Tag: Ralph Waldo Emerson

Gunter Biosnip: Curse of Popularity

The epithet “unenthusiastic” well encapsulates Gunter’s critical reception. Observe his appearance in a number of overviews of the history of American letters and theatre. In his Dictionary of American Authors (1899), Adams pronounces Gunter’s “popular sensational romances” as “quite destitute of literary merit” (161). In American Authors, 1600-1900 […]

Cobb Biosnip: Laborare est orare

Knowing nothing of Sylvanus Cobb Jr’s work, let alone the writer himself, Emerson did not realize the offense his remarks would have caused Cobb’s brother (see “Cobb Biosnip: No Yellowbacks”). In her memoir, Sylvanus’ daughter Ella Waite Cobb omits to mention which brother it was. Sylvanus Jr., the […]

Cobb Biosnip: No Yellowbacks

Some years after Cobb began writing for the New York Ledger, Ralph Waldo Emerson delivered a public lecture in East Boston. The honour of introducing him happened to fall to one of Cobb’s brothers. On the subject of modern literature, Emerson made a contemptuous mention of “yellow-covered literature […]