Philosophy of Emerson and Thoreau

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This book attempts to reveal the Eastern roots of the transcendentalist thought of Ralph Waldo Emerson and Henry David Thoreau. Not only modern England, France, Germany, Italy, and Spain, but also ancient Egypt, Persia, India, and China were favorite hunting grounds of knowledge for Emerson. Thoreau recommended the Bhagavad Gita enthusiastically, asserting that the book deserves to be read with reverence even by Yankees. There was probably no one in the West who so ardently loved and recommended Hindu literature as Thoreau. Be this as it may, the Eastern side of both of these men’s thought is widely neglected in studies. This work seeks to mend this blind-spot in the scholarly approaches to Emerson and Thoreau.


“Dr. Shoji Goto such current interpreters as Wai-Chi Dimock in finding that, while Emerson and Thoreau themselves celebrated international commonalities, their American interpreters have too long followed a parochial, nation-centered paradigm. Open textual evidence, whether Emerson’s long interest in Persian prophets or Thoreau’s recording of Confucius, has been overlooked or taken as mere rhetorical flourish. It is time for a ‘sea change.’” – Professor Phyllis Cole, Pennsylvania State University

Table of Contents

Foreward Acknowledgements
1 Emerson and Necessity
2 Unity, Flower, and Void
3 Thoreau and Politics
4 Music and Prayer

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