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Cover Art
Author Mitchell, Charles E., 1962-

Title Individualism and its discontents : appropriations of Emerson, 1880-1950 / Charles E. Mitchell.

Published Amherst : University of Massachusetts Press, [1997]


Location Call No. Status
 UniM Bail  810.9005 EMERSON/ MITC    AVAILABLE
Physical description xii, 220 pages ; 24 cm
Bibliography Includes bibliographical references (pages 195-217) and index.
Contents Introduction: An Individualism of Vaporous Spirituality -- 1. The Aroma of Personality and the Dignity of Clean Living -- 2. The Undersexed Valetudinarian: Emerson and Modern Criticism -- 3. William James and the Varieties of Emerson -- 4. W.E.B. Du Bois and the Implications of Pragmatism -- 5. Inclusiveness without Redundancy: William Carlos Williams in the Emersonian Grain -- Epilogue: Emersonian Refractions.
Summary This book explores the intertwined history of Emerson and individualism. Charles E. Mitchell begins by examining those who regarded Emersonian individualism with ambivalence or hostility, focusing on the comments of such diverse figures as Henry James, Sr., Oliver Wendell Holmes, Van Wyck Brooks, and H. L. Mencken. He then offers an alternative view as reflected in the work of William James, John Dewey, W. E. B. Du Bois, and William Carlos Williams. Each of these figures embraced Emerson's claim for the sanctity of the individual and wove it into a social vision that sought to reconcile the paradox at the heart of American life: a simultaneous devotion to the community and the individual, tradition and innovation, order and freedom.
Subject Emerson, Ralph Waldo, 1803-1882 -- Political and social views.
Emerson, Ralph Waldo, 1803-1882 -- Influence.
American literature -- 20th century -- History and criticism.
American literature -- 19th century -- History and criticism.
Individualism -- United States -- History.
Individualism in literature.
United States -- Civilization -- 1865-1918.
United States -- Civilization -- 1918-1945.
ISBN 1558490736 (alk. paper)