05 January 2013


From George Wahr's doctoral thesis, Emerson and Goethe (1915):

To the student of Emerson there lies no little interest in the study of his relation to those men and minds whose works deeply impressed him and from whom his own thought derived considerable comfort and substantiation. These men were in a sense spiritual companions to him throughout his life, and in our study of his regard for their genius we gain clearer understanding, not so much of this or that particular man, but far more of Emerson himself. Indeed, Emerson as a critic is oftentimes the best critic of Emerson. Thus in his divers comment on Goethe we find at once sympathetic insight and admiration interspersed with unhappy misunderstanding, censure, and condemnation, and though we do not always meet the real Goethe, we are always confronted with the real Emerson.

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