So we read the introduction to Phillip Lopate’s The Art of the Personal Essay today. I found most of what he said about personal essays to be very true. Especially the part about self-deprecation. A lot of the funniest television shows have characters that make fun of themselves. Hell, a lot of the funniest people I know make fun of themselves!
After learning about the personal essay today, I’m actually kind of excited about this class. I can’t wait to read about other people’s stories, it’s refreshing to see how differently people think! I love the intimacy that comes with reading other people’s personal essays. It’s much more entertaining to read these types of works than say, research essays or news articles. It feels like people really show a deeper side of themselves in personal essays…Lopate puts a lot of emphasis about honesty, being true to oneself and making yourself a more reliable narrator in his introduction to The Art of the Personal Essay. I find this so important when I read personal stories. The worst ones are always the ones that don’t have enough little details, where you don’t actually find out enough about the author. The worst personal essays are the ones in which you can tell that the author is very deliberate and careful not to make themselves look bad, or reveal too much about themselves. Those essays have no personality!