Essayists on the Essay: Montaigne to Our Time

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Carl H. Klaus, Ned Stuckey-French
University of Iowa Press, Mar 15, 2012 - Language Arts & Disciplines - 226 pages
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The first historically and internationally comprehensive collection of its kind, Essayists on the Essay is a path-breaking work that is nothing less than a richly varied sourcebook for anyone interested in the theory, practice, and art of the essay. This unique work includes a selection of fifty distinctive pieces by American, Canadian, English, European, and South American essayists from Montaigne to the present—many of which have not previously been anthologized or translated—as well as a detailed bibliographical and thematic guide to hundreds of additional works about the essay.

From a buoyant introduction that provides a sweeping historical and analytic overview of essayists’ thinking about their genre—a collective poetics of the essay—to the detailed headnotes offering pointed information about both the essayists themselves and the anthologized selections, to the richly detailed bibliographic sections, Essayists on the Essay is essential to anyone who cares about the form.

This collection provides teachers, scholars, essayists, and readers with the materials they need to take a fresh look at this important but often overlooked form that has for too long been relegated to the role of service genre—used primarily to write about other more “literary” genres or to teach young people how to write. Here, in a single celebratory volume, are four centuries of commentary and theory reminding us of the essay’s storied history, its international appeal, and its relationship not just with poetry and fiction but also with radio, film, video, and new media.

 

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ESSAYISTS ON THE ESSAY: Montaigne to Our Time

User Review  - Jane Doe - Kirkus

Should essays be light and playful, hard and serious, or both? Some 50 experts on the form, ranging across 400 years, tackle the question in this odd volume, edited by Klaus, founding director of ... Read full review

Contents

Michel de Montaigne From Of Practice Of Repentance and Of Vanity 1580
1
William Cornwallis From Of Essays and Books 16001601
7
Francis Bacon From The Proficience and Advancement of Learning 1605
9
Joseph Addison From the Spectator 1712
11
Samuel Johnson From the Rambler 1751
13
William Hazlitt From On the Periodical Essayists 1815
15
Charles Lamb From an Unpublished Review of Hazlitts Table Talk 1821
19
Ralph Waldo Emerson From Montaigne or the Skeptic 1850
23
Fernand Ouellette Ramblings on the Essay 1972
94
Guillermo DíazPlaja The Limits of the Essay 1976
99
Edward Hoagland What I Think What I Am 1976
101
E B White From the Foreword to Essays of E B White 1977
104
William H Gass From Emerson and the Essay 1982
106
Jean Starobinski From Can One Define the Essay? 1983
110
André Belleau Little Essayistic 1983
116
Elizabeth Hardwick From the Introduction to The Best American Essays 1986
120

Alexander Smith From On the Writing of Essays 1863
25
Walter Pater From Dialectic 1893
29
Agnes Repplier From The Passing of the Essay 1894
32
William Dean Howells From Editors Easy Chair 1902
36
José Ortega y Gasset From To the Reader 1914
38
Virginia Woolf From The Modern Essay 1925
44
William Carlos Williams An Essay on Virginia 1925
48
Hilaire Belloc An Essay upon Essays upon Essays 1929
51
Robert Musil From The Man without Qualities 1930
55
G K Chesterton The Essay 1932
57
Katharine Fullerton Gerould From An Essay on Essays 1935
61
Walter Murdoch From The Essay 1938
65
Enrique Anderson Imbert From In Defense of the Essay 1946
68
Max Bense From On the Essay and Its Prose 1947
71
Mariano PicónSalas From On the Essay 1954
75
Germán Arciniegas From The Essay in Our America 1956
78
Theodor Adorno From The Essay as Form 1958
82
Aldous Huxley From the Preface to Collected Essays 1960
88
Michael Hamburger An Essay on the Essay 1965
91
Gabriel Zaid From Alfonso Reyes Wheelbarrow 1988
125
Scott Russell Sanders From The Singular First Person 1988
129
Phillip Lopate What Happened to the Personal Essay? 1989
132
Gerald Early From the Introduction to Tuxedo Junction 1989
142
Susan Sontag Introduction to The Best American Essays 1992
147
Nancy Mairs From Essaying the Feminine 1994
153
An Essay on the Essay 1996
158
Portrait of the Essay as a Warm Body 1998
162
Vivian Gornick From The Situation and the Story 2001
170
John DAgata From 2003 in The Next American Essay 2003
172
Paul Graham From The Age of the Essay 2004
174
Ander Monson From The Essay as Hack 2008
177
John Bresland On the Origin of the Video Essay 2011
180
Jeff Porter Essay on the Radio Essay 2011
185
Bibliography compiled by Ned StuckeyFrench
193
Thematic Guide to Entries in the Bibliography compiled by Ned StuckeyFrench
207
Permissions
213
Index
217
Copyright

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About the author (2012)

Carl H. Klaus, founding director of Iowa's Nonfiction Writing Program, is professor emeritus at the University of Iowa and coeditor (with Patricia Hampl) of Sightline Books: The Iowa Series in Literary Nonfiction. His widely praised nonfiction includes most recently The Made-Up Self: Impersonation in the Personal Essay (Iowa, 2010), as well as My Vegetable Love (Iowa paperback 2000), its companion Weathering Winter (Iowa, 1997), Taking Retirement: A Beginner's Diary and Letters to Kate: Life after Life (Iowa, 2006). Ned Stuckey-French is an assistant professor in the Department of English at Florida State University. He is the author of The American Essay in the American Century, a study of personal essays, magazine culture and class construction. His reviews and critical work have appeared in journals such as American Literature, the CEA Critic, Modern Fiction Studies, middlebrow, culturefront, and the Iowa Review. He is the book review editor for Fourth Genre: Explorations in Nonfiction.

 

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