Transcendentalism?

William James, From Varieties of Religious Experience:

“I accept the universe” is reported to have been a favorite utterance of our New England transcendentalist, Margaret Fuller; and when some one repeated this phrase to Thomas Carlyle, his sardonic comment is said to have been: “Gad! she'd better!”

Author: jd

Joseph Duemer is Professor of Literature Emeritus at Clarkson University in northern New York state. His most recent book of poems is Magical Thinking from Ohio State University Press. Since the mid-1990s he has spent a good deal of time in Vietnam, mostly Hanoi. He lives with his wife Carole & five terriers (four Jack Russells & one Patterdale) on the stony bank of the Raquette River in South Colton.

2 thoughts on “Transcendentalism?”

  1. Yeah, easy breezy! Actually, I’ve spent decades thinking I should have greater appreciation for the Transcendentalists, including Whitman. I give them their due, but I tend to share William James’s skepticism about them as expressed in chapter 4 of The Var. of Rel. Exp.–the chapter that begins the discussion of “the religion of healthy mindedness.”

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