Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Aimless Reading: The E's, Part 8.2 (Ralph Waldo Emerson)

The Early Lectures
Originally uploaded by Michael_Kelleher
Emerson, Ralph Waldo
The Early Lectures

I think I bought this online. I remember it took a very long time to find a reasonably priced copy. I did not throw away the dust jacket. It came without one. Sadly, for all the work I put into to finding and reading it, I remember almost nothing about the early lectures, except that I could find no way to put them to use in my dissertation. This may account for the haggard look on my face in the photo that accompanies this entry.

from Michel Angelo Buonaroti

There are few lives of eminent men that are harmonious: few that furnish in all the facts an image corresponding to their fame. But all things recorded of Michel Angelo Buonaroti agree together. He lived on life: he pursued one career. He accomplished extraordinary works. He uttered extraordinary words and in his greatness was so little eccentricity: so true was he to the laws of the human mind that his character and his works like Isaac Newton's seem rather a part of Nature than arbitrary productions of the human Will. Especially welcome is his life as [one] which belongs to the highest class of genius inasmuch as it contains in it no injurious influence. Every line in his biography might be read to the human race whit wholesome effect. The means, the materials of his activity were coarse enough to be appreciated, being addressed for the most part to the eye, the results sublime, and all innocent. A purity, severe and even terrible, goes out from the lofty productions of his pencil and his chisel and still more from the perfect sculpture of his own life which heals and exalts. "He nothing common did or mean," and dying at the end of near ninety years had not yet become old but was engaged in executing his sublime conceptions in the ineffaceable architecture of St. Peter's.

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