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Fuller--Short Essay on Critics - Archived VCU Websites

In the "Dial" ample space was given to reviews. It allowed the contributors to proclaim their religious and aesthetic principles, reflect on European and American scholarship, express their views of literature and art. European cultural life found reflection in critical pieces about writers and poets of Europe, recently published books, in music reviews written by John Dwight and Margaret Fuller herself (her ). The enlightenment of Americans was to include the best intellectual and spiritual products of France and Germany, Poland and England. The names of European composers and titles of their works appear in every issue: Chopin, Lizst, Paisiello, Bellini, Porpora, Bach, Beethoven, Weber, Haydn, Händel, Mozart, along with the obscure Polish composer Henzelt, author of .

Cole, Phyllis.   44, 1/2 Special Margaret Fuller Issue (1998) pp 1-33 [summary only]

There is nothing wrong with telling a girl how great she looks or how lovely or cute her dress is. Maybe, if more girls heard that, they would have more confidence in themselves. Maybe, the more you hear it, the more you believe it. We’ll be tested our whole life on how smart we are, or if we can keep up with men! Why can’t you talk to a girl about taking care of herself, her beauty, and her brains? Why does it need to be one or the other? The reason why “smart” women want to be beautiful is because someone talked them about the importance of being smart but forgot to instill confidence in them about their looks. Help their confidence at an early age and maybe they won’t have eating disorders. We can teach girls to read and think as well as excersize and take care of themselves!

Margaret Fuller A Short Essay on Critics

Bean, Judith Mattson.   44, 1/2 Special Margaret Fuller Issue (1998) pp 79-123 [summary only, scroll down for Bean]

Fuller's editorial policy was «to let all kinds of people have freedom to say their say, for better, for worse»2. This enabled her contemporaries and many generations of critics to have a multiple picture of the Transcendental mind as it was reflected in the magazine which became a landmark in American intellectual history. In her capacity as editor Margaret played several roles ­ those of a critic, educator, essayist, and reformer, translator and poet. In all these guises, except the last, she made a notable contribution.

Regarding criticism as a kind of literature, Fuller emphasized the idea that creative work was significant in so far as it could «perceive these analogies». Her essay on Goethe represents comprehensive criticism, to borrow her definition, though from the contemporary perspective it seems extremely biased. Fuller's approach to Goethe's creative work was too biographical, and her censure of his life as «a man of the world and man of affairs» was unnecessarily strict. In Fuller's eyes, Goethe fell short of «divining the deepest truths of being»5. In her aesthetic hierarchy: «Artist ­ Master ­ Seeker», Goethe was not granted the highest position. Her critique, in fact, anticipated Emerson's treatment of Goethe in (1850). Such an approach testifies to the fact that Fuller «subjected the aesthetical to the metaphysical»6. This distinguishes her essentially Transcendentalist views of art from those of Edgar Allan Poe.

A Short Essay on Critics - Berfrois

Margaret Fuller: “A Short Essay on Critics” (1840) Document Text

I don’t think it is wrong to tell a girl she is pretty or a boy he is handsome. My dad always told the world how beautiful his daughters were. However he also told me I had common sense and supported me when I went to college. My mom taught me a love for books, and many other things that brought me joy.
Most of all though I was given a foundation of who God was and I believe the most important thing we can do for our children and grandchildren is tell them that they are made in the image and likeness of our creator and that he has created them for a purpose that far outweighs anything they could even imagine on their own. I think everyone including girls need to know the purpose of why they are here. God created us to honor and serve and love Him with all of our hearts and He created us so we could reach our fullest potential whether we are a girl or a boy. I think the reason young girls are becoming so obsessed with appearance is because that is the culture they are growing up in. God has been kicked out of the classroom and out of a lot of the homes … and been replaced with media …that displays girls and women as overly sexualized images of what they are supposed to be.

Last night I had the pleasure of reading a short essay I wrote for a beautiful new collection called to a room full of Southerners – both natural-born and transplanted. I was asked by the book’s editor/author, Wendy Pollitzer, to write about what the South means to me . . . in 500 words or less. She might as well have asked me for a haiku explaining quantum physics. Not known for my brevity, I wasn’t sure I could swing it, but it was a good exercise in whittling down and zeroing in. Reading the little ditty aloud was such a joy, especially when I heard a few sniffles out there… which, of course, got me sniffling. Here ’tis…

1810–1850 Margaret Fuller’s short-lived career as an essayist did ..
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Fuller--Short Essay on Critics Margaret Fuller

She was also an inspiration to poet , who believed in her call for the forging of a new national identity and a truly American literature. was also a strong admirer, but believed that Fuller's unconventional views were unappreciated in the United States and, therefore, she was better off dead. She also said that Fuller's history of the Roman Republic would have been her greatest work: "The work she was preparing upon Italy would probably have been more equal to her faculty than anything previously produced by her pen (her other writings being curiously inferior to the impressions her conversation gave you)". An 1860 essay collection, Historical Pictures Retouched, by Caroline Healey Dall, called Fuller's Woman in the Nineteenth Century "doubtless the most brilliant, complete, and scholarly statement ever made on the subject". Despite his personal issues with Fuller, the typically harsh literary critic wrote of the work as "a book which few women in the country could have written, and no woman in the country would have published, with the exception of Miss Fuller", noting its "independence" and "unmitigated radicalism". Thoreau also thought highly of the book, suggesting that its strength came in part from Fuller's conversational ability. As he called it, it was "rich extempore writing, talking with pen in hand".

"A Short Essay on Critics," Art, Literature and the ..

Within a week after her death, Horace Greeley suggested to Emerson that a biography of Fuller, to be called Margaret and Her Friends, be prepared quickly "before the interest excited by her sad decease has passed away". Many of her writings were soon collected together by her brother Arthur as At Home and Abroad (1856) and Life Without and Life Within (1858). He also edited a new version of Woman in the Nineteenth Century in 1855. In February 1852, The Memoirs of Margaret Fuller Ossoli was published, edited by Emerson, , and , though much of the work was censored or reworded. It particularly left out details about her love affair with Ossoli and an earlier relationship with a man named James Nathan. The three editors, believing the public interest in Fuller would be short-lived and that she would not survive as a historical figure, were not concerned about accuracy. Even so, for a time, it was the best-selling biography of the decade and went through thirteen editions before the end of the century. The book focused on her personality rather than her work and, as a result, detractors of the book ignored her status as a critic and instead criticized her personal life and her "unwomanly" arrogance.

Margaret fuller essays on the great

Equally negative was her reaction to Bronson Alcott's , published in the fourth number of Volume Two, the last one she edited. Alcott's opus is an assortment of entries whose artistic merit is dubious, but whose Transcendental pitch is rather high. Though Fuller was evidently reluctant to publish it, she had to yield to Alcott's remonstrances. In his contribution he discussed at length the theosophical doctrine of Jacob Boehme, criticized the political views of Coleridge, quoted Neoplatonists Jamblichus and Porphyry, reviewed Emerson's essays. Fuller must have had some reservations about the aesthetic value of ; she could not but agree, though, with the main points of Alcott's discourse. When Emerson took up the editorial work after this April number of the "Dial", he was faced with the problem of «reviving interest in the magazine while at the same time avoiding the more disastrous sort of reaction that could be brought down by a writer such as Alcott»20.

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