THE ART OF THE PERSONAL ESSAY AN ANTHOLOGY FROM THE CLASSICAL ERA TO THE PRESENT

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The Art Of The Personal Essay

Author : Phillip Lopate
ISBN : 9780385423397
Genre : Literary Collections
File Size : 76.55 MB
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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.
Category: Literary Collections

Tracing The Essay

Author : George Douglas Atkins
ISBN : 0820327875
Genre : Literary Criticism
File Size : 45.62 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.
Category: Literary Criticism

Book Of Days

Author : Emily Fox Gordon
ISBN : 9780679604013
Genre : Biography & Autobiography
File Size : 65.46 MB
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The sexual politics of a faculty wives dinner. The psychological gamesmanship of an inappropriate therapist. The emotional minefield of an extended family wedding . . . Whatever the subject, Emily Fox Gordon’s disarmingly personal essays are an art form unto themselves—reflecting and revealing, like mirrors in a maze, the seemingly endless ways a woman can lose herself in the modern world. With piercing humor and merciless precision, Gordon zigzags her way through “the unevolved paradise” of academia, with its dying breeds of bohemians, adulterers, and flirts, then stumbles through the perils and pleasures of psychotherapy, hoping to find a narrative for her life. Along the way, she encounters textbook feminists, partying philosophers, perfectionist moms, and an unlikely kinship with Kafka—in a brilliant collection of essays that challenge our sacred institutions, defy our expectations, and define our lives. From the Trade Paperback edition.
Category: Biography & Autobiography

Notes On Sontag

Author : Phillip Lopate
ISBN : 1400829879
Genre : Literary Collections
File Size : 89.23 MB
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Notes on Sontag is a frank, witty, and entertaining reflection on the work, influence, and personality of one of the "foremost interpreters of . . . our recent contemporary moment." Adopting Sontag's favorite form, a set of brief essays or notes that circle around a topic from different perspectives, renowned essayist Phillip Lopate considers the achievements and limitations of his tantalizing, daunting subject through what is fundamentally a conversation between two writers. Reactions to Sontag tend to be polarized, but Lopate's account of Sontag's significance to him and to the culture over which she loomed is neither hagiography nor hatchet job. Despite admiring and being inspired by her essays, he admits a persistent ambivalence about Sontag. Lopate also describes the figure she cut in person through a series of wry personal anecdotes of his encounters with her over the years. Setting out from middle-class California to invent herself as a European-style intellectual, Sontag raised the bar of critical discourse and offered up a model of a freethinking, imaginative, and sensual woman. But while crediting her successes, Lopate also looks at how her taste for aphorism and the radical high ground led her into exaggerations that could do violence to her own common sense, and how her ambition to be seen primarily as a novelist made her undervalue her brilliant essays. Honest yet sympathetic, Lopate's engaging evaluation reveals a Sontag who was both an original and very much a person of her time.
Category: Literary Collections

Against Joie De Vivre

Author :
ISBN : 0803222734
Genre : Biography & Autobiography
File Size : 40.85 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.
Category: Biography & Autobiography

Enough About You

Author : David Shields
ISBN : 9781458781116
Genre :
File Size : 57.19 MB
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Enough About You is a book about David Shields. But it is also a terrifically engrossing exploration and exploitation of self-reflection, self-absorption, full-blown narcissism, and the impulse to write about oneself. In a world awash with memoirs and tell-alls, Shields has created something unique; he invites the reader into his mind as he turns his life into a narrative. With moving and often hilarious candor, Shields explores the connections between fiction and nonfiction, stuttering and writing, literary forms and literary contents, art and life; he confronts bad reviews of his earlier books; he examines why he read a college girlfriend's journal; he raids a wide range of cultural figures (from Rousseau, Nabokov, and Salinger to Bill Murray, Adam Sandler, and Bobby Knight) for what they have to tell him about himself; he quotes a speech he wrote on the occasion of his father's ninetieth birthday and then gives us the guilt-induced dream he had when he failed to deliver the speech; he also writes about basketball and sexuality and Los Angeles and Seattle, but he is always meditating on the origins of his interest in autobiography, on the limits and appeals of autobiography, on the traps and strategies of it, and finally, how to use it to get to the world.
Category:

To Show And To Tell

Author : Phillip Lopate
ISBN : 9781451696332
Genre : Language Arts & Disciplines
File Size : 56.79 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.
Category: Language Arts & Disciplines

Writing New York

Author : Phillip Lopate
ISBN : 9780671042356
Genre : Literary Criticism
File Size : 40.50 MB
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Presents a literary portrait of the city of New York through the eyes of more than a hundred writers, from Washington Irving to Oscar Hijuelos.
Category: Literary Criticism

You Ve Got To Read This

Author : Ron Hansen
ISBN : STANFORD:36105009752283
Genre : Short stories
File Size : 37.27 MB
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Thirty-five authors choose their favorite stories and they explain why. From Chekhov's Gooseberries to Mary Caponegro's The Star Cafe.
Category: Short stories