Tribute to R. W. Emerson
Foreword Biography

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Portrait «As a plant upon the earth, so a man rests upon the bosom of God; he is nourished by unfailing fountains, and draws, at this need, inexhaustible power. Who can set bounds to the possibilities of man? Once inhale the upper air, being admitted to behold the absolute natures of justice and truth, and we learn that man has access to the entire mind of the Creator, is himself the creator in the finite. This view, which admonish me where the sources of wisdom and power lie, and points to virtue as to

The golden key
Which opes the palace of eternity
(MILTON, Comus, 13-15)

carries upon its face the highest certificate of truth, because it animates me to create my own world through the purification of my soul».

Ralph Waldo Emerson
Nature, VII


Welcome to this web site!
May those of you who have ventured this far find something that will satisfy your expectations.
This brief presentation is divided into two parts: First, we discuss the influence, or perhaps, until now, the lack of influence that Emerson has had in Italy. In the second portion we offer to the ever increasing number of navigators of the Internet some essential information on this "new" resource.

If we exclude a limited number of students of anglo-american literature and culture, Ralph Waldo Emerson is all but unknown in Italy.
For me, having "met" him--please, see my Introduction to R. W. Emerson to understand what I mean when I say so--, this lack of recognition seems one of those ills that it would be well--and easy--to avoid.
On the other hand, I am not at all surprised that more than a century after the death of this extraordinary thinker, Italian culture has neither welcomed nor given Emerson's message the attention it deserves.
Today that message is alive and flourishing in America notwithstanding the fact that he treated his native land with equal measures of severity and devotion: he knew well how to shake up, how to accuse, how to exhort his compatriots to look within themselves and to reexamine so many of their cherished dogmas and accepted "virtues."
It does not surprise me, given that Emerson is truly one of those who may be defined as "atypical" in the panorama of the world's philosophical-literary figures.
Few intellectuals, at any time or in any country, succeed in being at once as benevolent as they are individualistic and nonconformist, holding themselves apart from the games and interests of power and of plots, but partisans in the noblest and highest sense whenever fundamental principles are at stake, democrats to the core yet at the same time as aristocratic as only great democrats know how to be. And one could take this even farther.
One could ask oneself how such a rebellious spirit was so accepted and became such a national hero in the United States if not for the fact that Ralph Waldo Emerson is America, he is the incarnation of what is noblest and most pure in the American spirit.

I have established this web site because it is my belief that too few people in Italy--and perhaps in all of Europe--know Ralph Waldo Emerson.
This site provides, in both Italian and English, a Hypertext Guide to Emerson's life, works and philosophy, and a selection of some of his principal Works.
English speakers will find no surprises here: a number of interesting sites already give them the opportunity to read Emerson in their native language.
It will, however, be a completely different matter for speakers of Italian who will, at last, have the opportunity to read Emerson on the Web in that language.

To learn more about the site, please see the Information given below.

I hope that all who surf this site will enjoy the same kind of revelatory experience that I have had in learning about Emerson and his thought.

To those Americans who will be kind enough to visit my site, I would like to express my admiration for a society which produced such a great thinker.
Emerson--as I reminded above--was not always complimentary toward his own country, but he loved America for its potential and left it a legacy of thought that deserves world-wide consideration: the notion that liberty permits an "individualism" in the best sense of the word, one that induces America to strive to produce cures for the ills that its own economic freedom and progress have generated.

S. R. Piccoli



[Last updated September 16, 2004] I am a High school teacher (Italian Literature and History) at Istituto «L. Luzzatti», Treviso, Italy, a High School where I have taught since 1983; since January 2000 I have also maintained its Web site.
My teaching and research interests lie chiefly in the connections between literature and philosophy.
I am also interested in bioethics and political philosophy.
I am chair of Centro «Walter Tobagi», a research center for philosophical, ethical and political studies. I also maintain its Web site.
In June of 2000 I created La bioetica spiegata ai ragazzi, an educational hypertext aimed to explain in outline to high school students the major issues of bioethics.
Education: "Maturità classica" from Istituto «S. G. Calasanzio» (High School, equivalent to the British Grammar School), Rome; B.A. -- degree in philosophy -- from University of Venice, 1975.
For more information about me, check out my personal website:
Feel free to visit my webloglink to Wind Rose Hotel[] to read news and reviews concerning Emerson-related works.

  • Technical info : this site has been optimized for Internet Explorer 4.0 + and is best viewed with at 800x600; to stop/restart the music click on the button at the bottom of the pages.
  • Acknowledgement : Midi Files courtesy of Taylor's Traditional Tunebook.
  • Awards : In August of 1999 Tribute to Ralph Waldo Emerson was placed onto the list of web sites ("The Web's Best Sites") specially recommended by the on-line edition of Encyclopædia Britannica, and in November of 1999 it was granted the prestigious "StudyWeb Excellence Award".
  • Copyright note : I hereby give permission to copy, print, or distribute any original documents (Chronology, Introduction, Glossary, etc.) from my web site, on the condition that
    • each copy makes clear that I am the document's author
    • that no copies are altered without my express consent
    • that no one makes a profit from these copies.
    Moreover, since this web site may be linked to any other web sites I have another small favor to ask: do not put considerable portions of my pages on the internet (web, usenet, ftp, etc.). As far as possible, please use a link rather than a copy.

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