Collects Emerson's essays and poetry on such topics as idealism, nature, and beauty.
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If you're looking for a corpus of mysticism by an American author, this is the book to begin with. Even the prose style of Emerson's essays is intoxicating. At the time I read the first 300 or so pages of this book, I played in a hard rock band that rehearsed in the country. It was mostly because of what I read that I began to believe that my musical inspiration came not from within myself but from a nameless 'muse' outside of myself. What Emerson calls 'Nature' becomes not material but spiritual (he might as well call it the 'Supernatural'). I experienced all this in my life, which was really pretty adventurous at the time. Emerson's writing is that contagious! It's beautiful and profound - an incredible contribution to the Romanticism that began in Continental Europe and slowly crept westward to the United States. As for this edition, a reader couldn't ask for much more: it's a huge fat tome including almost all of Emerson's published works. I recommend it to anyone who wants a comprehensive exploration of this important American writer.