Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Essay: "Uses of Great Men." Ralph Waldo Emerson.

One-minute review: “…great men exist that there may be greater men.” “It is for man to tame the chaos….”


“He is great who is what he is from nature, and who never reminds us of others.”

“Certain men affect us as rich possibilities, but helpless to themselves and to their times….”

“…so each man converts some raw material in nature to human use.”

“Something is wanting to science until it has been humanized.”

“…they seem to fascinate and draw to them some genius who occupies himself with one thing all his life long.”

“Man, made of the dust of the world, does not forget his origin; and all that is yet inanimate will one day speak and reason.”

“Every ship that comes to America got its chart from Columbus. Every novel is a debtor to Homer. Every carpenter who shaves with a foreplane borrows the genius of a forgotten inventor.”

“How to illustrate the distinctive benefit of ideas….”

“Great men…clear our eyes from egotism, and enable us to see other people and their works.”

Great Essays. Ed. Houston Peterson. New York: Washington Square Press, Inc. 1960.

What is an essay? “They are all prefaces. A preface is nothing but a talk with the reader; and they [essays] do nothing else.” Charles Lamb.

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