The Art of the Personal Essay: An Anthology from the Classical Era to the Present

Phillip Lopate
Anchor Books, 1995 - : 777
For more than four hundred years, the personalessay has been one of the richest and most vibrantof all literary forms. Distinguished from thedetached formal essay by its friendly, conversationaltone, its loose structure, and its drive towardcandor and self-disclosure, the personal essayseizes on the minutiae of daily life-vanities,fashions, foibles, oddballs, seasonal rituals, love anddisappointment, the pleasures of solitude,reading, taking a walk -- to offer insight into thehuman condition and the great social and politicalissues of the day. The Art of the Personal Essay isthe first anthology to celebrate this fertilegenre. By presenting more than seventy-five personalessays, including influential forerunners fromancient Greece, Rome, and the Far East,masterpieces from the dawn of the personal essay in thesixteenth century, and a wealth of the finestpersonal essays from the last four centuries, editorPhillip Lopate, himself an acclaimed essayist,displays the tradition of the personal essay in allits historical grandeur, depth, anddiversity.

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LibraryThing Review

  - librken - www.librarything.com

Excellent survey of essays from the Romans through modern times and across all cultures. Biased toward English and Americans, it is nonetheless a very entertaining book.

LibraryThing Review

  - Wattsian - www.librarything.com

Started for the second time, but lost the thread, again, with too many other books to read.

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: 126

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 (1995)

\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.