Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Emerson's GhostsLiterature, Politics, and the Making of Americanists$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Randall Fuller

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780195313925

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2007

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195313925.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.oxfordscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2019. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 22 October 2019

F. O. Matthiessen and the Tragedy of the American Scholar

F. O. Matthiessen and the Tragedy of the American Scholar

Chapter:
(p.75) 4 F. O. Matthiessen and the Tragedy of the American Scholar
Source:
Emerson's Ghosts
Author(s):

Randall Fuller (Contributor Webpage)

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195313925.003.0004

This chapter describes a curious incident that occurred as F. O. Matthiessen completed the opening section on Emerson for his magisterial American Renaissance: he, too, suffered a nervous breakdown. Even more curious: as he writes in his journal about the causes for his suicidal depression, he uses Emerson's language to express himself. Matthiessen's vocalization of Emerson suggests not only an unsettling identification but also a profound uneasiness with the writer. While Matthiessen may have found in the American Scholar a vocational model that promised to unify culture and so rescue the intellectual from social isolation, he also discovered in Emerson's writing radical contradictions he believed were symptomatic of his own position as public intellectual — and private homosexual — in American society.

Keywords:   nervous breakdown, homosexuality, Popular Front, the Depression, American Renaissance, social isolation

Oxford Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs , and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us .