Abstract

This essay reconceptualizes Ralph Waldo Emerson's transnationalism. Emerson took an active interest in China late in his career amidst emerging national fantasies of Sino-American collaboration and took this opportunity to rearticulate an earlier theory of social reform: the notion that one can be non-dialectically jolted into a new idea/opinion/doxa without committing to said idea/opinion/doxa. Emerson's unorthodox thoughts on China and China's own use of its literature can help us adjust the prospect of China's role in ninteenth-century American letters and, more importantly, help us fill in the logical steps between his late reform politics and his lifelong endorsement of Universal intellectual socialism.

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Additional Information

ISSN
2166-7438
Print ISSN
2166-742X
Pages
pp. 285-313
Launched on MUSE
2013-09-30
Open Access
No
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