Once again Dr. Lewis Leary writes, “For language is finally the essayist’s single tool, that and a mind acute enough to discover the right words. He cannot depend on situation, plot, or character. Spirited action does not atone for deficiencies in style. Mystery or suspense is not often useful.”
Posted on June 24, 2012 …
The Essayist then is a Personality…
Dr. Leary explains, “Our present delight in the explanations of R. P. Blackmur, T. S. Eliot, or Lionel Trilling and the less strenuous insight of E. B. White results from their ability to say complicated things simply, without posturing in any attitude but their own. They are among those few who, in Leslie Fiedler’s words, … Continue reading
What is an Essay?
Dr. Lewis Leary (1906-1990), former Chairman of the English Department of Columbia University writes, “An essay is an attempt to express a mood or explain an attitude. Most simply, it is a man speaking about what seems to him important or true or at the moment worth saying. Your dictionary will tell you that it is a literary composition, … Continue reading
Ralph Waldo Emerson – The Greatest American Essayist
Dr. Leary wrote in 1960, “Whether he is demigod or, as has been recently suggested, antichrist, Emerson continues to live, our most continually provocative essayist, because he speaks with skill of matters which disturb us still. He requires personal fulfillment, for he insists that there is no greater sin than any man’s failure to realize … Continue reading