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In this paper, I focus on the provocative nature of Emerson’s prose. In the face of its fragmentary nature and its apparent inconsistency, the reader of Emerson seems to be left alone with the challenge of coming to a point for herself. But she is not utterly left alone. I examine Emerson’s scattered remarks about his style, I take a clue from F. O. Matthiessen, and then I argue that the problem of Emerson’s prose is the manifestation of a key problem in his philosophy of life: how to integrate the “knowledge of life by indirections” into a unified whole.