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" I shun father and mother and wife and brother, when my genius calls me. I would write on the lintels of the door-post, Whim. I hope it is somewhat better than whim at last, but we cannot spend the day in explanation. "
Select Writings of Ralph Waldo Emerson - Page 116
by Ralph Waldo Emerson - 1888 - 351 pages
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Cities of Words: Pedagogical Letters on a Register of the Moral Life

Stanley Cavell - 2005 - 458 pages
...others, the most ordinary perhaps affording, as in Emerson's case, a certain melancholy. MORAL PARADOXES I shun father and mother and wife and brother when...last, but we cannot spend the day in explanation. Do not tell me, as a good man did today, of my obligation to put all poor men in good situations. Are...
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Cavell on Film

Stanley Cavell - 2005 - 399 pages
...himself as a writer the following sentences from one of his early, most famous essays, "Self-Reliance": I shun father and mother and wife and brother when...last, but we cannot spend the day in explanation. Two remarks about this. First, shunning father and mother and wife and brother is, according to the...
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Emerson, Romanticism, and Intuitive Reason: The Transatlantic "light of All ...

Patrick J. Keane - 2005 - 555 pages
...some verses . . . which were original" (E&L 259). One of its most nonchalantly daring passages begins, "I shun father and mother and wife and brother, when...would write on the lintels of the door-post, Whim" (E&L 262). Here, in the very act of audaciously asserting his independence and "genius," Emerson is...
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Secular Revelations: The Constitution of the United States and Classic ...

Mitchell Meltzer - 2005 - 192 pages
...enjoins upon himself the commandment to whim, he pauses to question the very basis of his own idea: "I hope it is somewhat better than whim at last, but we cannot spend the day in explanation."2" And more dramatically still, having sounded the tocsin for self-reliance repeatedly...
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The Production of Reality: Essays and Readings on Social Interaction

Jodi O'Brien - 2006 - 550 pages
...last reference to Emerson evokes another aspect of genius— single-minded dedication to one's work: "I shun father and mother and wife and brother, when my genius calls me." Once again the image which Emerson evokes refers to a high level of self-esteem, in this case, the...
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Considering the Radiance: Essays on the Poetry of A.R. Ammons

David Burak, Roger Gilbert, Ingrid Arnesen - 2005 - 365 pages
...seem trivial, even annoying. Emerson goes still further in his great essay "Self-Reliance," declaring, "I shun father and mother and wife and brother when my genius calls me." At its most extreme, the logic of the Emersonian self demands a solitude so absolute it leaves no room...
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Philip Roth's Rude Truth: The Art of Immaturity

Ross Posnock, Associate Professor of English Ross Posnock - 2006 - 301 pages
...tea? I say, let the world go to hell as long as I can always have my tea" (86). When Emerson writes, "I would write on the lintels of the door-post, Whim....last, but we cannot spend the day in explanation," his bluntness enacts what he praises — the impatient, fierce, unrepentant judgments of nonchalant...
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Liberty: God's Gift to Humanity

Chana B. Cox - 2006 - 285 pages
...the church, and to assume the position of priest at the family altar?" In contrast, Emerson writes, "I shun father and mother and wife and brother, when...would write on the lintels of the door-post, Whim" and "Do not tell me, as a good man did to-day, of my obligation to put all poor men in good situations....
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Stanley Cavell's American Dream: Shakespeare, Philosophy, and Hollywood Movies

Lawrence F. Rhu - 2006 - 248 pages
...merely a whim does not deter him from following it out and seeing where it will take him. He hopes "it is somewhat better than whim at last, but we cannot spend the day in explanation." Taking his cue from Emerson's active shunning of family ties, Cavell links this turning away with another...
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Beautiful Enemies: Friendship and Postwar American Poetry

Andrew Epstein - 2006 - 376 pages
...authentically in loosing the grip of our personal attachments" (36). As Emerson explains in "Self-Reliance," "I shun father and mother and wife and brother, when my genius calls me" (EL, 262). But -what a terrible, -wrenching burden such a vision entails. As George Kateb observes:...
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