Discipline: Cultural Studies
Ralph Waldo Emerson was, above all else, a public lecturer, and his public lectures have been accurately described by Cleanth Brooks, Robert Penn Warren, and R. W. B. Lewis as "scatter-shot." Emerson, of course, was the author of those often quoted, or misquoted, words: "A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds." Since this essay was originally a public lecture about Emerson, and since the highest form of adulation is imitation, expect me to be scatter-shot and inconsistent. After all, I do not think that my readers have little minds.