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RALPH WALDO EMERSON (1803 – 1882):
Emerson´s philosophy has been called contradictory, and it is true that he consciously avoided building a logical intellectual system because such a rational system would have negated his romantic belief in intuition and flexibility. In his essay Self-reliance Emerson remarks: “A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds”. Most of his major ideas – the need for a new national vision, the use of personal experience, the notion of the cosmic Over-Soul, and the doctrine of compensation – are suggested in his publication Nature. Other poem he wrote was called Brahma. This poem, published in the first number of the Atlantic Monthly magazine, confused readers unfamiliar with Brahma, the highest Hindu god, the eternal and infinite soul of the universe. Emerson had this advice for his readers: “Tell them to say Jehovah instead of Brahma”. Fourth chapter – the romantic period (fiction).
Walt Whitman , Nathaniel Hawthorne, Herman Melville, Edgar Allan Poe, Emily Dickinson and the Transcendentalists represent the first great literary generation produced in the United States. In the case of the novelists, the Romantic vision tended to express itself in the form Hawthorne called the “Romance” a heightened, emotional and symbolic form of the novel. Romances were not love stories, but serious novels that used special techniques to communicate complex and subtle meanings. Instead of carefully defining realistic characters through a wealth of detail, as most English or continental novelist did, Hawthorne, Melville, and Poe shaped heroic figures larger than life, burning with mythic significance. The typical protagonists of the American Romance are haunted, alienated individuals. The symbolic plots reveal hidden actions of the anguished spirit. One reason for this fictional exploration into the hidden recesses of the soul is the absence of settled, traditional community life in America. American novelists were faced with a history of strife and revolution a geography of vast wilderness and a fluid and relatively classless democratic society American novels frequently reveal a revolutionary absence of tradition. American novelists had to depend on his or her own devices. America was in part, an undefined, constantly moving frontier populated by immigrants, speaking foreign languages and following strange and crude ways of life. NATHANIEL HAWTHORNE (1804 – 1864):
He was born in Salem, Massachusetts, a wealthy seaport north of Boston that specialized in East India trade. On his ancestors had been a judge in an earlier century, during trials in Salem of women accused of being witches.
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