First We Read Then We Write

“There is then creative reading as well as creative writing,” Emerson says in “The American Scholar.” “First we eat, then we beget; first we read, then we write.” Reading is creative for Emerson; it is also active.

Author: Robert D. Richardson

Publisher: University of Iowa Press

ISBN: 9781609383473

Category: Literary Criticism

Page: 116

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Writing was the central passion of Emerson’s life. While his thoughts on the craft are well developed in “The Poet,” “The American Scholar,” Nature, “Goethe,” and “Persian Poetry,” less well known are the many pages in his private journals devoted to the relationship between writing and reading. Here, for the first time, is the Concord Sage’s energetic, exuberant, and unconventional advice on the idea of writing, focused and distilled by the preeminent Emerson biographer at work today. Emerson advised that “the way to write is to throw your body at the mark when your arrows are spent.” First We Read, Then We Write contains numerous such surprises—from “every word we speak is million-faced” to “talent alone cannot make a writer”—but it is no mere collection of aphorisms and exhortations. Instead, in Robert Richardson’s hands, the biographical and historical context in which Emerson worked becomes clear. Emerson’s advice grew from his personal experience; in practically every moment of his adult life he was either preparing to write, trying to write, or writing. Richardson shows us an Emerson who is no granite bust but instead is a fully fleshed, creative person disarmingly willing to confront his own failures. Emerson urges his readers to try anything—strategies, tricks, makeshifts—speaking not only of the nuts and bolts of writing but also of the grain and sinew of his determination. Whether a writer by trade or a novice, every reader will find something to treasure in this volume. Fearlessly wrestling with “the birthing stage of art,” Emerson’s counsel on being a reader and writer will be read and reread for years to come.

First We Read Then We Write

Whether a writer by trade or a novice, every reader will find something to treasure in this volume.

Author: Robert D. Richardson

Publisher:

ISBN: STANFORD:36105132250726

Category: Literary Criticism

Page: 122

View: 581

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Writing was the central passion of Emerson’s life. While his thoughts on the craft are well developed in “The Poet,” “The American Scholar,” Nature, “Goethe,” and “Persian Poetry,” less well known are the many pages in his private journals devoted to the relationship between writing and reading. Here, for the first time, is the Concord Sage’s energetic, exuberant, and unconventional advice on the idea of writing, focused and distilled by the preeminent Emerson biographer at work today. Emerson advised that “the way to write is to throw your body at the mark when your arrows are spent.” First We Read, Then We Write contains numerous such surprises—from “every word we speak is million-faced” to “talent alone cannot make a writer”—but it is no mere collection of aphorisms and exhortations. Instead, in Robert Richardson’s hands, the biographical and historical context in which Emerson worked becomes clear. Emerson’s advice grew from his personal experience; in practically every moment of his adult life he was either preparing to write, trying to write, or writing. Richardson shows us an Emerson who is no granite bust but instead is a fully fleshed, creative person disarmingly willing to confront his own failures. Emerson urges his readers to try anything—strategies, tricks, makeshifts—speaking not only of the nuts and bolts of writing but also of the grain and sinew of his determination. Whether a writer by trade or a novice, every reader will find something to treasure in this volume. Fearlessly wrestling with “the birthing stage of art,” Emerson’s counsel on being a reader and writer will be read and reread for years to come.

Emerson and Environmental Ethics

Richardson, First We Read, Then We Write: Emerson on the Creative Process (Iowa City: University of Iowa Press, 2009). 11. Ronald A. Bosco and Joel Myerson, eds., Emerson in His Own Time: A Biographical Chronicle of His Life, ...

Author: Susan L. Dunston

Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield

ISBN: 9781498552974

Category: Philosophy

Page: 170

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This book shows the Emersonian arc in environmental ethics and nature writing extending into contemporary discussions of those topics. Dunston connects Emerson’s nature literacy and natural philosophy to contemporary forms of eco-feminism, living systems theory, Native American science, Asian philosophy, and environmental activism.

Writing Life

In his eminently quotable manner, Emerson describes the creative process thus: 'First we eat, then we beget; first we read, then we write'.6 Pictured this simply, the writer reading reflects a silkworm transforming what it consumes into ...

Author: Mhairi Pooler

Publisher: Liverpool University Press

ISBN: 9781781384794

Category: Literary Criticism

Page: 208

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Writers’ lives are endlessly fascinating for the reading public and literary scholars alike. By examining the self-representation of authors across the schism between Victorianism and Modernism via the First World War, this study offers a new way of evaluating biographical context and experience in the individual creative process at a crucial point in world and literary history. Writing Life explores how and why a select group of early twentieth-century writers, including Edmund Gosse, Henry James, Siegfried Sassoon and Dorothy Richardson, adapted the model of the German Romantic Künstlerroman, or artist narrative, for their autobiographical writing. Instead of (mis)reading these autobiographies as historical documentation, Pooler examines how these authors conduct a Romantic-style conversation about literature through literature as a means of reconfirming the role of the artist in the face of shifting values and the cataclysm of the Great War.

The Annotated Emerson

First We Read, Then We Write. Still, I sense a resistance to Emerson on the part of the young, a falling out of fashion. One reason, perhaps, is that he was primarily an essayist (though he did write a dozen first-rate poems), ...

Author: Ralph Waldo Emerson

Publisher: Harvard University Press

ISBN: 9780674049239

Category: Literary Collections

Page: 572

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Presents the letters, essays, and poems of the celebrated American writer and provides running commentaries to help shed light on particular passages and examine the writer's motives and style.

Practices of Surprise in American Literature after Emerson

His guiding mantra – “First we read, then we write” – suggests one answer (EJ, 298). According to Emerson's definition, “creative reading” – the conversion of another's words into an inventive impetus – must spark “creative writing” (EL ...

Author: Kate Stanley

Publisher: Cambridge University Press

ISBN: 9781108554190

Category: Literary Criticism

Page:

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Practices of Surprise in American Literature after Emerson locates a paradoxical question - how does one prepare to be surprised? - at the heart of several major modernist texts. Arguing that this paradox of perception gives rise to an American literary methodology, this book dramatically reframes how practices of reading and writing evolved among modernist authors after Emerson. Whereas Walter Benjamin defines modernity as a 'series of shocks' inflicted from without, Emerson offers a countervailing optic that regards life as a 'series of surprises' unfolding from within. While Benjaminian shock elicits intimidation and defensiveness, Emersonian surprise fosters states of responsiveness and spontaneity whereby unexpected encounters become generative rather than enervating. As a study of how such states of responsiveness were cultivated by a post-Emerson tradition of writers and thinkers, this project displaces longstanding models of modernist perception defined by shock's passive duress, and proposes alternate models of reception that proceed from the active practice of surprise.

American Impersonal Essays with Sharon Cameron

In what follows I will not consider Cameron's earlier article, “Representing Grief: Emerson's 'Experience',” likewise included in ... 121–47, as well as Richardson, First We Read, Then We Write: Emerson on the Creative Process, ...

Author: Branka Arsic

Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing USA

ISBN: 9781623567712

Category: Literary Criticism

Page: 304

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American Impersonal brings together some of the most influential scholars now working in American literature to explore the impact of one of America's leading literary critics: Sharon Cameron. It engages directly with certain arguments that Cameron has articulated throughout her career, most notably her late work on the question of impersonality. In doing so, it provides responses to questions fundamental to literary criticism, such as: the nature of personhood; the logic of subjectivity in depersonalized communities; the question of the human within the problematic of the impersonal; how impersonality relates to the “posthuman.” Additionally, some essays respond to the current “aesthetic turn” in literary scholarship and engage with the lyric, currently much debated, as well as the larger questions of poetics and the logic of genre. These crucial issues are addressed from the perspective of an American literary and philosophical tradition, and progress chronologically, starting from Melville and Emerson and moving via Dickinson, Thoreau and Hawthorne to Henry James and Wallace Stevens. This historical perspective adds the appeal of revisiting the American nineteenth-century literary and philosophical tradition, and even rewriting it.

In Respect to Egotism

“First we eat, then we beget,” Emerson observes; “first we read, then we write.”"' These simple equations (reading is eating and writing is begetting), likening the creative process to the artist's physiological subjectivity, ...

Author: Joel Porte

Publisher: Cambridge University Press

ISBN: 9780521362733

Category: Literary Criticism

Page: 334

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Throughout this important 1991 study of American Romanticism Professor Porte offers provocative reassessments of familiar and less familiar texts. Throughout this important new study of American Romanticism Professor Porte offers provocative reassessments of familiar and less familiar texts.

Critical Reading Across the Curriculum

A reader on reading. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press. Mendelsund, P. (2014). What we see when we read. New York: Random House. Richardson, R. (Ed.) (2009). First we read, then we write: Emerson on the creative process.

Author: Robert DiYanni

Publisher: John Wiley & Sons

ISBN: 9781119154891

Category: Language Arts & Disciplines

Page: 272

View: 907

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Powerful strategies, tools, and techniques for educators teaching students critical reading skills in the humanities. Every educator understands the importance of teaching students how to read critically. Even the best teachers, however, find it challenging to translate their own learned critical reading practices into explicit strategies for their students. Critical Reading Across the Curriculum: Humanities, Volume 1 presents exceptional insight into what educators require to facilitate critical and creative thinking skills. Written by scholar-educators from across the humanities, each of the thirteen essays in this volume describes strategies educators have successfully executed to develop critical reading skills in students studying the humanities. These include ways to help students: focus actively re-read and reflect, to re-think, and re-consider understand the close relationship between reading and writing become cognizant of the critical importance of context in critical reading and of making contextual connections learn to ask the right questions in critical reading and reasoning appreciate reading as dialogue, debate, and engaged conversation In addition, teachers will find an abundance of innovative exercises and activities encouraging students to practice their critical reading skills. These can easily be adapted for and applied across many disciplines and course curricula in the humanities. The lifelong benefits of strong critical reading skills are undeniable. Students with properly developed critical reading skills are confident learners with an enriched understanding of the world around them. They advance academically and are prepared for college success. This book arms educators (librarians, high school teachers, university lecturers, and beyond) with the tools to teach a most paramount lesson.

Pen in Hand

Basic Books, 1976 Francine Prose, Reading Like a Writer, 2006 Robert D. Richardson, First We Read, Then We Write, 2009 James Wood, The Broken Estate, 1999. ______, How Fiction Works, 2008 About the Author Ethard Wendel Van Stee began ...

Author: Ethard Wendel Van Stee

Publisher: iUniverse

ISBN: 9781450242721

Category: Language Arts & Disciplines

Page: 56

View: 958

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"The connection which I have shown in this lecture to exist between the energy of the hearts contraction and the length of the muscle fibers, enables us to understand not only the marvelous power of adaptation of the heart to the varying strains of everyday life, but also the condition of this organ in disease, when from overstrain or morbid alterations in its muscles or valves it fails to carry out its functions with efficiency." What a beautiful sentence. It was delivered by the eminent physiologist Ernest H. Starling near the end of his Linacre Lecture given at Cambridge in 1915. When I was a young man editing manuscripts for technical journals, I was appalled by how poorly so many young scientists wrote. As the excerpt from Starling illustrates, scientific reporting was at one time rendered in well crafted prose. So, what happened? Style in scientific writing, as elsewhere, grew so transparent as to disappear altogether. My personal journey put me on a decades long path from technical to creative writing. Good writing is good writing, wherever it is found. My goal is to help you become a sculptor of words as you pursue the art of fiction. Some of what I have gleaned over the years, as heir to an older tradition, I offer to you in this extended essay.