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Emerson and Self-Reliance: Paradoxical Idea, Ambiguous Legacy --- Patrick J. Keane | Numéro Cinq
This year marks the 175th anniversary of the publication of Emerson’s “Self-Reliance.” Until I sat down recently to re-read it in preparation for a talk I’d been invited to give on the subject, I’d somehow managed to forget just how complex and internally qualified that essay is, and how the interpretive problems are as compounded as they are clarified by Emerson’s later revisitings of his central idea.