9 Matching Annotations
  1. Feb 2024
    1. Surprisingly, the American author who is quoted most in the OED isnot Mark Twain or Emily Dickinson or Edgar Allan Poe, but rather EdwardH. Knight, a patent lawyer and expert in mechanics who wrote the AmericanMechanical Dictionary and The Practical Dictionary of Mechanics. Knight isthe seventy-fourth-most cited author in the Dictionary, quoted morefrequently than Percy Bysshe Shelley, George Eliot or Ralph Waldo Emerson(who comes in at 116, the next-most quoted American).
  2. Apr 2023
    1. Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote, “Great genial power, one would almost say, consists in not being original at all; in being altogether receptive; in letting the world do all, and suffering the spirit of the hour to pass unobstructed through the mind.”

      original source?

  3. Nov 2022
    1. Emerson is, “I cannot remember the books I’ve read any more than the meals I have eaten; even so, they have made me.”


    2. “There is then creative reading as well as creative writing,” Emerson said. “The discerning will read…only the authentic utterances of the oracle—all the rest he rejects.”
    3. Emerson liked to identify four classes of readers: the hourglass, the sponge, the jelly-bag, and the Golconda. The hourglass takes nothing in. The sponge holds on to nothing but a little dirt and sediment. The jelly-bag doesn’t recognize good stuff, but holds on to worthless stuff. And the Golconda (a rich mine) keeps only the pure gems.

      Where is the origin of this reading analogy?

  4. Jul 2021
    1. Emerson’s creative process is so fascinating, Richardson wrote a wonderful slim volume about it, called First We Read, Then We Write.

      This might be fruitful to read.

    2. He even kept “indexes to indexes,” as Robert D. Richardson describes in his wonderful biography, Emerson: The Mind on Fire: Indexing was a crucial method for Emerson because it allowed him to write first and organize later and because it gave him easy access to the enormous mass of specific materials in his ever-increasing pile of notebooks… Emerson spent a good deal of time methodically copying and recopying journal material, indexing, alphabetizing indexes, and eventually making indexes of indexes. When he came to write a lecture, he would work through his indexes, making a list of possible passages. He then assembled, ordered, and reordered these into the talk or lecture.
    3. Ralph Waldo Emerson, the man who encouraged his friend Thoreau to start a journal and the man who had the most success with the journal > lecture > essay > book method, kept elaborate notebooks just for indexing his other notebooks.
  5. Oct 2020
    1. Its roots, though, don’t just lie in explicitly Christian tradition. In fact, it’s possible to trace the origins of the American prosperity gospel to the tradition of New Thought, a nineteenth-century spiritual movement popular with decidedly unorthodox thinkers like Ralph Waldo Emerson and William James. Practitioners of New Thought, not all of whom identified as Christian, generally held the divinity of the individual human being and the priority of mind over matter. In other words, if you could correctly channel your mental energy, you could harness its material results. New Thought, also known as the “mind cure,” took many forms: from interest in the occult to splinter-Christian denominations like Christian Science to the development of the “talking cure” at the root of psychotherapy. The upshot of New Thought, though, was the quintessentially American idea that the individual was responsible for his or her own happiness, health, and situation in life, and that applying mental energy in the appropriate direction was sufficient to cure any ills.