The Portable Emerson Info

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A comprehensive collection of writings by “the most
influential writer of the nineteenth century” (Harold
Bloom)

Ralph Waldo Emerson’s diverse body of work has
done more than perhaps any other thinker to shape and define the
American mind. Literary giants including Henry David Thoreau, Nathaniel
Hawthorne, and Walt Whitman were among Emerson’s admirers and
protégés, while his central text, Nature,
singlehandedly engendered an entire spiritual and intellectual movement
in transcendentalism. This long-awaited update—the first in more
than thirty years—presents the core of Emerson’s writings,
including Nature and The American Scholar, along
with revelatory journal entries, letters, poetry, and a
sermon.
For more than seventy years, Penguin has been the leading
publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With
more than 1,700 titles, Penguin Classics represents a global
bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and
disciplines. Readers trust the series to provide authoritative
texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and
contemporary authors, as well as up-to-date translations by
award-winning translators.

Average Ratings and Reviews
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4.32

428 Ratings

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Ratings and Reviews From Market


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Reviews for The Portable Emerson:

5

May 19, 2011

I could - and maybe should - read "Self-Reliance" at least once every month. For me it's one of those texts that gives you a good slap on the face and forces you to really scrutinize your priorities. There are things I still have questions about (namely, his attitude towards charity) but that only adds to the richness of the text. Quite non-dual, too.
5

Sep 26, 2017

When one reads Ralph Waldo Emerson's writings they should keep in mind of three things: nature, God, and New England. All three of these things listed are shown in numerous essays, letters, poems, etc. Another thing that comes to mind is Emerson's politics, he basically was one of several American philosophers who was nether a liberal or conservative but more likely a libertarian. Founder of the transcendentalism movement the core ideas seemed to be finding nature in God and the importance of When one reads Ralph Waldo Emerson's writings they should keep in mind of three things: nature, God, and New England. All three of these things listed are shown in numerous essays, letters, poems, etc. Another thing that comes to mind is Emerson's politics, he basically was one of several American philosophers who was nether a liberal or conservative but more likely a libertarian. Founder of the transcendentalism movement the core ideas seemed to be finding nature in God and the importance of individualism. ...more
4

Apr 24, 2018

The stridency, ambition and intensity of Emersons greatest work - Nature, Self-Reliance, American Scholar - is its strength and also its undoing. At best, there is an accumulation of pithy, wise and insightful observations; at worst, he reads in a hectoring tone, full of wild and willful explorations, which are unprovable, fantastical and unsustainable.

If youve read contemporary philosophy, say, youll be shocked by how is able to define art, language, morality and of course nature without The stridency, ambition and intensity of Emerson’s greatest work - Nature, Self-Reliance, American Scholar - is its strength and also its undoing. At best, there is an accumulation of pithy, wise and insightful observations; at worst, he reads in a hectoring tone, full of wild and willful explorations, which are unprovable, fantastical and unsustainable.

If you’ve read contemporary philosophy, say, you’ll be shocked by how is able to define art, language, morality and of course nature without pause. Shocked because he offers little restraint when taking in, say, the genius of Shakespeare, where others may fear to tread. He is bold and sometimes reckless. It it is refreshing too, if you like the German idealists and the way they thought they might assemble a universal and timeless framework. Emerson is a high point of this kind of idealism.

The ‘portable’ edition book contains all you need to get started. His poetry is terrible, but useful for biographical purposes. ...more
3

Apr 25, 2013

How can a man who said and wrote so many lovely things also, somehow, be sooooo egregiously boring?

Seeing as how I am most certainly NOT a philosophy scholar, I think it would have been better for me to have half-assed it and read something closer to "Emerson's Greatest Hits." ...although I thought that's kind of what this was meant to be. Eh.
4

Sep 10, 2009

A major book for my 'deserted island' list. Dip into it every year since I discovered him in the 1960's and am always pleasantly surprised how much I learn.
4

Mar 08, 2017

obviously a reread, but really liking this penguin collected edition
0

Oct 07, 2016

Read:

"The American Scholar"
Nature
"Self-Reliance"
"The Poet"
"Experience"
5

Feb 28, 2013

Love this book, I always turn to the essay "self reliance" when I feel down.
3

Jan 17, 2014

A brilliant man, famous during his time, but today he would be criticized for inconsistency, hypocrisy and egoism. He does not stand the test of time well.
5

Jan 31, 2011

Perhaps one of the most quintessential American reads. I don't believe I will ever stop reading this book.
4

Aug 06, 2011

Self-reliance is one of a handful of essays and books I dig out and reread every couple of months, or whenever I'm feeling a bit adrift. It's about as close as I get to inspirational, but this has an edge to it.
4

Apr 22, 2008

Living in New York, you can lose touch with nature. Reading this on the subway in the mornings instead of AM new york or Metro, really helps one connect with something bigger than themselves even in a crowded, materialistic, adrenaliine driven city.
5

Jul 12, 2019

This book, Emersons words, showed me to the light and set up the tee ball and whispered for me to swing.

At the age of 25, an American man living in Izmit, Turkey with way too much reading time on my hands, my true nature was directly experienced.

Always grateful to the Sage of Concord. This book, Emerson’s words, showed me to the light and set up the tee ball and whispered for me to swing.

At the age of 25, an American man living in Izmit, Turkey with way too much reading time on my hands, my true nature was directly experienced.

Always grateful to the Sage of Concord. ...more
5

Mar 24, 2019

Profound stuff! Emerson is a household name, but his writings are little read and lesser discussed in the broader culture. It's probably because he espouses a philosophy of self-relience, and living from the inner-Nature (or intuition), that is both radical and very difficult to implement in practice. I was deeply inspired by this book.
5

Apr 19, 2009

This book is a collection of Emerson's essays and poems--perhaps the standard collection for the generl reader. For the scholar, it is often useful to quote this edition, since it is so widely available. Sound scholarship--though now a little older than the recent work in the current Emerson revival. The book has been frequently reprinted.
4

Feb 14, 2015

Solid primer on one of America's master writers. I profess that the subject matter was very difficult to follow at times, as I'm not that big on poetry or long-form essays with more classical language. Nonetheless, this is an excellent book for anyone just getting into the man's works, and there are some short stories and speeches that stay with you after you've read them.

Recommended.
5

Apr 15, 2013

Despite efforts to reduce Emerson to an avuncular source of pithy quotes, his essays, when read in their fullness, still contain the power to move and inspire people today. He was deeply American, yet also aware of the tradition of Idealism, dating back to Plato and beyond, which shaped much of his thinking. His use of language takes some getting used to, since he was often writing at the edge of what is expressible in words, but when you have acquired a taste for him it's difficult to go back Despite efforts to reduce Emerson to an avuncular source of pithy quotes, his essays, when read in their fullness, still contain the power to move and inspire people today. He was deeply American, yet also aware of the tradition of Idealism, dating back to Plato and beyond, which shaped much of his thinking. His use of language takes some getting used to, since he was often writing at the edge of what is expressible in words, but when you have acquired a taste for him it's difficult to go back to the pablum that characterizes much of today's "spiritual" writing. This book offers a good cross-section of his essays, lectures, and poems. ...more
5

Feb 04, 2008

Well, this is the great Ralph Waldo Emerson. When one speaks of Emerson as regards words and thought, there comes the muse that herein lies the 'sentence.' Few if any realize that Emerson had attained what in some circles is coined "Cosmic Consciousness." His writings were among the most principled, spanning the periods of the 18th and 19th Centuries among the men and women of Letters of America and Britain -- and simply literary concerns generally, regardless of origin. One today relies so Well, this is the great Ralph Waldo Emerson. When one speaks of Emerson as regards words and thought, there comes the muse that herein lies the 'sentence.' Few if any realize that Emerson had attained what in some circles is coined "Cosmic Consciousness." His writings were among the most principled, spanning the periods of the 18th and 19th Centuries among the men and women of Letters of America and Britain -- and simply literary concerns generally, regardless of origin. One today relies so heavily upon colloquialism and slang but should one get-on to the like of an Emerson, one finds that eloquence of word and thought far exceeds anything that can be got-up by popular thought and speech. Emerson's was classic. ...more
5

Jan 15, 2015

Amongst all his poetry the following is one of my favorites.

The Snow-Storm


Announced by all the trumpets of the sky,
Arrives the snow, and, driving o'er the fields,
Seems nowhere to alight: the whited air
Hides hills and woods, the river, and the heaven,
And veils the farm-house at the garden's end.
The sled and traveller stopped, the courier's feet
Delayed, all friends shut out, the housemates sit
Around the radiant fireplace, enclosed
In a tumultuous privacy of storm.

Come see the north wind's masonry.
Amongst all his poetry the following is one of my favorites.

The Snow-Storm


Announced by all the trumpets of the sky,
Arrives the snow, and, driving o'er the fields,
Seems nowhere to alight: the whited air
Hides hills and woods, the river, and the heaven,
And veils the farm-house at the garden's end.
The sled and traveller stopped, the courier's feet
Delayed, all friends shut out, the housemates sit
Around the radiant fireplace, enclosed
In a tumultuous privacy of storm.

Come see the north wind's masonry.
Out of an unseen quarry evermore
Furnished with tile, the fierce artificer
Curves his white bastions with projected roof
Round every windward stake, or tree, or door.
Speeding, the myriad-handed, his wild work
So fanciful, so savage, nought cares he
For number or proportion. Mockingly,
On coop or kennel he hangs Parian wreaths;
A swan-like form invests the hidden thorn;
Fills up the farmer's lane from wall to wall,
Maugre the farmer's sighs; and, at the gate,
A tapering turret overtops the work.
And when his hours are numbered, and the world
Is all his own, retiring, as he were not,
Leaves, when the sun appears, astonished Art
To mimic in slow structures, stone by stone,
Built in an age, the mad wind's night-work,
The frolic architecture of the snow. ...more

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