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Transatlantic TranscendentalismColeridge, Emerson, and Nature$
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Samantha Harvey

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780748681365

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: January 2014

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9780748681365.001.0001

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Humanity: “Art is the Mediatress, the Reconciliator of Man and Nature”

Humanity: “Art is the Mediatress, the Reconciliator of Man and Nature”

(p.76) Chapter 5 Humanity: “Art is the Mediatress, the Reconciliator of Man and Nature”
Transatlantic Transcendentalism

Samantha C. Harvey

Edinburgh University Press

Chapter 5, “Humanity: ‘Art is the Mediatress, the Reconciliator of Man and Nature,’” reveals Emerson's interest in Coleridge's literary criticism. Although Coleridge and Emerson were committed to philosophical modes of thinking, ultimately literature was the best medium for expressing their dynamic mediations of the Romantic triad. Through the figure of the poet-prophet – an especially gifted individual who expressed divine messages through literature – unified visions of the natural and spiritual could be transmitted to the rest of humanity. Additionally, Emerson was indebted to Coleridge's interpretation of the “book of nature,” imagination, and symbol. These concepts of art and literature gave Emerson tremendous freedom and fluidity in interpreting the Romantic triad in a continual process of inquiry and literary production.

Keywords:   Coleridge, Emerson, humanity, literary criticism, literature, poet-prophet, “book of nature”, imagination, and symbol

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