The real world arguably exerts a greater fascination on people than any fictional one; many people, at least, spend their whole lives there, apparently by choice.
The essayist does what we do with our lives; the essayist thinks about actual things.
Comparing the extinction of the essay with the shrinking of other literary forms — including a particularly ungenerous but, perhaps, tragically accurate account of poetry’s role in the literary ecosystem — Dillard presages the rise of the narrative essay: Poetry seems to have priced itself out of a job; sadly, it often handles few materials of significance and addresses a tiny audience.
Literary fiction is scarcely published; it’s getting to be like conceptual art — all the unknown writer can do is tell people about his work, and all they can say is, “good idea.” The short story is to some extent going the way of poetry, willfully limiting its subject matter to such narrow surfaces that it cannot address the things that most engage our hearts and minds.
He can make sense of them analytically or artistically.
In either case he renders the real world coherent and meaningful, even if only bits of it, and even if that coherence and meaning reside only inside small texts.The thinking mind will analyze, and the creative imagination will link instances, and time itself will churn out scenes — scenes unnoticed and lost, or scenes remembered, written, and saved. It takes me hundreds of hours a month to research and compose, and thousands of dollars to sustain. If you find any joy and value in what I do, please consider becoming a Sustaining Patron with a recurring monthly donation of your choosing, between a cup of tea and a good lunch. Claim yours: is in its twelfth year and because I write primarily about ideas of a timeless character, I have decided to plunge into my vast archive every Wednesday and choose from the thousands of essays one worth resurfacing and resavoring.has a free Sunday digest of the week's most interesting and inspiring articles across art, science, philosophy, creativity, children's books, and other strands of our search for truth, beauty, and meaning. Subscribe to this free midweek pick-me-up for heart, mind, and spirit below — it is separate from the standard Sunday digest of new pieces: participates in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn commissions by linking to Amazon.Kwame Akroma-Ampim Kusi Anthony Appiah is a British-born Ghanaian-American philosopher, cultural theorist, and novelist whose interests include political and moral theory, the philosophy of language and mind, and African intellectual history. He currently works at the Rosa Luxemburg Stiftung New York Office and is an active member of New Day Church, a boundary-crossing progressive congregation in the Bronx. Winner of numerous prizes for her writing, she is also a former writer-in-residence at the DAAD (German Academic Exchange Service) program, and is currently a professor of American Studies at Eötvös Loránd University in Budapest. Barrett, who was raised in County Mayo Ireland, where the book is set, is currently working on his debut novel and a second book of short stories.Kazembe Balagun is a Bronx-based writer, activist, and father. Barrett is the protégé of acclaimed novelist Colm Tóibín as part of the 2018-2019 edition of the Rolex Mentor and Protégé Arts Initiative, an international philanthropy that pairs master artists with young talents for a period of creative collaboration.The essayist may reason; he may treat of historical, cultural, or natural events, as well as personal events, for their interest and meaning alone, without resort to fabricated dramatic occasions.So the essay’s materials are larger than the story’s. And yet there must be a reason why the essay is what we turn to when we set out to assess human potential, as in college applications, and discuss matters of cultural charge, as in op-eds. White remarked in his reflection on the art of the essay.She places particular focus on the narrative essay — a genre that “demonstrates the modern writer’s self-conscious interest in writing” — especially narrative essays that “mix plain facts and symbolic facts, or that transform plain facts into symbolic facts.” A great many narrative essays appear in the guise of short stories…My guess is that the writers (quite reasonably) want to be understood as artists, and they aren’t sure that the essay form invites the sort of critical analysis the works deserve.