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Thursday, November 11, 2010

"Emerson and the Work of Melancholia"

Can I please just say how totally hipocritical Emerson is by completely disregarding literally everything he had been saying about Romanticism for the past, oh, I would say, lifetime? Is it not ridiculous to say that he is sort of a jerk after all of these years? Might that be fine if I were to begin a life of vegetables, solitude, and a fear of sunshine with no probable cause for any of them? Hmmm...That seems oddly familiar. I think Ralph Waldo Emerson might have said the same kind of thing when he moved into a new section of thinking - Transcendentalism. And, why again did he make this switch? Was it for a legitament reason? Um, no? Oh, ok. I see. That makes sense. Let me completely change my mind about life and living it just because I woke up this morning on the left side of the bed with only half the sheets over me. Yes, that seems quite reasonable. So, thank you for listening to my rant about how stupid Mr. Ralph Waldo Emerson is. "Yet Emerson doesn't just preach against mourning. He offers a philosophy of aggressive perpetual motion by which we can throw off circumstances before they have become confining... To begin dwelling in received forms is, for Emerson, to enter the house of mourning." ("Emerson..."). In this excerpt from Mark Edmundson's "On the Works of Ralph Waldo Emerson," Emerson is showing the transition from Romanticism as he loses the friendship of his life-partner and brother. He is the kind of person who does not believe in crying or, apparently, acceptance of loss. I do not think he really got how deep the cut was. mourning is the largest and easiest form of coping, and it seems as if he should have, at the very most extreme of a least, acknowledged both of their deaths. But, he felt it necessary to skip the mourning process because connections to those who will be lost only lead to pain in the future when they are lost. I suppose I understand this now that i am writing about it, but, I also see that if you love someone, such as your wife, you should show it by commemorating their beautiful life and glorious death as best as possible. I think Emerson was being more childish by not admitting death and glorifying their lives as they were because it takes more maturity to face a problem than to try to hide it under your false smiles. If it makes you feel any better, talk to someone about it; but do not simply cover it up with your lack of emotions. Even still, Emerson was fantastic at preaching his Romantic views. Why he gave it up must be a decision that was made hundreds of years ago when this crazy man lived. It must have been a long and thoughtful decision, but I am sure Emerson went through the process to find the correct answer. I do not know if he made the correct decision, but he is, indeed, sticking to his decision.

Works Cited

"Emerson and the Work of Melancholia." Raritan (Spring 1987). Quoted as "Emerson and the Work of Melancholia" in Bloom, Harold, ed. Ralph Waldo Emerson, Updated Edition, Bloom's Modern Critical Views. New York: Chelsea House Publishing, 2006. Bloom's Literary Reference Online. Facts On File, Inc. http://www.fofweb.com/activelink2.asp?ItemID=WE54&SID=5&iPin= MCVRWE007&SingleRecord=True (accessed November 12, 2010).

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