Response to Lopate (Not Finished)

Helen Chao.

After reading the introduction to Lopate’s The Art of the Personal Essay, which summarizes the qualities of the genre beautifully, I realized something about myself and my writing.

In the introduction, Lopate discussed in-depth about honesty as one of the essential qualities of the personal essay, and writers often struggle to capture that authentic tone of honesty in their writing – to quote Lopate, “…humans are incorrigibly self-deceiving, rationalizing animals”. We do not like to acknowledge or admit the flaws and shortfalls that are inevitably ingrained our personality (after all, nobody’s perfect). Moreover, we even try to rationalize and justify our flaws and often to paint a rosy pictures of ourselves.

Okay, I am running out of time here. I guess what I’m trying to say is that to write of to expose yourself honestly as possible on paper, and I find it hard to be honest with myself.

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