American essays begins in 1901, one could argue that the symbolic origins of the twentieth-century essay go back to the day in 1842 when Emerson was invited by the James family to visit their New York apartment and "bless" young William in his cradle. The emotion I felt when beginning to read most of the essays gathered here was one of great excitement and anticipation; even, at times, a distinct visceral thrill. Eliot"s "Tradition and the Individual Talent" The emotion of art is impersonal and Robert Frost"s "The Figure a Poem Makes" No tears in the writer, no tears in the reader each gains from being read in conjunction with the other. Of the three published versions, we chose - as we did with many of the selections - to reprint the final version, as it would reflect and respect the author"s final decisions. Why or why not? Citizens are being judged literally at face value, and its hard to see an end in sight. The essay of opinion, of which Montaigne (1533-1592) was an early, highly influential master, was for centuries the quintessential essay. Other essays in this book were also put to service by their authors to introduce works of fiction: Richard Wright"s "The Ethics of Living Jim Crow" became the preface to his collection of stories Uncle Tom"s Children, and. To be an editor in so massive an undertaking, committed to reading with sympathy countless essays of high worth and distinction published in the most prestigious journals of their era, beginning in about 1900 and sweeping through the decades, is to experience first-hand that quickening.
The Best American Essays of the Century (The Best American Series) Robert Atwan, Joyce Carol Oates.
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