College of Arts and Sciences

Department of English

ESQ: A Journal of the American Renaissance

Nikhil Bilwakesh

"Emerson, John Brown, and Arjuna: Translating the Bhagavad Gita in a Time of War"

Critical attention to Emerson's reading of Sanskrit texts in translation has limited itself to questions of Hindu influences on his transcendental writings. This paper historicizes the basis of such criticism and posits an alternative, and more martial, reading of the Bhagavad Gita in conversation with Emerson's growing political activism and support for John Brown in the 1850s.

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