Man hopes. Genius creates. 

RWEmerson2 1The one thing in the world of value is the active soul,—the soul, free, sovereign, active. This every man is entitled to; this every man contains within him, although in almost all men obstructed, and as yet unborn. The soul active sees absolute truth and utters truth, or creates. In this action it is genius; not the privilege of here and there a favorite, but the sound estate of every man. In its essence it is progressive. The book, the college, the school of art, the institution of any kind, stop with some past utterance of genius. This is good, say they,—let us hold by this. They pin me down They look backward and not forward. But genius always looks forward. The eyes of man are set in his forehead, not in his hindhead. Man hopes. Genius creates. 

 

Ralph Waldo Emerson

The American Scholar

Comments 2

 
Rosy Cole on Tuesday, 18 February 2020 16:46

Have to admit that I'm glad RWE gave his successors permission not to be 'pinned down' by his often opaque and undisciplined prose :-) In those days, writers seldom considered the reader experience the way authors and editors are obliged to do now, but some did have a natural gift of compelling fluency. However, I'm tempted to think he just might agree with this in some measure :-)

https://www.gr8word.com/index.php/entry/the-soul-of-genius-1

Have to admit that I'm glad RWE gave his successors permission not to be 'pinned down' by his often opaque and undisciplined prose :-) In those days, writers seldom considered the reader experience the way authors and editors are obliged to do now, but some did have a natural gift of compelling fluency. However, I'm tempted to think he just might agree with this in some measure :-) https://www.gr8word.com/index.php/entry/the-soul-of-genius-1
Stephen Evans on Tuesday, 18 February 2020 23:09

I was without a book at lunch, and keep a copy of collected Emerson in my car for just such occasions. I read this and it just struck me. Whatever I read of Emerson, which ever book or lecture I open, I find something that speaks to me. Just like Shelley.

I do think Emerson would appreciate your post; for him, Genius was not something to work at or with, but something given from outside. He was much taken with genius, though I doubt he considered himself one. -

I was without a book at lunch, and keep a copy of collected Emerson in my car for just such occasions. I read this and it just struck me. Whatever I read of Emerson, which ever book or lecture I open, I find something that speaks to me. Just like Shelley. I do think Emerson would appreciate your post; for him, Genius was not something to work at or with, but something given from outside. He was much taken with genius, though I doubt he considered himself one. -
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