Ralph Waldo Emerson has always fascinated students of criticism and of American literature and thought. Emerson's Literary Criticism supplies the continuing need for an anthology. This collection brings together Emerson's literary criticism from a wide variety of sources. Eric W. Carlson has culled both the major statements of Emerson's critical principles and many secondary observations that illuminate them. Here are more than sixty selections on thirty-five critical topics. Headnotes provide valuable background. Carlson relates Emerson's critical principles to his philosophy, social thought, and literary milieu, and also to biographical details. Intended for the student as well as the researcher, this book amply illustrates Alfred Kazin's contention that Ralph Waldo Emerson was ""one of the shrewdest critics who ever lived.""
Eric W. Carlson is professor emeritus of English at the University of Connecticut and editor of three Edgar Allan Poe anthologies as well as coeditor, with J. Lasley Dameron, of Emerson's Relevance Today: A Symposium.