Essaying the essay

By Christopher B. Daly

Don’t miss this marvelous essay about essays by one who knows — Philip Lopate. He is the editor of The Art of the Personal Essay and a prolific essayer in his own right. I love his emphasis on doubt and on the use of the essay to explore doubt. In an age of assertion, this seems worth remembering, or at least I think so.

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Now, time to get back to that biography of Montaigne, the ur-essayist.

As Montaigne himself put it, the starting point of the essay is this: What do I know? roll that around in your head, or on your tongue, putting the emphasis on each word in turn.

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