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Quote Unquote [2]

How many a man has dated a new era in his life from the reading of a book. [Henry David Thoreau, Walden]

There is then creative reading as well as creative writing. [Ralph Waldo Emerson, The American Scholar]

Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882) and Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862) were two leading architects of an intellectual, philosophical, and literary movement called transcendentalism. The movement might be viewed as a reaction both to rationalism and to dogmatic Christianity. The term itself, transcendentalism, was applied to writers in this movement, centered around the Boston area, as a pejorative to suggest what today we’d call airy-fairy ideas. The movement had a very major influence on American culture—and the transcendentalists, like all leaders in cultural innovation, were readers.

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