Friday, November 25, 2011
eulogy of courtesy...
"For a Philosopher," wrote Walt Whitman, "Emerson possesses a singularly dandified theory of Manners"...Emerson consistently kept insisting that the outward man was an expression of the inward, nevertheles. He was perfectly aware that he went furthuer than his countrymen in his insistence on courtesy and manners...
Emerson defended his own emphasis stoutly:
"We may easily seem ridiculous in our eulogy of courtesy, whenever we insist on benevolence as its foundation. The painted phantasm Fashion rises to cast a species of derision on what we say. But I will neither be driven from some allowance to Fashion as a symbolic insititution, nor from the belief that love is the basis of courtesy. We must obtain that, if we can; but by all means we must affirm this."
The reason for Emerson's eulogy of courtesy...was the belief that man can only become inwardly perfect by expressing himself perfectly in outward manner."
Posted by slt at 8:44 AM