The most thorough statement of one of Emerson's recurrent themes, the need for each individual to avoid conformity and false consistency, and follow his or her own instincts and ideas. It is the source of one of Emerson's most famous quotations, "A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds." This essay is considered a watershed moment in which transcendentalism became a major cultural movement. An American classic.
Public Domain (P)2012 Trout Lake Media
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Emerson is certainly one of the great thinkers of the American experience, however the narration of this text makes it quite challenging to get at the heart of Emerson's point. The narrator seems to lack the feeling and flow that would have really brought Emerson's words alive from the page to the listener's ear.
It is a pity that this essay is read by someone with such a bad voice. The reading is slow and very very low. I listen a lot in my car, but I need to cut out aal the bass, to listen to this without having popping sounds.
I love reading Emerson, and Self Reliance has a great thought-provoking message written with elegance. However, this narrator not only delivers it with a lifeless monotonous voice, but also adds unnatural pauses between every few words. The pauses are out of sync with the sentence structure and make it real difficult to understand the context of the text. I got the sense that the narrator was just reading words like a computer would and did not understand what he was reading.
This text does require some brain power to comprehend fully as there is much packed into a concise package. This narration adds to the challenge.
If you would like to have this Emerson classic as an audiobook, please please do NOT buy this version. The narration is absolutely awful. The narrator, while having good clear diction, reads the book as if there is a comma every third or fourth word. This becomes extremely tedious within a very short time. In fact, I would say it creates a barrier to understanding the content of the book, which was not written in modern english.
A good narration should be transparent and not get in the way of a book. However, in this case, the narrator's pauses every third or fourth word made comprehension of the content a struggle. It sounds like a computer is reading it. If I could have given this narration zero stars, I would have.
The only good thing I can say about this version is that is was really cheap and I didn't waste too much money on it. I will look for another version. The one enjoyment I got out of it was knowing I had the power to press the stop button on my player.
Interesting, encouraging, nicely depicting a state of mind that is so rare in our days.
I will surely return to this book.
Emerson will forever be one of my favourite writers of all time. I have read Self-Reliance myself in the past and really enjoyed it, and I wanted to refresh my memory on it, so I tried this audiobook since it cost less than $1. I guess you get what you pay for, because hearing it read this way was more of a barrier to understanding than an aid. It's like he's not even reading sentences but rather just stringing together all of the words that make up sentences in an endless litany. Find a reader who understands Emerson's sentiments and can convey them with proper vocal inflections, not just one who is able to read words on a page as if reciting a grocery list.
Full of inspiring, ever-lasting words of wisdom, to give you nurturing and extra motivation. Worth reading!
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