"Man is his own star." rn - Ralph Waldo Emersonrn Probably no writer has so profoundly influenced American philosophy and literature, as did Emerson. Known as The Father of Transcendentalism, he was the focal point of a small group of intellectuals reacting against the orthodoxy of the established religions of his era. rn As an active lecturer in the early 1830s, he delivered a number of landmark lectures, most notably among them - Compensation and Self-Reliance, in which Emerson fervently declares man's inherent divinity. By positing that the way to realization lay solely within, man can be fulfilled only through one's own "self-induced and self-devised efforts." rn Marked by a deep compassion and insight, Compensation and Self-Reliance rings like a clarion-call - one Emerson intoned steadily throughout his life. Though his last years were marked by a decline in his mental powers, his reputation as one of the outstanding figures of American letters was all but assured by the time of his death.rn rn RALPH WALDO EMERSON, 1803-82, was an American poet and essayist. Universally known as the "Sage of Concord," Emerson established himself as a leading spokesman of transcendentalism and as a major figure in American literature. His additional works include a series of lectures published as Representative Men (1850), The Conduct of Life (1860), and Society and Solitude (1870).