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The Hidden GodPragmatism and Posthumanism in American Thought$
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Ryan White

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780231171007

Published to Columbia Scholarship Online: January 2016

DOI: 10.7312/columbia/9780231171007.001.0001

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Neither Here nor There

Neither Here nor There

Grief and Absence in Emerson’s “Experience”

(p.117) 4 Neither Here nor There
The Hidden God

Ryan White

Columbia University Press

This chapter examines the themes of grief and absence in Emerson’s well-known essay “Experience.” The essay is interpreted not as “representing grief” (as in Sharon Cameron’s famous reading) but instead as concerned with the very impossibility of representation. Much as in the self-referential approach applied by Edwards to ethics and Peirce to reality, Emerson finds that the memory of his lost child, and with this the child himself, is approachable only as unapproachable.

Keywords:   Ralph Waldo Emerson, Mourning, Mary Rowlandson, Charles Sanders Peirce, Jacques Derrida, Calvinism

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