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Life is denied by lack of attention, whether it be to cleaning windows or trying to write a masterpiece.

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Sep 16, 2019

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About Ralph Waldo Emerson

Ralph Waldo Emerson

Ralph Waldo Emerson

Ralph Waldo Emerson (May 25, 1803 - April 27, 1882) was an American essayist, poet, and leader of the Transcendentalist movement in the early 19th century.

Emerson gradually drifted from the religious and social doctrines of his peers, formulating and expressing the philosophy of Transcendentalism in his 1836 essay, Nature . As a result of this ground breaking work he gave a speech entitled The American Scholar in 1837, which is considered to be America's "Intellectual Declaration of Independence." He once said "Make the most of yourself, for that is all there is of you."

Considered one of the great orators of the time, Emerson's enthusiasm and respect for his audience enraptured crowds. His support for abolitionism late in life created controversy, and he was subject to abuse from crowds while speaking on the topic. When asked to sum up his work, he said his central doctrine was "the infinitude of the private man."

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