Posts tagged "personal essay"

Mary Poppins and the Art of Sweetening with Scene

In the essay “Reflection and Retrospection: A Pedagogic Mystery Story,” Phillip Lopate tells us that he has always been attracted to the passages in memoir and personal essay “where the writing takes an analytical, interpretive turn.” He says that he considers these explicative moments to be “the dessert, the reward of prose.” Now, given Brevity’s...
The Essay Determines How it will Begin

The Essay Determines How it will Begin

The essay is a transgression. The night you move back in with your ex-husband, you dream you are in bed with your mother. The essay reveals the world we grew up in. Mother goes on a date with the neighbor six days after Daddy’s death. Then stands in the hallway, her naked breasts cupped in...

Forest in the Trees: The Challenges of Shaping a Book (not a Collection) of Essays

In The Writing Life, Annie Dillard seems to warn writers away from embarking on a collection of individual works: “…[S]ince every original work requires a unique form, it is more prudent to struggle with the outcome of only one form—that of a long work—than to struggle with the many forms of a collection.” As someone...

Flight Status

I like to sit in my car and watch them. Sometimes I don’t even need the binoculars to see their beauty marks: burn scars behind rear-mounted engines or scuffs and dings thoroughly pocking the bottom of fuselages. The one before me is at least twenty-five years old, carries more than 5000 gallons of fuel, and...