Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
XenocitizensIlliberal Ontologies in Nineteenth-Century America$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Jason Berger

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9780823287758

Published to Fordham Scholarship Online: January 2021

DOI: 10.5422/fordham/9780823287758.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM FORDHAM SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.fordham.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Fordham University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in FSO for personal use.date: 18 September 2021

Emerson’s Operative Mood

Emerson’s Operative Mood

Chapter:
(p.33) Chapter 1 Emerson’s Operative Mood
Source:
Xenocitizens
Author(s):

Jason Berger

Publisher:
Fordham University Press
DOI:10.5422/fordham/9780823287758.003.0002

This chapter reexamines Ralph Waldo Emerson’s early thinking about the relation of the individual to universal Reason, revealing that Emerson’s writing is philosophically consistent in its insistence that the human self is “operative” in form and function. Shifting our conceptual perspective from a traditional Matthiessenian notion of an “optative mood” to something of a Badiouian “operative mood” opens up new ways to consider how, across the early works, the Emersonian self is shaped by interactions with an impersonal Other as well as the ways these interactions influence the self’s relation to historical landscapes. Intervening in scholarship on Emersonian personhood by scholars such as Sharon Cameron, Branka Arsić, and Donald Pease, this chapter offers an original version of Emerson’s political vision, one that finds in his theory of “religious sentiment” a model for the self that may reframe all of Emerson’s corpus.

Keywords:   Ralph Waldo Emerson, impersonal, nineteenth-century American literature, religion, transcendentalism

Fordham Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs , and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us .