Home > Emerson R. W., Philosophy > Conversation and mood

Conversation and mood

When I converse with Emerson, as I have been doing for two or so years now, are we talking past one another? I do not deny the charge. And if I wish to suggest, with Emer­son, or with my Emerson, at least, that there is something fundamental about mood that shapes all we do and are, then I must turn a wary eye on my own interactions with Emer­son.

My companion assumes to know my mood and habit of thought, and we go on from explanation to explanation, until all is said which words can, and we leave matters just as they were at first, because of that vicious assumption. (587)

I agree with my friend here, only I am in a mood, just now, in which I do not find the assumption quite so vicious as he. I know that, in a post such as my Fools of Nature, I have, for all my attempted faithfulness to my Emerson’s thought, impressed my own mood upon the subject matter, and so been left instead with my own thought. But this seems to me as it should be. I do not read Emerson out of love of Emerson, and I do not write about Emerson to flatter him.

I take it our friendship can survive this narcissism of mine. But, if not, if I must choose between the two, I shall take the narcissism.

  1. 2014/04/18 at 11:14

    Just starting to perturb here, but glad to discover a site in which the words “Emerson” and “Nietzsche” are so prominent. And very much enjoy and agree with your “Screed” as well. Looking forward to reading more; I have a lot of catching up to do.

    • 2014/04/18 at 11:50

      Thanks Jeff. Emerson and Nietzsche are my luminaries, the two minds whose thoughts I can never pull myself away from. Emerson moreso than Nietzsche, right now, but that hasn’t always been the case.

      I’ve found that a ready remedy for a too great happiness is to do a tag search for “Ralph Waldo Emerson” on wordpress. It always dampens my mood to see a man who taught so emphatically the perils of quotation be reduced to a mere source of quotations—half of which I am fairly confident are not even his. So I’m very happy to have someone with whom I can to talk about Emerson.

      I hope you continue to stop by here, and I, for my part, will do the same at your site.

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