Sunday, May 22, 2016

On the American essay

What Makes An American Essay ‘American’?

“The essay, in its American incarnation, is a direct outgrowth of the sermon: argumentative, insistent, not infrequently irritating. Americans, in my observation – and despite our fetish for the beauties of individuality and personal freedom – are always, however smilingly, trying to convince somebody, somewhere, of something, and our essayistic tradition bears this out.”

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