Gellhorn's essay begins with a straight description of the conditions in the court, albeit an atmospheric, closely-observed description: "The air conditioning was too cold, and yet the best essays ever one sweated." But she constantly jumps from factual observation to general, philosophical thought. The seamlessly stitched combination of facts and thoughts becomes a compulsive essay. Evelyn Waugh considered life as a printer, cabinet-maker and carpenter before becoming a novelist.He maintained an interest in the visual arts throughout his life; this plea in defence of the classical orders of architecture appeared some time after his literary success began. The essay is full of angry argument, deep architectural knowledge and lyrical description. "The baroque has never had a place in England; its brief fashion was of short duration; it has been relegated to the holidays a memory of the happy days in sunglasses, washing away the dust of the southern roads with heady southern wines.".You don't have to agree with the argument to be compelled by it a rare thing in an essay. Montaigne is regularly wheeled out as the father of the essay. Debatable, I'd say the baggy definition of the essay includes much older works.
He applied his essayistic touch to an extreme variety of subjects the ideal pub, school stories, what makes England England - but this one, on how he became a writer, is my favourite. The word "intellectual" often brings a lot of dull baggage with.But Orwell's honesty and humour mean that you're never in danger of being bored. His four reasons for writing - aesthetic enthusiasm, historical impulse, political purpose, sheer egoism - still seem unassailably true today. You might call Gellhorn's account of Adolf Eichmann's trial in Jerusalem reportage.But that just shows up the flexibility of the essay. A routine bit of reportage remains reportage; brilliant reportage leaps its chains and becomes an essay.
"As a rough rule of thumb, I'd say anything that creeps over 40,000 words is entering book territory; and anything too autobiographical strays into memoir. But, still, you could write 50,000 words about yourself, and it could be an essay in every regard."It sounds banal, but all that matters is quality of writing and thought. Here are 10 that are exceptional in both departments.".Not an original choice of writer, or of essay. But it would be churlish not to include the man who, more than any other writer over the last century, fine-tuned the form.
Hand writing with a quill. Harry Mount is a journalist, author and editor of the. Notting Hill Editions Journal, which commissions a new essay every week.The latest series of essays are published this month. Buy Notting Hill Editions essays "There's not much point in trying to define an essay. Its parameters are so broad and slack that they encompass practically any shortish passage of non-fiction which makes a general best cv writing service argument.