Emerson said...Or was it Ellison?

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So reading this article I felt a little confused. I kept getting the names Ellison and Emerson mixed up when I was reading. It wasn't until a couple pages in that I even realized that I was making this mistake. The names are really close and (from what I gathered) their ideas are very similar.

I also think that I would have better understood this article if I knew more about Emerson or Ellison as real people and actually read Emerson's "Eloquence." I feel like this article is speaking more (making judgments) about the author more than making a claim about the actual book. Or did I also overlook this?

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5 Comments

April Minerd said:

You make a great point about not having read "Eloquence." The whole time I reading Hanlon's argument I felt like I was only able to grasp half of it because I had no knowledge of the other.
I didn't get the impression he was making judgments about Ellison, but I do think he related The Invisible Man to Emerson's thinking just as much as he did "Eloquence." For instance Hanlon said, "It is Emerson's very inconsistency ... that makes him such a contested figure for all sorts of intellectual historians, including Ellison himself" (81).

Nikita McClellan said:

I was also confused throughout the article. It seemed to me that in some parts he was saying that Ellison had eloquence in the story and other parts seemed to go against that.
It is apparent that the article however was saying that Ellison did take from Emerson's work but by how much we do not know.

Andrew Adams said:

I can definitely see what you're saying about mixing the two up. As I was reading I would have to reread lines at times to make sure I was reading the right thing. However, I did find this article much more focused and less dry than the previous article.

As for reading "Eloquence", I feel that Hanlon does a great job describing what points he is taking from it, but I do agree that it would be beneficial to have read Emerson's work.

Julianne Banda said:

I agree with you one the point that you mixed up the two names. I did the same thing a couple times and, like Andrew, had to read lines more than once at times.

I agree with Andrew on the point that Hanlon does a good job at describing the points he was talking about, but I also think that I may have understood it better if I would have read "Eloquence".

Aja Hannah said:

I think we've all come to the agreement then that (if this part of class could be done over), along with Invisible Man, perhaps we should have read Emerson's Eloquence instead of this article or this article set for a later date.

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