was pretty good, but it was a little bit like being in a hallmark store. About every third paragraph an aphorism jumps out and tries to make me buy an inspirational coffee cup. Hallmark should include the subversive context on their calendars...
  • Don Stanton
    Pretty much a mood read for me. Philosophical renderings on self reliance and dependence at the lowest level, the individual. A good choice for reading for long stretches of uninterrupted time.
  • Nick
    The book's in two parts: Journals and Letters, and Essays and Addresses. I've only read the first part so far, but intend to return the second "someday".Anyway, I enjoyed the first part. Many of the entries are fairly short, and I couldn't help but think about twitter/blogs.p. 41: Satisfaction with our lot is not consistent with the intentions of God & with our nature. It is our duty to aim at change, at improvement, at perfection. It is our duty...
  • Gail Kennon
    some of it was a bit rough going as the sentences and ideas are complex and sometimes dense but he is a good man to spend time with. it's interesting to see how little we've changed over time and how corrupt politicians were always at the fore.
  • Rick
    I was glad to start this anthology of Emerson's writings with the journal entries, the least challenging entry point. It eased me into his 19th century style of writing and thought and well-prepared me for the essays and lectures that followed, which are the real joy and benefit of Emerson's work. Emerson's view of a larger, fluid universal soul that contains all is a comforting one for this secular humanist. It contains the benefits of most reli...
  • Arthur
    From very early on, I have had an affinity for Emerson and his at-times complex, yet remarkably simple and poignant ideas and explanations. Without question, Self-Reliance, played an integral part in my life. This books contains some of his most powerful. Said he, "whatever course you decide upon, there is always someone to tell you that you are wrong. There are always difficulties arising which tempt you to believe that your critics are right. T...
  • Kit
    4 months and 930pp later, I put this to bed. What's worth returning to? Essays Vols 1 & 2 (esp. Self Reliance, Experience, Friendship, Circles, Nature), the eulogy for Thoreau and that for John Brown, the American Scholar, The Div School Address, The Transcendentalist, The Lord's Supper, a handful of poems. His study of English traits is the most fun read in the collection. The representative Representative Men and Conduct of Life essays are kind...
  • James
    Growing up in Boston served as fertile ground for connecting with great 19th century writers who lived and created in the area. I am fond of the transcendentalist movement, his great poetry, and superbly written essays. His essay on friendship should be taught to all who truly want to have friends in their lifetime. "To make ones life breathe easier is to have succeeded". A great contribution to literature and philosophy.
  • Jen
    Emerson is hard to read. I only read Nature and Self-Reliance, but both were excellent essays, and both contributed much to my view of the world. Nature is probably one of the hardest essays in the book, but it is well worth the thinking required to get through it. You will have to do some rereading, but that's just a sign of good literature. I also had a professor try to quiz me on Nature once. That's just mean, please don't do that to anyone. I...
  • Tommy Lee
    Mr. Emerson made his writing so descriptive and personal that I was able to garner a vicarious experience of early to mid 19th century American culture. It was interesting to watch Emerson allow age and life experience to change him from an idealistic religious romantic to a full-blown cynic still hanging on to minuscule religious rooting convictions.
  • Kathryn
    A lot of his philosophy is really beautiful (if sometimes outdatedly a bit racist/sexist), but I enjoyed the excerpts from his journals at the beginning more than any of the crafted pieces. I think he must have been a wonderful speaker.
  • Jack Hansen
    Thoroughly enjoyed this compilation of Emerson's notes and diary entries as he evolved into the amazing man he was, revered as one of the world's greatest thinkers in his lifetime.
  • Matthew Jay
    I really love some messages in this book but it just doesn't flow well. Something I will have to come back to in the future.
  • Ananya
    read just one essay called Self Reliance but I'd be willing to read the rest of them. some texts just move you in a very positive way.:)
  • TrenTren
    I did my thesis on Emerson and adore his work.
  • Julie
    Honestly, I didn't like reading Emerson. I feel pressure to give this a 3 rating because of his acclaim (by others).
  • Kalia
    This book is really hard to read, but it was very enjoyable. The meaning of the essays are very deep and memorable. Emerson must have been a genius in his time.
  • Amanda
    This is my Bible--hands down.
  • Merritt
    Very nice. Not something you'd be hooked to and will think of over and over... but overall Emerson's language and ideas are so beautiful, and some of the writing in there is just brilliant.
  • LemontreeLime
    These essays have always spoken to me. They make me wish I were braver.