The Art of the Personal Essay   -     By: Phillip Lopate
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The Art of the Personal Essay

Random House / 1995 / Paperback

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Product Description

For more than 400 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 anthology to celebrate this lively, fertile genre. Distinguished from the formal essay by its friendly, conversational tone, its drive toward candor and confession, and its often quirky, first-person voice, the personal essay offers above all a feast of individuality. It seizes on the minutiae of daily life--fashions, rituals, vanities, family life, romantic foibles, the pleasures and pangs of solitude--and the great social and political issues of the day, from a daring opinionated perspective. Frequently humorous, the personal essay is perhaps the most instantly approachable and divertingly human type of nonfiction.
This robust tradition is represented here by more than seventy-five essays, beginning with influential forerunners from ancient Rome (Seneca, Plutarch) and the Far East to the mastering of the form by its sixteenth-century founder, Michel de Montaigne; through the golden age of the English essay (from Addision & Steele and Samuel Johnson through Orwell and Woolf) to its variegated outcroppings in Europe, Asia, Latin America, and Africa, and its efflorescence in the United States.

Product Information

Format: Paperback
Number of Pages: 768
Vendor: Random House
Publication Date: 1995
Dimensions: 6 1/4 X 9 1/4 X 1 7/8 inches (inches)
ISBN: 038542339X
ISBN-13: 9780385423397
Availability: Usually ships in 24-48 hours.

Publisher's Description

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 essay by its friendly, conversational  tone, its loose structure, and its drive toward  candor and self-disclosure, the personal essay  seizes on the minutiae of daily life-vanities,  fashions, foibles, oddballs, seasonal rituals, love and  disappointment, the pleasures of solitude,  reading, taking a walk -- to offer insight into the  human condition and the great social and political  issues of the day. The Art of the Personal Essay is  the first anthology to celebrate this fertile  genre. By presenting more than seventy-five personal  essays, including influential forerunners from  ancient Greece, Rome, and the Far East,  masterpieces from the dawn of the personal essay in the  sixteenth century, and a wealth of the finest  personal essays from the last four centuries, editor  Phillip Lopate, himself an acclaimed essayist,  displays the tradition of the personal essay in all  its historical grandeur, depth, and  diversity.

Author Bio

Philip Lopate is the author of Against Joie de Vivre, Bachelorhood, The Rug Merchant, Being with Children, and Confessions of Summer. A recipient of Guggenheim and National Endowment for the Arts fellowships, his works have appeared in Best American Essays, The Paris Review, Pushcart Prize annuals, and many other publications. He lives in Brooklyn, New York, and is Adams Professor of English at Hofstra University.

Editorial Reviews

"A wonderful book. The most charming smorgasbord  imaginable of essays from around the world."  -- Diane Cole, USA Today.  

"Without a doubt, this is the most  nourishing essay collection I've read in years."  -- Susan Burmeister-Brown, Portland  Oregonian.

"A labor of deeply  felt love and keenly honed scholarship by an  essay authority who knows his territory down to his  bones." -- Christian Science  Monitor.

"The best available [essay  anthology] no matter how crowded the field."  -- Chicago Tribune.  

"The striking thing is how much Lopate has managed  to pack in, and how high a standard he has  managed to maintain." -- John Gross, New  York Newsday.

"Packed with  personality and beguiling first-person prose... of  reminders of the perils and pleasures of the  craft." -- The Wall Street  Journal.

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