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PR – Emerson: The Ideal in America

Emerson:  The
Ideal in

America

written and directed by David A. Beardsley
Video Biography of Ralph Waldo Emerson


Jim Manley, Director

Ralph
Waldo Emerson Institute

680 Lexington Avenue
New York,
NY
10022

E-mail:
jm@rwe.org; Tel: 212-354-2277


 

In the mid 19th century, the small town of
Concord,

Massachusetts
,
was home to a remarkable group of authors, including Nathaniel Hawthorne, Henry
David Thoreau, and Bronson Alcott, father of Louisa May. One of their most
prominent neighbors was Ralph Waldo Emerson, essayist, poet, and orator, whose
ideas became an essential part of the American identity.


 

On Thursday, February 1, at
6:00 PM, the Ralph Waldo Emerson Institute will present the world premiere of a
one-hour video biography entitled “Emerson: The Ideal in

America
.”
Bringing Emerson to life in his own words, the film also features interviews
with leading Emerson scholars, including Robert Richardson Jr, author of Emerson: The Mind on Fire; Richard
Geldard, author of God In Concord and
The Spiritual Teachings of Ralph Waldo
Emerson
; Barbara Solowey, teacher and lecturer; Sarah Wider, Professor of
English at Colgate University and President of the Emerson Society; and Richard
Grossman, author of A Year With Emerson
and the forthcoming The Tao of Emerson.
Following the screening, there will be a panel discussion and a
question-and-answer period. Admission is free. The event will take place at
All
Souls
Unitarian
Church,

1157 Lexington Avenue

(at

80th Street
),

New York City
.
For information on the film, contact the Ralph Waldo Emerson Institute
(212-354-2277). For travel directions, contact All Souls (212-535-5530).


 

A tireless lecturer and
writer, Emerson traveled widely, spreading the gospel of individual promise and
faith in the future. It was he who famously said, “Nothing is at last sacred
but the integrity of our own mind.” Back home in

Concord
, Emerson was true to his own aphorism
that “the only way to have a friend is to be one.” Over the years, he was
intellectually, spiritually, and financially supportive of his illustrious, yet
often impoverished, neighbors. For example, it was on Emerson’s land that
Thoreau lived in a tiny cabin for two years and two months, a sojourn that
inspired him to write Walden.


 

Emerson believed that we are
all part of a universal spirit, an “over-soul, within which every man’s
particular being is contained and made one with all other.” He also believed in
the sanctity of every person and everything in nature—a sanctity that he found
lacking in formal religion, as demonstrated by the fact that he was a Unitarian
minister who renounced the pulpit after serving only three years.


 

Those who knew Emerson
remarked on his tremendous personal appeal. Henry James Sr tried to solve “the
mystery of his immense fascination,” while Walt Whitman experienced “a flood of
light” about him, and

Hawthorne

said that he “wore a sunbeam in his face.” But Emerson was not a mystic. He was
a clear-eyed observer of the human condition who concluded that we must not
“bark against the bad, but chant the beauty of the good.” This enduring
idealism is Emerson’s message to us today.


 

The
Ralph Waldo Emerson Institute is a not-for-profit organization whose mission is
to promote a greater understanding of, and appreciation for, the life and work
of Ralph Waldo Emerson,

America
’s
founding thinker. The Institute does this through its website, newsletter, and
public programs. The Institute’s affiliations with The Ralph Waldo Emerson
Society and the Ralph Waldo Emerson Memorial Association help to further this
mission.


 

Written by Paula Trushin, member of the

Emerson Reading Circle

(

All
Souls
Church
,
NYC)

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The Ideal in the West


From the director/author of Emerson: The Ideal In America

"Ide­al­ismthe old­est continuously-operating philo­soph­i­cal sys­tem in the West. 

Kindle Edition Is also available!

Emerson: The Ideal in America-Educator's Edition


Documentary on Life and Inspiration of
Ralph Waldo Emerson

Ralph Waldo Emerson's house in Concord, MA

Educator's Edition, includes full interviews,
54 minute doc + 49 minutes of bonus material.

Emerson: The Ideal in America--Educator's Edition


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