Robert Sattelmeyer

in The Oxford Handbook of Transcendentalism

Published in print April 2010 | ISBN: 9780195331035
Published online September 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks


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From the beginnings of Transcendentalism, journals were an important form of both private and public discourse. As this article states, even though the most interesting writing produced during that period was found in the journals of the major literary figures of Transcendentalism, they were difficult to define because their forms and functions were so varied. Most of the major figures associated with Transcendentalism kept journals for at least some period of their lives. An additional advantage journal writing had was that its very looseness, informality, and irregular nature gave it certain intrinsic advantages over more polished forms of expression. Despite Transcendentalist journals' diametrically opposed editorial policies, the net effect of the appearance of carefully edited editions of Emerson's and Thoreau's journals has been to heighten awareness among scholars of their importance and to bring these texts fully into scholarly discourse about Transcendentalism.

Keywords: journal; edition; literary figure; editorial policy

Article.  9479 words. 

Subjects: Literature ; Literary Studies (Fiction, Novelists, and Prose Writers)

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