Phillip Lopate’s introduction to “The Art of the Personal Essay” outlines several key facets of this intimate mode of expression. I found the “Honesty, Confession, and Privacy” section to be particularly interesting. These three pillars of the personal essay are what writers strive to incorporate in their works, yet Lopate mentions humans as being innately programmed to deceive. Lopate views humans as “self-deceiving, rationalizing animals”. In order to extract the purest truth from our experiences and translate them into words; we must “remove the mask”, according to Montaigne. This feat can only be achieved if the writer is honest and open with their downfalls and limitations. Another interesting aspect of Lopate’s writing is that honesty and confession can still be balanced with privacy. For example, essayist Max Beerbohm incorporates all three of these elements: letting the reader experience the intricacies of his world, yet still maintaining private details of his life a secret. I feel that if I can balance these three elements, I will be able to produce a humble and true personal essay.
niloynahid22 on Clinical Psychology PhD progra… adharahaque on Digital Story maknouk on The Struggles of Choosing a… roshnisondhi on Digital Story Struggles roshnisondhi on You Owe Me
TagsAndre Dubus Arnold Arts bacon Beauty Brainard Cancer Codrescu college compassion dad Danticat Death dentistry Digging Digital Story Disease dubus Education Emerson essay family Father feminism Gerard God Grealy hampl hard work Health honesty Hurricane Hurricanes intimacy James Frey liars Lies Lopate love Mairs Medical school Memoir Memories memory Miah Arnold Michel de Montaigne money Montaigne Nancy Mair nester nostalgia personal statement Place Poetry pressure pressures Race remember Remembering Self-Discovery Shteyngart This I Believe Thoreau Tobias Wolff Truth Values Wallace Week 1 week 6 William Zinsser Wolff work Writing You Owe Me Zinsser