Tuesday, May 03, 2005

Carlos Baker's intentions for Emerson Among the Eccentrics:

"To write what will amount to a new biography of Emerson, developed by reference to some of his leading friendships, chiefly but not exclusively literary. These will include Alcott, Edward Thompson Taylor, Jones Very, Margaret Fuller, Thoreau, Hawthorne, Theodore Parker, Walt Whitman, Mary Moody Emerson, Charles Newcomb and Ellery Channing. Through [Emerson's] connections with these, it should be possible to watch the unfolding of his religious, literary, and politcal ideas, his changing views of nature, man and God; to show how his friends reflected, contradicted, partly diverged from, or zealously misrepresented his philosophical and ethical teachings; to use their views to throw light on his, and his to throw light on them in a program of spiritual ecology, complicated by the fact that he both half-created the climate of opinion by which he was nurtured, while partly adapting his opinions to the ideological environment which local and national events thrust upon him."

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