Fitzroy Dearborn, - "[T]he familiar essayist lives, and takes his professional sustenance, in the everyday flow of things. Familiar is his style and familiar, too, is the territory he writes about. Oxford University Press, The difference is neither precious nor sophistical, although it is subtle. Although the personal and the familiar are the two main sorts of essays, essays are, truth to tell, often both familiar and personal, the difference at least nowadays residing mainly in the degree to which a particular instance emphasizes the tiny prepositions that we find in Montaigne and Bacon alike: 'on' and 'of.
University of Georgia Press, Though imprecise and potentially contradictory, such labels not only serve as a form of critical shorthand but also point to what is often the most powerful organizing force in the essay: the rhetorical voice or projected character [ ethos ] of the essayist. But the essay, too, experienced dramatic changes during this time.
Divested of its self-conscious literariness and reinvested with the colloquial vigor of popular journalism, the essay was reborn in such cosmopolitan magazines as The Smart Set , The American Mercury , and The New Yorker. Recognizing the power of a combative narrative voice to attract readers' attention and impose on a journal a distinctive style , magazine editors recruited writers with forceful rhetorical presences. Continuum, In discussing the nature and the character of these two forms of literature, it is well-nigh impossible to consider separately the subject, the author and the style.
Tanner, Essays and Essay-Writing. This essay by Sullivan is probably my favorite one from the whole list. The amount of beautiful sentences it contains is just overwhelming. It also takes you to the Old South which has an incredible atmosphere. Joan Didion — On Self Respect. Normally, with that title you would expect some straightforward advice about how to improve your character and get on with your goddamn life — but not from Joan Didion.
You can learn more from this essay than from whole books about self-improvement. Susan Sontag — Notes on Camp. After reading this essay, you will know what camp is. You will vastly increase your appreciation for art. All the listicles we usually see on the web simply cannot compare with it. Ralph Waldo Emerson — Self-Reliance. Written in , it still inspires generations of people. It will let you understand what it means to be self-made. It contains some of the most memorable quotes of all time.
Emerson told me and he will tell you to do something amazing with my life.
The language it contains is a bit archaic but that just adds to the weight of the argument. You can consider it to be a meeting with a great philosopher who really shaped the ethos of the modern United States. He sees right through the hypocrisy and cruelty behind killing hundreds of thousands of innocent lobsters — by boiling them alive.
- Style and Clarity;
- Creating Healthy Spaces for Highly Sensitive People!
- Dirty Deeds.
- Free Flight (The Ascension of Man).
This essay uncovers some of the worst traits of modern American peoples. After reading this essay, you may reconsider the whole animal-eating business. The famous novelist and author of the most powerful commencement speech ever done is going to tell you about the joys and sorrows of writing a work of fiction. But you love that child and you want others to love it too. If you ever plan to write a novel, you should definitely read that one.
And the story about the Chinese farmer is just priceless.
Margaret Atwood — Attitude. This is not an essay per se, but I included it in the list for the sake of variety. Soon after leaving the university, most graduates have to forget about safety, parties, and travel, and start a new life — one filled with a painful routine that will last until they drop. Read that one as soon as possible.
To summarize the story would be to spoil it, so I recommend that you just dig in and devour this essay during one sitting. No need for flowery adjectives here. To me, Terence McKenna was one of the most interesting thinkers of the twentieth century. McKenna consumed psychedelic drugs for most of his life and it shows in a positive way.
Many people consider him a looney, and a hippie, but he was so much more than that. He had the courage to go into the abyss of his own psyche, and come back to tell the tale.
Style (book) - Wikipedia
He also wrote many books most famous being Food Of The Gods , built a huge botanical garden in Hawaii , lived with shamans, and was a connoisseur of all things enigmatic and obscure. Take a look at this essay, and learn more about the explorations of the subconscious mind. Eudora Welty — The Little Store. By reading this little-known essay, you will be transported into the world of the old American South. There are all these beautiful memories that live inside of us. They lay somewhere deep in our minds, hidden from sight.
The work by Eudora Welty is an attempt to uncover some of them and let you get reacquainted with some of the smells and tastes of the past. The Search for Marvin Gardens contains many layers of meaning. It also presents a historical perspective on the rise and fall of civilizations, and on Atlantic City which once was a lively place, and then, slowly declined, the streets filled with dirt and broken windows.
A dead body at the bottom of the well makes for a beautiful literary device. Who was this woman? Why did she do it? Read the essay. Slouching Towards Bethlehem is one of the most famous collections of essays of all time. In it, you will find a curious piece called On Keeping A Notebook. This one touched me because I also lived in New York City for a while.
They are powerful. As the sound of sirens faded, Tony descended into the dark world of hustlers and pimps. Anyway, this essay is amazing in too many ways. You just have to read it. George Orwell — Reflections on Gandhi.
George Orwell could see things as they were. No exaggeration, no romanticism — just facts. He recognized totalitarianism and communism for what they were and shared his worries through books like and Animal Farm. He took the same sober approach when dealing with saints and sages. Today, we regard Gandhi as one of the greatest political leaders of the twentieth century — and rightfully so. But overall he was a good guy. Read the essay and broaden your perspective on Bapu of the Indian Nation. George Orwell — Politics and the English Language.
Let Mr. Orwell give you some writing tips. Written in , this essay is still one of the most helpful documents on writing in English. Orwell was probably the first person who exposed the deliberate vagueness of political language. He was very serious about it and I admire his efforts to slay all unclear sentences including ones written by distinguished professors.
To make this list more comprehensive, below I included twelve more essays you may find interesting.
1. Kill Clichés
Oliver Sacks — On Libraries. Noam Chomsky — The Responsibility of Intellectuals. Chomsky did probably more than anyone else to define the role of the intelligentsia in the modern world. There is a war of ideas over there — good and bad — intellectuals are going to be those who ought to be fighting for the former.
Sam Harris, now famous philosopher and neuroscientist, takes on the problem of gun control in the United States. His thoughts are clear and free of prejudice. Author of the NYT bestseller The 4-Hour Workweek shares an emotional story about how he almost killed himself, and what can you do to save yourself or your friends from suicide. Edward Said — Reflections on Exile. The life of Edward Said was a truly fascinating one. Born in Jerusalem, he lived between Palestine and Egypt, and finally settled down in the United States where he completed his most famous work — Orientalism.
In this essay, he shares his thoughts about what it means to be in exile. Richard Feynman is clearly one of the most interesting minds of the twentieth century. He was a brilliant physicist, but also an undeniably great communicator of science, an artist and a traveler. By reading this essay, you can observe his thought process when he tries to figure out what affects our perception of time. I like to think about Tagore as of my spiritual Friend. His poems are just marvelous.
In many ways, they are similar to some of the Persian verses that praise the love, nature and the unity of all things. Every father should be able to articulate his philosophy of life to his children. With this letter, the famed atheist and defender of reason, Richard Dawkins, does exactly that. There are many places where you may attempt to find quietude. Albert Camus tells about his favorite one. Seneca shares some of his stoic philosophy, and tells you not to waste your time on stupidities.
Bertrand Russel — In Praise of Idleness. This old essay is a must-read for modern humans. We are so preoccupied with our work, our phones, and all the media input, that we tend to drown in our business. Bertrand Russel tells you to chill out a bit — maybe it will do you some good. The mission to improve my writing skills took me further than just going through the essays. I highly recommend you read them in their entirety. An essay is a special form of writing. I hope you enjoy the read and that it will inspire you to do your own writing. As I said before, this list is only an attempt to share some of the best essays available online.
Do you know any other pieces that could be included in that list? Please share your thoughts in the comment section below. Pingback: Helpful Websites — Ms. Ellis' Literature Lab. Where is Montaigne? True, his essays are years old and not very coherent, but Montaigne wanted to share his raw thoughts with the world.
The essay has now become a sophisticated literary genre, but Montaigne simply wanted to journal about life. No student would be able to get away with a Montaigne-esque essay. Thank you for your kind comment and bringing it to my attention. We should never forget about the origins of the essay.
Famous Authors and Their Writing Styles
Nice list. Interesting choice, have you read Joseph Roths essays? Hotel Years, feuilleton actually…to be accurate, but in the essay family, Robert Walser is another master…I think Ill write a list of the top 20 feuilletons…spasibo for the list……check out edward hoagland, updike thought he was the best….. Pingback: bookmarks - visakanv's blog. Hello Sir! I am also very pleased to know that you like the poems of Mr. Rabindranath Tagore and am also a great admirer of Mr.