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To finish the moment, to find the journey’s end in every step of the road, to live the greatest number of good hours, is wisdom. to say that the shortness of life considered, it is not worth caring whether for so short a duration we were sprawling in want or sitting high.Since our office is with moments, let us husband them.
In writing Nature, Emerson drew upon material from his journals, sermons, and lectures.
The lengthy essay was first published in Boston by James Munroe and Company in September of 1836. It was included in 1876 in the first volume (Miscellanies) of the Little Classic Edition of Emerson's writings, in 1883 in the first volume (Nature, Addresses, and Lectures) of the Riverside Edition, in 1903 in the first volume (Nature, Addresses, and Lectures) of the Centenary Edition, and in 1971 in the first volume (Nature, Addresses, and Lectures) of the Collected Works published by the Belknap Press of Harvard University Press.
“The Emerson who speaks to us through these essays understood America as few have done before or since.
By nature a dualistic thinker, he fully realized the polarities of American experience—between action and reflection, self-reliance and community, unity and diversity, idealism and materialism, past and future….
LIBRARY OF AMERICA is an independent nonprofit cultural organization founded in 1979 to preserve our nation’s literary heritage by publishing, and keeping permanently in print, America’s best and most significant writing.
The Library of America series includes more than 300 volumes to date, authoritative editions that average 1,000 pages in length, feature cloth covers, sewn bindings, and ribbon markers, and are printed on premium acid-free paper that will last for centuries.
Emerson’s doctrine of self-sufficiency and self-reliance arose naturally from his view that the individual need only look inward for the spiritual guidance that was previously the province of the established churches.
As he returned from Europe in 1833, Emerson had already begun to think about the book that would eventually be published under the title Nature.
A new edition (also published by Munroe, with Emerson paying the printing costs, his usual arrangement with Munroe) appeared in December of 1849. Nature has been printed in numerous collections of Emerson's writings since its first publication, among them the 1940 Modern Library The Complete Essays and Other Writings of Ralph Waldo Emerson (edited by Brooks Atkinson), the 1965 Signet Classic Selected Writings of Ralph Waldo Emerson (edited by William H.
This second edition was printed from the plates of the collection Nature; Addresses, and Lectures, published by Munroe in September 1849. Gilman), and the 1983 Library of America Essays & Lectures (selected and annotated by Joel Porte).