If you enjoy what you read here at Interminable Rambling, think about making a contribution on our Patreon page. While I ultimately see Ralph Waldo Emerson’s and the transcendentalists’ ideas as pretty little bubbles devoid of any substance, I enjoy reading Emerson’s thoughts on nature, beauty, and perception. Being in Norway this year, Emerson’s words keep coming back to me almost everyday as I … Read More Norway and Emerson!
Last year, I wrote about Nathaniel Hawthorne’s “The Minister’s Black Veil” and slavery. This semester, I taught the story again, and this time, I became more intrigued by the correlations between the Hawthorne’s tale and issues of race and abolitionism that circled around the nation during the period. The story originally appeared in the 1832 edition of The Token and Atlantic Souvenir; later, Hawthorne … Read More Race in Hawthorne’s “The Minister’s Black Veil”
When I asked students what they thought of Herman Melville’s Bartleby, the Scrivener, most expressed frustration with Bartleby because they did not know his motivations. Truthfully, we never really know for sure what drives Bartleby to continue to tell his employer, “I would prefer not to.” However, I would argue, as some have done, that we should read Melville’s story, as we do Rebecca … Read More Herman Melville’s Bartleby and Civil Disobedience?
In Bits of Gossip (1904), Rebecca Harding Davis tells about a dinner she had with Emerson, Hawthorne, Alcott, and others. Of the dinner conversation, she writes, “You heard much sound philosophy and many sublime guesses at the eternal verities; in fact, never were the eternal verities so discussed and pawed over and turned inside out as they were about that time, in Boston, by … Read More Rebecca Harding Davis And Emerson’s Transcednentalism