Posts Tagged: essay
After all, the essay, in its American incarnation, is a direct outgrowth of the sermon: argumentative, insistent, not infrequently irritating.
Minimalist prose. Maximalist ideas. A long tradition of anti-intellectualism. Adverbs. At the New Yorker, Vinson Cunningham asks what makes an essay American?...more
Charles D’Ambrosio, a finalist for the 2015 PEN/Diamonstein-Spielvogel Award for the Art of the Essay for Loitering: New and Collected Essay, has a piece up on the PEN website about his first encounter with the essay....more
“One day,” he said, “you’re going to have a bad time in workshop. A really bad time. Maybe Frank is in a foul mood and you’ve pissed off a few people around the table for whatever reason—your insufficient love of Richard Ford.
All we knew was that Casper, with his genius IQ, his measured laugh, his wicked weltanschauung, was somebody really, really interesting to hang out with. A neighborhood kid like anybody else, only not like anybody else. One of us, only not one of us.
In a world where the selfie has become our dominant art form, tautological phrases like “You do you” and its tribe provide a philosophical scaffolding for our ever-evolving, ever more complicated narcissism.
In anticipation of the Best American Essays 2014, which will come out later this week from Houghton Mifflin, the New Yorker brings us an adaptation of John Jeremiah Sullivan’s introduction to the anthology—a historical investigation of the word “essay.” Sullivan goes beyond the well-worn territory of debating the connotations Montaigne intended for his “Essais,” exploring the literary legacy of King James and the cultural reach of dramatist Ben Jonson....more
Despite the horror and hopelessness (see below) that moves through the world, the essayist must have, even if it is well-buried under the most convincing costume of misanthropy, a deep and abiding love of humanity. Essayists set up beacons, send down ladders.
It has been several years since all this went down, and from an outsider’s perspective I’ve mostly gotten over it. For a while it put a halt on everything good in my life, but eventually I stopped crying about it. I stopped seeing red on a daily basis, I stopped cursing everyone who knew about the affair but didn’t tell me.