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A question about <Nature> written by Emersen Options
Rosalind L
Posted: Monday, March 16, 2020 8:54:50 AM

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Joined: 1/3/2020
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Neurons: 38
Here is a sentence from the first passage of Nature:

"Why should we grope among the dry hones of the past, or put the living generation into masquerade out of its faded wardrobe?"

1)What does the hones here mean? I thought it was not the meaning of a stone that is used to sharp the knife...


2)what does the "out of " here mean? Does it mean wearing?

Thanks for the help :)
Drag0nspeaker
Posted: Monday, March 16, 2020 9:18:10 AM

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This is a quote from the "Foreign Quarterly Review" in 1840 by John George Cochrane - which quotes the 1836 article from "Nature".

It looks like your copy contains an automatic reader (OCR - Optical Character Reader) error - it should be "bones".
"The dry bones of the past".

"Out of" means "taken from" - take the clothes out of the wardrobe.

The sentence is a bit faulty, I think.
I think it means "make the living generation copy the past." The part "masquerade out of its (the past's) faded wardrobe" is figurative.

The passage is asking society to turn away from the fixed ideas and works of the past and to look to the future.

The writer goes on to say "The sun shines today also. There is more wool and flax in the fields. There are new lands, new men, new thoughts. Let us demand our own works and laws and worship."
lazarius
Posted: Monday, March 16, 2020 10:47:29 AM

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Drag0nspeaker wrote:
It looks like your copy contains an automatic reader (OCR - Optical Character Reader) error - it should be "bones".

And the name of the author is EmersOn, Ralph Waldo.

https://books.google.com/books?id=MThkAAAAcAAJ&pg=PA7&dq=%22the+dry+bones+of+the+past%22

-
Romany
Posted: Monday, March 16, 2020 2:43:07 PM
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The name of the author of the book "Nature" is Ralph Waldo Emerson indeed.

However, the person who wrote the words that are quoted above is, as Drago explained to Rosalind, John George Cochrane.

These words were not written by Emerson. They were written by J.G. Cochrane and appeared in The Foreign Quarterly review in 1840, as an introduction to Emmerson's book "Nature".

lazarius
Posted: Monday, March 16, 2020 3:36:12 PM

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Location: Kotel’niki, Moskovskaya, Russia
Romany wrote:
These words were not written by Emerson. They were written by J.G. Cochrane and appeared in The Foreign Quarterly review in 1840, as an introduction to Emmerson's book "Nature".

Whoever wrote that piece in The Foreign Quarterly, the phrase in question is given there as a quote from an exquisite volume entitled "Nature," published in Boston in 1836.

The essay was then published anonymously. If the introduction had been written by J.G. Cochrane, Emerson would have credited him in the publication I gave a link to above.

P.S.
I have read Emerson's "Essays - First Series." The style of writing in this introduction and in those essays are as alike as two drops of water from the same spring.

P.S.S.
I've reread that piece in The Foreign Quarterly and it looks like they ascribe it to Mr. Alcott:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amos_Bronson_Alcott

This must be a misunderstanding.

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Drag0nspeaker
Posted: Tuesday, March 17, 2020 6:11:41 PM

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Location: Livingston, Scotland, United Kingdom
lazarius wrote:
And the name of the author is EmersOn, Ralph Waldo.-

Yes - the transcribing of "o" as "e" is also a common OCR error - and the reverse. A tiny bit of dust or a small fault in the original printing can be misread by a machine (whereas a human would probably skip over it easily).

Emerson had some great (and very advanced for his time) ideas.
This quote in the Review does look very like his work - I don't know why the article ascribes it to Alcott, as it is not signed separately so it would be logical to assume Emerson wrote it.

He and Emerson were contemporaries and colleagues, but it's an odd mistake.

Ah well, Cochrane's dead now. We can't ask him.
Rosalind L
Posted: Saturday, April 4, 2020 4:12:07 AM

Rank: Newbie

Joined: 1/3/2020
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Neurons: 38
Drag0nspeaker, Romany and lazarius, Thank you so much!
I'm so grateful for your interpretation, for it puzzled me so long.
It's much clear now.
Thanks!
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