Related Content: 30 Free Essays Stories by David Foster Wallace on the best essays of the 20th century Web. These essays educate us, amuse us, startle us with their immediacy. Who among us can read Henry Adam's "A Law of Acceleration penned in 1904, and not think of our mind-zapping digital age?Who could resist the first sentence of Zora Neale Hurston's piece:I am colored but I offer nothing in the way of extenuating circumstances except the fact that I am the only Negro in the United States whose grandfather on the mother's side was not. The essays that Joyce Carol Oates has selected linger with us, not because their authors (from Mark Twain to Martin Luther King retain their fame, but because each piece is a talisman, irreducible and well-carved. James Age's prose-poems "Knoxville, Summer of 1915" appeals to us today just as it inspired composer Samuel Barber decades ago, and two thirds of a century have only enhanced the thrall of the languorous rhythms of Edmund Wilson's "The Old Stone House.".L. Mencken's article on the 1925 Scopes trial shames this week's pale convention prose with its freshness, and.S.Eliot's 1919 "Tradition and The Individual Talent" still has something to teach. "Here is a history of America told in many voices declares Oates in her introduction, revealing the heart of her intelligent and incisive collection of 55 essays by American writers.Never attempting to capture or replicate a single, authentic "American identity this collection succeeds by producing a comprehensive and multifaceted look at what America has been and, by extension, what it is and might become. While it's not explicitly political, the volume's multicultural intentions are visible.
norman Mailer, The White Negro, 1957 (Read writing essay on dog it here. susan Sontag, Notes on Camp 1964 (Read it here. john McPhee, The Search for Marvin Gardens, 1972 (Read it here with a subscription. joan Didion, The White Album, 1979.Annie Dillard, Total Eclipse, 1982, phillip Lopate, Against Joie de Vivre, 1986 (Read it here. edward Hoagland, Heaven and Nature, research paper outline body language 1988. Jo Ann Beard, The Fourth State of Matter, 1996 (Read it here. david Foster Wallace, Consider the Lobster, 2004 (Read it here in a version different from the one published in his 2005 book of the same name.).To my mind, writes Atwan in his article, the best essays are deeply personal (that doesnt necessarily mean autobiographical) and deeply engaged with issues and ideas. And the best essays show that the name of the genre is also a verb, so they demonstrate a mind in processreflecting, trying-out, essaying.To read more of Atwans commentary, see his article in, publishers Weekly. The photo above of Susan Sontag was taken by Peter Hujar in 1966.
Recently Atwan returned with a more focused selection for. Publishers Weekly : The Top 10 Essays Since 1950. To pare it all down to such a small number, Atwan decided to reserve the New Journalism category, with its many memorable works by Tom Wolfe, Gay Talese, Michael Herr and others, for some future list.He also made a point of selecting the best essays, as opposed to examples from the best essayists. A list of the top ten essayists woodlands homework help victorians since 1950 would feature some different writers. We were interested to see that six of the ten best essays are available for free reading online. Here is Atwans list, along with links to those essays that are on the Web: James Baldwin, Notes of a Native Son, 1955 (Read it here.
Robert Atwans favorite literary genre is the essay. As editor and founder. The Best American Essays series, Atwan has read thousands of examples of the remarkably flexible form.Essays can be lots of things, maybe too many things, writes Atwan in his foreward to the 2012 installment in the. Best American series, but at english homework help websites the core of the genre is an unmistakable receptivity to the ever-shifting processes of our minds and moods.If there is any essential characteristic we can attribute to the essay, it may be this: that the truest examples of the form enact that ever-shifting process, and in that enactment we can find the basis for the essays qualification to be regarded seriously. In 2001 Atwan and Joyce Carol Oates took on the daunting task of tracing that ever-shifting process through the previous 100 years for. The Best American Essays of the Century.