Characteristics Of An Essayist

Characteristics Of An Essayist-22
Little did White know that a mere year later, he’d be awarded an honorary Pulitzer Prize for the full body of his work, which consisted — per his self-professed preference — largely of essays. And even the essayist’s escape from discipline is only a partial escape: the essay, although a relaxed form, imposes its own disciplines, raises is own problems, and these disciplines and problems soon become apparent and (we all home) act as a deterrent to anyone wielding a pen merely because he entertains random thoughts or is in a happy or wandering mood.More so than any other writing form, White argues, the essay requires a unique commitment to truth and discipline: There is one thing that the essayist cannot do, though — he cannot indulge himself in deceit or in concealment, for he will be found out in no time. Echoing Joan Didion’s conception of writing as access to one’s self and George Orwell’s contention that the first universal motive for writing is “sheer egotism,” White returns to the solipsism of the essayist: I think some people find the essay the last resort of the egotist, a much too self-conscious and self-serving form for their taste; they feel that it is presumptuous of a writer to assume that his little excursions or his small observations will interest the reader. I have always been aware that I am by nature self-absorbed and egoistical; to write of myself to the extent I have done indicates a too great attention to my own life, not enough to the lives of others.

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I like the essay, have always liked it, and even as a child was at work, attempting to inflict my young thoughts and experiences on others by putting them on paper.

While he professes to “fall back on the essay form” whenever an idea strikes, White, with the characteristic self-consciousness and self-deprecation of a proper essayist, puts the essay in its place on the literary ladder: I am not fooled about the place of the essay in twentieth-century American letters — it stands a short distance down the line.

He is a fellow who thoroughly enjoys his work, just as people who take bird walks enjoy theirs.

Each new excursion of the essayist, each new “attempt,” differs from the last and takes him into new country. Only a person who is congenitally self-centered has the effrontery and the stamina to write essays.

In more human terms, this means that whenever you buy a book on Amazon from a link on here, I receive a small percentage of its price.

Charles Lamb was an eighteen century essayist but he also wrote essays during early 19th century.Some are philosophical, some are witty, some are...Some are philosophical, some are witty, some are deep, some are humorous. You can see the variety of his essays by examining their topics, some of which include: Truth, Death, Anger, Envy, Revenge, Travel, Marriage and Single Life, Suspicion, Riches, Ambition, Goodness and Goodness of Nature, Plantations, The Colors of Good and Evil, etc. There is even a Bacon group right here on enotes (see link).There are as many kinds of essays as there are human attitudes or poses, as many essay flavors as there are Howard Johnson ice creams.The essayist arises in the morning and, if he has work to do, selects his garb from an unusually extensive wardrobe:he can pull on any sort of shirt, be any sort of person, according to his mood or his subject matter — philosopher, scold, jester, raconteur, confidant, pundit, devil’s advocate, enthusiast.Desmond Mac Carthy, in his introductory remarks to the 1928 E. Dutton & Company edition of Montaigne, observes that Montaigne “had the gift of natural candour. I have worn many shirts, and not all of them have been a good fit.But when I am discouraged or downcast I need only fling open the door of my closet, and there, hidden behind everything else, hangs the mantle of Michel de Montaigne, smelling slightly of camphor.Parallel with prose writing he also wrote poems, it was due to his intimate relation with Coleridge who was an eminent romantic poet.His essays have a universality regarding all aspects.As Bacon's life progressed, through politics, philosophy, science, bribes and imprisonment, he shared his wisdom, so his development as an individual is evident in tone and content and, sadly, unlike in classic fiction, his development as a man left him sadder.His style of essay writing is not dogmatic nor didactic but rather personable and friendly.


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