THE ART OF THE PERSONAL ESSAY AN ANTHOLOGY FROM THE CLASSICAL ERA TO THE PRESENT
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Bringing together many great reflections on the human condition and the peculiarities of daily life, a unique collection of more than seventy-five essays ranges from classical predecessors of the genre up to today's finest writers. Reprint.
Author : George Douglas Atkins
ISBN : 0820327875
Genre : Literary Criticism
File Size : 40.22 MB
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The essay, as a notably hard form of writing to pin down, has inspired some unflattering descriptions: It is a “greased pig,” for example, or a “pair of baggy pants into which nearly anything and everything can fit.” In Tracing the Essay, G. Douglas Atkins embraces the very qualities that have moved others to accord the essay second-class citizenship in the world of letters. Drawing from the work of Montaigne and Bacon and recent practitioners such as E. B. White and Cynthia Ozick, Atkins shows what the essay means--and how it comes to mean. The essay, related to assaying (attempting), mines experience for meaning, which it then carefully weighs. It is a via media creature, says Atkins, born of and embracing tension. It exists in places between experience and meaning, literature and philosophy, self and other, process and product, form and formlessness. Moreover, as a literary form the essay is inseparable from a way of life requiring wisdom, modesty, and honesty. “The essay was, historically,” notes Atkins, “the first form to take the experience of the individual and make it the stuff of literature.” Atkins also considers the essay’s basis in Renaissance (and Reformation) thinking and its participation in voyages of exploration and discovery of that age. Its concern is “home-cosmography,” to use a term from seventeenth-century writer William Habington. Responding to influential critiques of the essay’s supposed self-indulgence, lack of irony, and absence of form, Atkins argues that the essay exhibits a certain “sneakiness” as it proceeds in, through, and by means of the small and the mundane toward the spiritual and the revelatory.
ISBN : 0803222734
Genre : Biography & Autobiography
File Size : 47.90 MB
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“Over the years I have developed a distaste for the spectacle of joie de vivre, the knack of knowing how to live,” begins the title essay by Phillip Lopate. This rejoinder to the cult of hedonism and forced conviviality moves from a critique of the false sentimentalization of children and the elderly to a sardonic look at the social rite of the dinner party, on to a moving personal testament to the “hungry soul.” Lopate’s special gift is his ability to give us not only sophisticated cultural commentary in a dazzling collection of essays but also to bring to his subjects an engaging honesty and openness that invite us to experience the world along with him. Also included here are Lopate’s inspiring account of his production of Chekhov’s Uncle Vanya with a group of preadolescents, a look at the tradition of the personal essay, and a soul-searching piece on the suicide of a schoolteacher and its effect on his students and fellow teachers. By turns humorous, learned, celebratory, and elegiac, Lopate displays a keen intelligence and a flair for language that turn bits of common, everyday life into resonant narrative. This collection maintains a conversational charm while taking the contemporary personal essay to a new level of complexity and candor.
Author : Phillip Lopate
ISBN : 9781451696332
Genre : Language Arts & Disciplines
File Size : 82.46 MB
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Distinguished author Phillip Lopate, editor of the celebrated anthology The Art of the Personal Essay, is universally acclaimed as “one of our best personal essayists” (Dallas Morning News). Here, combining more than forty years of lessons from his storied career as a writer and professor, he brings us this highly anticipated nuts-and-bolts guide to writing literary nonfiction. A phenomenal master class shaped by Lopate’s informative, accessible tone and immense gift for storytelling, To Show and To Tell reads like a long walk with a favorite professor—refreshing, insightful, and encouraging in often unexpected ways.
A guide to the art of personal writing, by the author of Fierce Attachments and The End of the Novel of Love All narrative writing must pull from the raw material of life a tale that will shape experience, transform event, deliver a bit of wisdom. In a story or a novel the "I" who tells this tale can be, and often is, an unreliable narrator but in nonfiction the reader must always be persuaded that the narrator is speaking truth. How does one pull from one's own boring, agitated self the truth-speaker who will tell the story a personal narrative needs to tell? That is the question The Situation and the Story asks--and answers. Taking us on a reading tour of some of the best memoirs and essays of the past hundred years, Gornick traces the changing idea of self that has dominated the century, and demonstrates the enduring truth-speaker to be found in the work of writers as diverse as Edmund Gosse, Joan Didion, Oscar Wilde, James Baldwin, or Marguerite Duras. This book, which grew out of fifteen years teaching in MFA programs, is itself a model of the lucid intelligence that has made Gornick one of our most admired writers of nonfiction. In it, she teaches us to write by teaching us how to read: how to recognize truth when we hear it in the writing of others and in our own.
The Pulitzer Prize and National Book Award-winning author of House and the editor of Atlantic Monthly share stories from their literary friendship and respective careers, offering insight into writing principles and mechanics that they have identified as elementary to quality prose.
Author : Dinty W. Moore
ISBN : 1582977968
Genre : Language Arts & Disciplines
File Size : 70.50 MB
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Award winning essayist Scott Russell Sanders once compared the art of essay writing to "the pursuit of mental rabbits"—a rambling through thickets of thought in search of some brief glimmer of fuzzy truth. While some people persist in the belief that essays are stuffy and antiquated, the truth is that the personal essay is an ever-changing creative medium that provides an ideal vehicle for satisfying the human urge to document truths as we experience them and share them with others—to capture a bit of life on paper. Crafting the Personal Essay is designed to help you explore the flexibility and power of the personal essay in your own writing. This hands-on, creativity-expanding guide will help you infuse your nonfiction with honesty, personality, and energy. You'll discover: An exploration of the basics of essay writing Ways to step back and scrutinize your experiences in order to separate out what may be fresh, powerful, surprising or fascinating to a reader How to move past private "journaling" and write for an audience How to write eight different types of essays including memoir, travel, humor, and nature essays among others Instruction for revision and strategies for getting published Brimming with helpful examples, exercises, and sample essays, this indispensable guide will help your personal essays transcend the merely private to become powerfully universal.