"these admirable radicals..."


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Transcendentalists' Journals
Jones Very and Christopher Cranch
Henry David Thoreau and Margaret Fuller
Nathaniel Hawthorne, George Ripley, Theodore Parker, and William Ellery Channing (1871)
  The first things we have to say respecting what are called new views here in New England, at the present time, is, that they are not new, but the very oldest of thoughts cast into the mould of these new times. The light is always identical in its composition, but it falls on a great variety of objects, and by so falling is first revealed to us. Not in its own form, for it is formless, but in theirs; in like manner, thought only appears in the objects it classifies. What is popularly called Transcendentalism among us, is Idealism; Idealism as it appears in 1842… Our American literature and spiritual history are, we confess, in the optative mood; but whoso knows these seething brains, these admirable radicals, these unsocial worshippers, these talkers who talk the sun and moon away, will believe that this heresy cannot pass away without leaving its mark.

(RWE, The Transcendentalist, A lecture read at the Masonic Temple, Boston, January 1842)


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