Self-Reliance


Theodora Goss has some nice words to say reflecting on Emerson’s “Self-Reliance.”

Theodora Goss

Yeah, I know. Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote an essay called “Self-Reliance,” and I’m not exactly going to top that, am I? Anyway, I’m not trying to rise to his level eloquence. This for example:

“A man should learn to detect and watch that gleam of light which flashes across his mind from within, more than the lustre of the firmament of bards and sages. Yet he dismisses without notice his thought, because it is his. In every work of genius we recognize our own rejected thoughts: they come back to us with a certain alienated majesty. Great works of art have no more affecting lesson for us than this. They teach us to abide by our spontaneous impression with good-humored inflexibility then most when the whole cry of voices is on the other side. Else, to-morrow a stranger will say with masterly good sense precisely what we have thought and…

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