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Citatsektionen | Humanistiske citater

Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882)

Udvalgt af Rune Engelbreth Larsen Udprint

RALPH WALDO EMERSON: »The scholar is that man who must take up into himself all the ability of the time, all the contributions of the past, all the hopes of the future. He must be an university of knowledges. If there be one lesson more than another, which should pierce his ear, it is, The world is nothing, the man is all; in yourself is the law of all nature, and you know not yet how a globule of sap ascends; in yourself slumbers the whole of Reason; it is for you to know all, it is for you to dare all.«


RALPH WALDO EMERSON: »Is it not the chief disgrace in the world, not to be an unit; not to be reckoned one character; not to yield that peculiar fruit which each man was created to bear, but to be reckoned in the gross, in the hundred, or the thousand, of the party, the section, to which we belong; and our opinion predicted geographically, as the north, or the south? Not so, brothers and friends, - please God, ours shall not be so. We will walk on our own feet; we will work with our own hands; we will speak our own minds. The study of letters shall be no longer a name for pity, for doubt, and for sensual indulgence. The dread of man and the love of man shall be a wall of defence and a wreath of joy around all.«

THE AMERICAN SCHOLAR, 1837


RALPH WALDO EMERSON: »Whoso would be a man must be a nonconformist. He who would gather immortal palms must not be hindered by the name of goodness, but must explore if it be goodness. Nothing is at last sacred but the integrity of your own mind.«

Hver den, som vil være en mand, må være ikke-konform. Den, som vil plukke udødelige palmer, må ikke hindres af godhedens navn, men må eftergranske, om det også er godhed. Når alt kommer til alt, er intet helligt uden din egen sjæls retskaffenhed.


RALPH WALDO EMERSON: »Good and bad are but names very readily transferable to that or this; the only right is what is after my constitution, the only wrong what is against it. A man is to carry himself in the presence of all opposition, as if every thing were titular and ephemeral but he. I am ashamed to think how easily we capitulate to badges and names, to large societies and dead institutions.«

Godt og ondt er kun navne, der let kan overføres til dette eller hint. Det eneste rette er, hvad der er efter mit væsen; det eneste urigtige er, hvad der er imod det. En mand må iføre sig lige overfor al modstand, som om alt kun var ordlyd og forsvindende undtagen han selv. Jeg skammer mig, når jeg tænker på, hvor let vi giver køb for skilte og navne, store samfund og døde indstiftelser.


RALPH WALDO EMERSON: »It is easy in the world to live after the world's opinion; it is easy in solitude to live after our own; but the great man is he who in the midst of the crowd keeps with perfect sweetness the independence of solitude.«

Det er let i ensomhed at leve efter din egen mening. Men den store ånd er den, som midt i hoben med fuldkommen sindsro bevarer ensomhedens uafhængighed.


RALPH WALDO EMERSON: »If you maintain a dead church, contribute to a dead Bible-society, vote with a great party either for the government or against it, spread your table like base housekeepers, - under all these screens I have difficulty to detect the precise man you are.«

Når du understøtter en død kirke, giver bidrag til et dødt bibelselskab, stemmer sammen med et stort parti, enten for eller imod regeringen, dækker dit bord som en dårlig husmoder - så har jeg under alle disse skærmbrætter svært ved at opdage, hvad mand du egentlig er.

SELF-RELIANCE, 1841
Oversat af Uffe Birkedal



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