Monday, January 26, 2009
Nathaniel Hawthorne: July 4, 1804 – May 19, 1864
Born in Salem, Massachusetts. "Young Goodman Brown" is published in 1835. Associated with the Romantic movement.
Hawthorne joined the transcendentalist movement and moved into Brook Farm, a farming commune, in order to save money to marry Sophia Peabody.
Transcendentalism began in early to middle 19th century. Transcendentalists were strong believers in the power of the individual and divine messages. Their beliefs are closely linked with those of the Romantics.
Transcendentalism was rooted in the transcendental philosophy of Immanuel Kant (and of German Idealism more generally), which the New England intellectuals of the early 19th century embraced as an alternative to the Lockean "sensualism" of their fathers and of the Unitarian church, finding this alternative in Vedic thought, German idealism, and English Romanticism.
"Transcendentalism began as a protest against the general state of culture and society, and in particular, the state of intellectualism at Harvard and the doctrine of the Unitarian church taught at Harvard Divinity School. Among transcendentalists' core beliefs was an ideal spiritual state that 'transcends' the physical and empirical and is only realized through the individual's intuition, rather than through the doctrines of established religions. Prominent transcendentalists included Ralph Waldo Emerson, Henry David Thoreau, Orestes Brownson, William Henry Channing, James Freeman Clarke, Christopher Pearse Cranch, Convers Francis, Margaret Fuller, Frederick Henry Hedge, Sylvester Judd, Elizabeth Peabody, George Ripley, Amos Bronson Alcott, and Jones Very." (Wikipedia)