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美国文学笔记 The Over - Soul

2010年08月17日  所属:英美文学  来源:上外  作者:英语学院

美国文学笔记材料 The Over - Soul。

"The Over - Soul"

The supreme critic on the errors of the past and present, and the only prophet of that which must be, is that great nature in which we rest, as the earth lies in the soft arms of the atmosphere; that Unity, that Over-soul, within which every man's particular being is contained and made one with all other; the common heart, of which all sincere conversation is the worship, to which all right action is submission; that overpowering reality which confutes our tricks and talents, and constrains every one to pass for what he is, and to speak from his character, and not from his tongue, and which evermore tends to pass into our thought and hand, and become wisdom and virtue, and power and beauty.

We live in succession, in division, in parts, in particles. Meantime within man is the soul of the whole; the wise silence; the universal beauty, to which every part and particle is equally related - the eternal One. And this deep power in which we exist, and whose beatitude is all accessible to us, is not only self-sufficing and perfect in every hour, but the act of seeing and the thing seen, the seer and the spectacle, the subject and the object, are one. We see the world piece by piece, as the sun, the moon, the animal, the tree; but the whole - of which these are the shining parts - is the soul ...

Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803 - 1882) wrote "The Oversoul", from which this passage is excerpted, in 1841. He was a Unitarian minister from 1828 until 1836, when he stopped preaching and began his famous career as a lecturer and essayist. He was a central figure in the Transcendentalist movement, which transformed American literature and Unitarianism as well. [From UUWorld, Vol XVII No 2 March/April 2003].


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