Kurt Andersen, bestselling novelist and fan of Ralph Waldo Emerson, provides the audio to this updated version of Self-Reliance, Emerson’s most famous work. Andersen’s books include Heyday, Turn of the Century, Reset and The Real Thing. He has written and produced prime-time network television programs and pilots for NBC, ABC and HBO, and co-authored Loose Lips, an off-Broadway theatrical revue that had long runs in New York and Los Angeles. He was also a co-founder of Inside.com, editorial director of Colors magazine, and editor-in-chief of both New York and Spy magazines, the latter of which he co-founded. He is currently the host of the Peabody Award-winning public radio program "Studio 360 with Kurt Andersen," public radio’s smart and surprising guide to what's happening in pop culture and the arts. Additional narration is provided by Audie Award winner Joyce Bean. Joyce has four Audie Finalist medallions to her credit. She has also won multiple Earphone Awards as well as a Publishers Weekly Listen Up Award. Joyce has worked as a television news producer, writer, actor, and audiobook director as well as voice talent. She lives in West Michigan.
Redefining the classic essay, this modern edition of Ralph Waldo Emerson’s most famous work, Self-Reliance, includes self-reflections from both historical and contemporary luminaries. With quotes from the likes of Henry Ford and Helen Keller to modern-day thought leaders like Jesse Dylan, Steve Pressfield, and Milton Glaser, we're reminded of the relevance of Emerson’s powerful words today. Emerson’s words are timeless. Persuasive and convincing, he challenges readers to define their own sense of accomplishment and asks them to measure themselves against their own standards, not those of society. This famous orator has utter faith in individualism and doesn’t invoke beyond what is humanly possible, he just believes deeply that each of us is capable of greatness. He asks us to define that greatness for ourselves and to be true to ourselves. At times harsh, at times comforting, Emerson’s words guide the reader to challenge their own beliefs and sense of self. This modern edition of Self-Reliance is ideal for graduates or those who are in the midst of a career or lifestyle change. Emerson's sage guidance wrapped in modern-day reflections is a great reminder about the potential within us all and that life is what you make of it.
A Q&A with Ralph Waldo Emerson
For nearly 200 years, Ralph Waldo Emerson's Self-Reliance
has been the preeminent book on independence, non-conformity, and trusting oneself. At The Domino Project, we believe that Emerson's words are just as relevant today as they were in 1841. Read on: The Domino Project:
There has been much talk of the failing education system in America, and even new groundbreaking movies such as Waiting for Superman
and Race to Nowhere
documenting these failings. Do you have any suggestions on how we fix this broken system?
Ralph Waldo Emerson, in Self-Reliance: The intellect is vagabond, and our system of education fosters restlessness. Our minds travel when our bodies are forced to stay at home. We imitate; and what is imitation but the travelling of the mind?
Question: Society's quick pace makes it hard to focus and concentrate. What can one to do achieve serenity today?
Emerson: Nothing can bring you peace but yourself. Nothing can bring you peace but the triumph of principles.
Question: Many in society are afraid of of being themselves and speaking authentically. Why do you think that is?
Emerson: Man is timid and apologetic; he is no longer upright; he dares not say ‘I think,’ ‘I am,’ but quotes some saint or sage. He is ashamed before the blade of grass or the blowing rose. These roses under my window make no reference to former roses or to better ones; they are for what they are; they exist with God today. There is no time to them. There is simply the rose; it is perfect in every moment of its existence.
Question: What is the key to happiness with one's work and occupation?
Emerson: A man is relieved and gay when he has put his heart into his work and done his best; but what he has said or done otherwise, shall give him no peace. Do your work, and I shall know you. Do your work, and you shall reinforce yourself. Your genuine action will explain itself, and will explain your other genuine actions. Your conformity explains nothing.
Question: There are so many popular opinions in society today. How should we know whom to listen to?
Emerson: Trust thyself: every heart vibrates to that iron string. It is easy in the world to live after the world’s opinion; it is easy in solitude to live after our own; but the great man is he who in the midst of the crowd keeps with perfect sweetness the independence of solitude.
Question: What advice do you have for creators and artists who don't think they create original work?
Emerson: Insist on yourself; never imitate. Your own gift you can present every moment with the cumulative force of a whole life’s cultivation; but of the adopted talent of another, you have only an extemporaneous, half possession. That which each can do best, none but his Maker can teach him.