Emerson and Self-Culture

An extended meditation on Emerson’s project of living one’s life in a manner that approaches eloquence, testifying to all that one holds dear. Combining historical scholarship, philosophical argument, and personal reflection, Emerson & Self-Culture follows Emerson into an exploration of several essential dimensions of human life including friendship, reform, inspiration, finitude and the divine.

“It should be apparent . . . that this book is written in a profoundly Emersonian spirit, which means it is written in a spirit that refuses to back down from Emerson's provocations . . . . [and] as a provocation to think along with him, it must be judged a success.” Corey McCall

“. . . inspired and inspiring, insightful and insight-provoking. . . . a remarkable and thought-provoking book . . . . What sets the work apart from its predecessors is its directly engaging touch: defying institutional conventions and constitutional preoccupations, Lysaker writes about and deals with Emerson in a personally involving manner. … The book is written in an eloquent and erudite style . . . . I am not sure whether Emersonian self-culture could be much more inspiringly advanced. Heikki A. Kovalainen

“. . complex, yet accessible to non-specialists. In the final analysis, Lysaker himself achieves in Emerson and Self-Culture and 'eloquence that can agitate.' Not only does he outline a series of nuanced approaches to self-culture in Emerson; like Emerson, he rhetorically provokes us towards greater possibilities for ourselves and our relations.” Michael Jonik