The art of the personal essay pdf


    The Art of the. Person a 1. Essa y wypothesi s ir spreyim.. *****. 1. An Anthology the essay, the personal essay has rarely been isolated and studied as such. For more than four hundred years, the personal essay has been one of the richest and most vibrant of all literary forms. Distinguished from the detached formal. of the personal essay. By Sheila Bender. How to turn a nagging question or a troubling experience into entertaining and insightful writing. N THE 20 YEARS I.

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    The Art Of The Personal Essay Pdf

    Art of the Personal - Download as PDF File .pdf), Text File .txt) or read online. Great article on essays. For more than four hundred years, the personal  essay has been one of the richest and most vibrant  of all literary forms. Distinguished. "For more than four hundred years the personal essay has been one of the richest and most vibrant of all literary forms. The Art of the Personal Essay is the first.

    Virginia Woolf's Essayism. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, Articulating to students that the familiar essay can be more than straightforward narration, and getting them to adopt a wider range of strategies in their own personal essays, is the greatest challenge in teaching this course. There are many helpful textbooks that present these ideas in accessible language I use Philip Lopate's The Art of the Personal Essay and Sheila Bender's Writing and Publishing Personal Essays , but these cannot replace monographs by specialists, whose work also informs my own thinking about the subject as I teach the course. Virginia Woolf's Essayism is a welcome addition to this store of information, since it uses Woolf to highlight some of the key issues regarding how we define the familiar essay and since Woolf is one of the essayists I always teach in my class. Saloman's main argument—that Woolf used the essay to "solve artistic problems" and explore the "deepest questions about herself as a writer, and about the writing process"—directly addresses how the essay is a unique form, unlike other genres in its ability to create a dialogue between author and reader, one of the key points stressed in Lopate's anthology. Specifically, Saloman argues that the essay is unlike the novel in its ability to "work without an attention-grabbing plot or a clear, linear narrative, trusting in the random acts of life, together with the essayist's ability to extract [End Page ] thought and meaning, to create order.

    By requiring students to keep Reader Response Journals RRJs that serve as a commonwealth of students' selected quotation and analysis, and that in turn inform the "pastiche" essays they will attempt, I am both extending the multimodal tradition of the personal essay, and modeling a WTL approach for instructors from all disciplines who are considering how to make their courses more writing intensive.

    I read Fulwiler's invitation to mix and match the pure diary and the pure disciplinary note-taking mode in student's journals as itself a manifestation of the. I believe that all teachers of Writing Intensive Courses WIC who wish to experiment with Writing to Learn WTL assignments using digital technology will understand that the pastiche effect of students' collaborative sampling and rearranging of personal and academic discourses will intensify an interest in writing that can travel across the curriculum.

    By requiring students'to keep Reader Response Journals RRJs that serve as a commonwealth of students' selected quotation and analysis, and that in turn inform the "pastiche" essays they will attempt, I am both extending the multimodal tradition of the personal essay, and modeling a WTL approach for instructors from all disciplines who are considering how to make their courses more writing intensive.

    I read Fulwiler's invitation to mix and match the pure diary and the pure disciplinary note-taking mode in student's journals as itself a manifestation of the intermixed histories of the personal essay and the arts of pastiche.

    Art of the Personal Essay.pdf

    When they begin to quote from and respond to the forerunners of the personal essay, and most Writing to Learn Across the Personal Essay particularly to Montaigne's essays, in their RRJs, students come to see that the personal essay is attempting a new kind of composition.

    Upon observing students' response to Montaigne as pasticheur, I began to wonder whether one could propose a "selection theory" for the art of pastiche that would involve what Lopate calls "Quotation and the Uses of Learning" and serve as a WTL exercise across the college curriculum.

    Remembering Montaigne as Pastiche Artist Although Lopate does not connect Montaigne's creation of the personal essay to the larger history and practice of the art of pastiche, the analogies he uses to describe both the genre and Montaigne's own style are very much in line with what Hoesterey calls "The Semantic Field of Pastiche. I have to hide my weaknesses under these great authorities" in Lopate , xli. In Lopate's section on "Quotation and the Uses of Learning," students recognize that whereas the impersonal essayist is more like a careful, earnest chemist, the personal essayist "is like a cook who learns through trial and error just when to add another spice or coun- tertaste to the stew" Lopate , xxxix.

    I draw the fricassee comparison into line with Lopate's stew analogy and then conduct a brief semantic history of pastiche.

    [PDF] The Art of the Personal Essay: An Anthology from the Classical Era to the Present Popular

    Part of what makes a Montaignean "fricassee"—or better yet, since pastiche derives from pasta and pate—so un savory is his own mix of shameless self- portraiture with classical citation.

    I remind students of our reading of his "On Some Verses of Virgil" and how Montaigne ended by stuffing it with classical citation, whereas he began his earliest attempts relatively free of quotations— what he calls "borrowed beauties. Montaigne, I tell them, was, in effect, cooking his own RRJs when he set out to attempt this new genre, and they should attempt to do so as well.

    I exhort them to declare themselves pastiche artists of the personal essay. I remind students that if pastiche is unfamiliar to them and it is , collage, with its scissors and paste protocol, is universally memorable from childhood, and carries none of the connotations of "bad imitation" or "fraudulence" that still attach to the art of pastiche, which "retains its ties to the older hodgepodge pate m signifying "a mess," "confusione mentale," "or bad work" Hoesterey, 2.

    When collage comes into play, "paste" comes up immediately, its semantic link to pastiche obvious yet compelling. From this vantage, I ask for the contemporary musical manifestation o pastiche structuration.

    Students instantly pop in with the latest permutations of "hip-hop. The question of how new knowledge is produced through pastiche even captures students majoring in science, who see clear connections to pastiche in "gene splicing.

    They must quote three extended passages from an assigned essay and then respond to each selected passage by choosing from three required points of view.

    I summarize the guidelines for quotation and commentary below. For one of the. The RRJs themselves follow a kind of pastiche structuration and suggest something of a "pastiche effect" as students add to them week by week.

    By mixing and matching the parallel histories of the commonplace book and the personal journal, students are in effect starting the art of the pastiche essay that began with Montaigne. I teach three times a week, and we generally cover two essays by a given essayist in one fifty-minute meeting.

    I require a RRJ for particular essayists,! Of the thirty RRJs I require of students over the course of a semester, roughly half are determined by me so that we can accumulate a common stock of "raw material" for pursuing what I call "the art of digital pastiche.

    This double act of academic referencing exercises students' growing sense of a selection theory in ways that the other two "personal" and "intrapersonal" selections do Direct from the Disciplines not. I open each Forum, starting with Seneca.

    In a class of twenty-five students, and with ten such forums, the math is easy, but the sum of their archived writing is astounding—approximately two hundred and fifty entries on the History of the Personal Essay from Seneca to Beer- bohm.

    I give them guidelines for starting their own pastiche experiments using their word processors' cut and paste functions to sample and remix from the Discussion Boards dedicated to the history of the personal essay from Seneca to Steele.

    They do this by copying an entire Discussion Board—on Montaigne's "Of a Monstrous Child," for example—to a new Word document on their laptops. When they go through and cut away all cited material, they are left with the texts of their own and their peers' "reader responses.

    I hand out the ground rules for practicing digital pastiche, but first try to give them a bit more historical precedent for what they are about to undertake.

    Rules and Tools for Pasticheurs Jay David Bolter, who reminds us that "disrupting the stability of the [printed] text Richard Lanham also writes of the Dadaists' "prophetic melange" that helped launch the tradition of "experimental humanism" , And William S. All writing is in fact cut-ups. A collage of words read, heard, overheard. Abeeha Tariq. Due to their lack of limitations, essays are used for many reasons and the personal approach is one that many use when attempting the essay genre.

    Personal essays find their roots in the earliest essays of all time; those of Michel de Montaigne - the inventor of the essay genre who created the experimental and personal essay form Atwan Since their creation, essays have been commonly referred to as personal prose pieces. Leslie Fiedler remarked that from Montaigne "descend all essayists who remain essentially autobiographers, all explorers of the self" 1.

    Personal essayists entice the readers, drawing them in to experience matters and the world with themselves and to, as Fiedler puts, discover the self 1.

    Many personal essays provide a sense of informality, engaging the reader on a more intimate level rather than their objective counterparts which are often viewed as authoritative, distant and didactic rather than relaxed. These inviting, informal aspects of personal essays make them highly enjoyable to read. Some essayists write for themselves and others write for various people, actively hoping to engage a readership with their ideas, beliefs, meditations and stories.

    Fiedler identified some of the important aspects of essays as being "inwardness and personality" and personal essays that exhibit these qualities are satisfying and successful 1. Essays can be ultimately private, intended as a means of personal expression for one's own self, or they can be aimed at appealing to a wider audience and their emotions; for the latter purpose, the "essay must be both individual and universal" Bender.

    The personal essayist relies on anecdotal references and vivid description as a basis when creating striking images and an interesting atmosphere for a universal issue; intended to engage the reader in an informal way and to create a rich and satisfying essay that ultimately appeals to an extensive readership.

    Oliver Goldsmith's On National Prejudices , Graham Greene's The Lost Childhood and Sloane Crosley's The Pony Problem are three essays that are written within completely different timeframes but are all predominantly personal essays that rely on anecdotes, description and reflection. Despite all three essays being written on different subjects and during different time periods, they all use common aspects to appeal to their readership and to create a variety of interesting and inviting essays.

    The similarities between the three essays prove that personal essays require certain qualities in order for them to be considered well-written, engaging pieces of writing. The subject matter of all three essays is strikingly diverse. While one essay refers to items and the memories attached to them, another essay muses upon the "absurd and ridiculous nature" of national prejudice Goldsmith 95 , and the third recounts the lasting impression literature leaves upon people, specifically children.

    Though the essays are specific in their personal aspects, they use universal themes, outwardly and discreetly, to engage the readers of their essays. Each essayist uses a casual, relaxed approach, encouraging the reader to enter the world they have depicted within their essay and to observe the world from their various perspectives and to inspect the circumstances of the essay for themselves by remembering their own personal experiences that relate to those of the essayists. Despite the difference in subject matter, structure and style of writing, Goldsmith, Greene, and Crosley, in each of their personal essays, employ the use of autobiographical references, anecdotes and description to enhance the universality of their essays and incite interest among their readers.

    In Oliver Goldsmith's essay, entitled On National Prejudices, we see a politically, socially, and culturally relevant issue meditated upon in a personal manner. Within his essay, Goldsmith reflects personally on an incident that relates to a serious, vast, universal issue.

    In accordance with the title, Goldsmith explores the meaning of national identity and prejudice. Goldsmith uses humour and storytelling skills throughout his essay in order to demonstrate his point of view and construct his essay, which relies heavily on anecdotal evidence and elaborate description.

    Art of the Personal

    The anecdotal account in the beginning of Goldsmith's essay almost uses the form of a parable, depicting the incident's broader meaning, which he later elaborates upon. This essay is an opinionated piece which aims to explain and inform in an informal manner. Goldsmith claims that having the "opportunity of observing an infinite variety of characters After an encounter with a group of gentlemen, Goldsmith is left disheartened with the national prejudices that the men possess and muses upon the meaning of living in this world among the various different nationalities.

    Goldsmith declares that unlike the men he encountered, he would rather be referred to as "a citizen of the world" Goldsmith's narrative-like essay is humorous and he successfully showcases his personality by creating an accurate account of his emotions and opinions as he was drawn into the conversation of the gentlemen in the beginning of the essay.

    Goldsmith inserts interesting characters into his short story-like essay, such as the gentlemen, which he makes a point of insinuating do not behave much like gentlemen after all. With sarcasm, he refers to one of the gentlemen's prejudiced statement as a "very learned and judicious remark" This essay is autobiographical and despite its personal opinions and details it manages to appeal to the minds of the wider readership, depicting the realities of life as Goldsmith says "we no longer consider ourselves as the general inhabitants of the globe, or members of that grand society which comprehends the whole human kind" Full Name Comment goes here.

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