Double writing: Ralph Waldo Emerson's theoretical poetics
Pickford, Benjamin (2014) Double writing: Ralph Waldo Emerson's theoretical poetics. PhD thesis, University of Nottingham.
This thesis considers Ralph Waldo Emerson’s compositional process of ‘double writing’ as a distinctly theorised and intellectually coherent practice that generated discrete bodies of text: his private journals and notebooks; and the public essays, lectures, and poems. Throughout Emerson scholarship, critics tend to quote the two bodies without differentiation, often either neglecting the issue of their coexistence or asserting the priority of one form over the other. I contend instead that principles of self-reading, accretive reinscription, and a perpetuated relation to his own text condition Emerson’s ideas of poetic agency and the role of literature in broader socio-cultural contexts, to the extent that they become the preeminent factor in shaping his philosophical and literary aspirations.
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