Read here about Sarah Margaret Fuller Ossoli, commonly known as Margaret Fuller, an American journalist, critic, and women's rights advocate who played a critical role in Richard Buckminster Fuller's intellectual development.
Margaret Fuller (1810 – 1850) played a critical role in the intellectual life of Richard Buckminster Fuller, as he first embarked on his course of research that led to his development of tensegrity.
This article contains original research undertaken by the tensegrity wiki community. It contains
- Brief biography of Margaret's life.
- Margaret's personal identity crisis in 1831
- Fuller's discovery of Margaret's work
- The role of personal identity crisis in tensegrity research
A short biography and timeline is presented to provide context for the article. For an in depth treatment see the 2013 Pulitzer prize-winning [Fuller: A New American Life By Megan Marshall].
//This bio includes passages from the wikipedia article accessed January 1, 2016.//
Sarah Margaret Fuller Ossoli (May 23, 1810 – July 19, 1850), commonly known as Margaret Fuller, was an American journalist, critic, and women's rights advocate associated with the American transcendentalism movement. She was the first full-time American female book reviewer in journalism. Her book Woman in the Nineteenth Century is considered the first major feminist work in the United States.
Born Sarah Margaret Fuller in Cambridge, Massachusetts, she was given a substantial early education by her father, Timothy Fuller. She later had more formal schooling and became a teacher before, in 1839, she began overseeing what she called "conversations": discussions among women meant to compensate for their lack of access to higher education. She became the first editor of the transcendentalist journal The Dial in 1840, before joining the staff of the New York Tribune under Horace Greeley in 1844. By the time she was in her 30s, Fuller had earned a reputation as the best-read person in New England, male or female, and became the first woman allowed to use the library at Harvard College. Her seminal work, Woman in the Nineteenth Century, was published in 1845. A year later, she was sent to Europe for the Tribune as its first female correspondent. She soon became involved with the revolutions in Italy and allied herself with Giuseppe Mazzini, leader of the Italian Republican movement. She had a relationship with Giovanni Ossoli, with whom she had a child. All three members of the family died in a shipwreck off Fire Island, New York, as they were traveling to the United States in 1850. Fuller's body was never recovered.
envied all the little children… they could never know this strange anguish, this dread uncertainty.”
She tried her usual cure, a long and vigorous walk. Hours passed, and Margaret found that her anguish had passed, but had not restored her as usual; instead, she found herself contemplating the easy, available option of suicide. “It seemed as if I could never return to a world in which I had no place, to the mockery of humanities. I could not act a part, nor seem to live any longer.”
Stunned and submissive to her dark mood, she came to a pool of water. Her life passed before her eyes. In particular, she saw again a moment when she was a little girl, standing in her home, asking the questions of personal identity that had brought her to this low point, “how came I here? How is it that I seem to be this Margaret Fuller? What does it mean? What shall I do about it?” She wrote in her diary,
> I remembered all the times and ways in which the same thought had returned. I saw how long it must be before the soul can learn to act under these limitations of time and space, and human nature; but I saw, also, that it MUST do it,--that it must make all this false true,--and sow new and immortal plants in the garden of God, before it could return again. I saw there was no self; that selfishness was all folly, and the result of circumstance; that it was only because I thought self real that I suffered; that I had only to live in the idea of the ALL, and all was mine.
The sun shone as before upon her in the wood, before the little pool of water, but Ms. Fuller was forever transformed. Her personal identity had become stripped of conventional anchor points such as father, family and nation. Instead, the central idea of her thought became the ineffability of Truth. She had a direct experience of the unity of time and space, and a vision of the role of humanity within that unity: to act on behalf of all life. Her thought and personality changed forever. She returned home a different person, and remained true to the perspective that she gained that fateful day through the rest of her difficult life. She embarked on a controversial life of letters and wrote about human nature, harmony, good and evil and patience.
Significance to Tensegrity Research
Margaret Fuller's work is significant as her writing was a formative influence on Richard Buckminster Fuller's intellectual development, which led to the discovery of tensegrity as we know it today. For details, read here.
Detailed quotes from Marshall's new biography can be found here.
Links and references
Wikipedia article on Margaret Fuller, [] Author Megan Marshall's webpage on her 2013 Biography of Margaret Fuller [] Margaret Fuller House, official website: [] Read more about Personal identity.