Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Ralph Waldo Emerson (Commonplace Book)

Emerson is one of the few things that makes me feel better when I don't get any work done; perhaps he will do the same for you. Here are the three quotes I think of when I am being unproductive:
"A man must have aunts and cousins, must buy carrots and turnips, must have a barn and woodshed, must go to the market and to the blacksmith's shop, must saunter and sleep and be inferior and silly."

"We must be very suspicious of the deceptions of the element of time. It takes a good deal of time to eat or to sleep, or to earn a hundred dollars, and very little time to entertain a hope and an insight which becomes the light of our life."

"I like my boy, with his endless, sweet soliloquies and iterations, and his utter inability to conceive why I should not leave all my nonsense business and writing, and come to tie up his toy horse, as if there was or could be any end to nature beyond his horse."

13 comments:

Dan said...

I'm really enjoying these Geoff. Between the Commonplace Books and the Anne Carson poem, I'm well and truly getting my fix of 'I'm not at all sure I feel up to trying to piece together what all the words mean, but they surely tickle my brain cells with the way they're put together'.

Sure, it's an unusual thing of which to need a fix. I'll grant you that. Nevertheless, there's something that inexplicably pleases me about the pairing of carrots and turnips. Not to mention the adamance that they must be bought.

Geoff Klock said...

Emerson is God. Nuff said.

saradani said...

Emerson was nuts.

Dan said...

The two aren't mutually exclusive, surely.

Geoff Klock said...

they are not, and don't call me Shirley.

saradani said...

I think he called you surly. Which you are all the time.

Geoff Klock said...

I am never surly. Screw you and the horse you rode in on.

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Geoff Klock said...

It was removed because it was spam.

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Mitch said...

IF you can believe it, I just returned home from a trip in the South with the following items in my backpack simultaneously:

1. The recently released trade of Warren Ellis/Butch Guice's JLA Classified run titled "New Maps of Hell".

2. The "Firefly" DVD collection

3. An Emerson anthology, which contains all of his essays and Poems.

I am almost done with "Self-reliance" and I feel great about everything.

Geoff Klock said...

I had a day like that, when I went shopping and had a bag with the week's comics, a David Lynch movie, a volume of Stevens poetry, a volume of French philosophy and book of photographs called Pornoland. We contain freakin' multitudes.

Emerson is a tricky writer, not at all the peace-love-sheep guy his reputation would suggest. Check out Experience, History, Circles, and Fate, along with Self Reliance, his best work.

The best bit in Emerson is when he seems to be going on and on about nature and then he says "Nature, which is a metaphor of the human mind..." and you stop reading and go "what did he just say? did he say that?" and you figure out he is not talking about trees and he never was.

SCV Member said...
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