The art of the essayist by benson summary. Blog Post #2 2022-10-25
The art of the essayist by benson summary Rating:
The Art of the Essayist, by E.F. Benson, is a book that explores the craft of essay writing and the role of the essayist in society.
According to Benson, the essayist is a "literary jack-of-all-trades," able to write on a wide variety of topics with wit, insight, and style. The essayist is not bound by the conventions of academic writing or the strictures of journalism, but is free to explore and express their thoughts and opinions in a more personal and creative way.
Benson argues that the art of the essayist lies in their ability to take a subject, whether it be a person, place, or idea, and explore it in a way that is engaging, informative, and thought-provoking. The essayist must be able to present their ideas clearly and persuasively, using language that is accessible to a general audience.
One of the key characteristics of the essayist, according to Benson, is their ability to draw upon their own experiences and observations to inform their writing. The essayist is not simply a commentator on the world around them, but an active participant in it, using their own life as a source of material and inspiration.
In addition to their personal experiences, the essayist also relies on research and analysis to support their arguments and provide context for their ideas. The essayist must be able to gather and evaluate information from a variety of sources, and use it to build a convincing and well-rounded argument.
Ultimately, the essayist's goal is to engage the reader and stimulate their thinking, encouraging them to see the world in a new and different way. The essayist is a master of the art of persuasion, using their words and ideas to influence and inspire others.
In conclusion, The Art of the Essayist is a fascinating exploration of the craft of essay writing and the role of the essayist in society. Through a combination of personal experience, research, and analysis, the essayist is able to engage and inspire readers with their wit, insight, and style.
Blog Post #2
He may enjoy privacy, but he is no less delighted that people should see him enjoying it. The poet is emotional in a reverential way; he is thrilled, he loves, he worships, he sorrows; but it is all essentially grave, because he wishes to recognize the sublime and up-lifted elements of life; he wishes to free himself from all discordant, absurd, fantastic, undignified contrasts, as he would extrude laughter and chatter and comfortable ease from some stately act of ceremonial worship. The stage imitates life, calling in the services of the eye and the ear; there is the narrative of the teller of tales or the minstrel; the song, the letter, the talk—all forms of human expression and communication have their antitypes in literature. But the essayist may have a larger range, and the strength of a writer like Charles Lamb is that he condescends to use the very commonest materials, and transfigures the simplest experiences with a fairy-like delicacy and a romantic glow. The essayist ought to be able to indicate a case or a problem that is apt to occur in ordinary life and suggest the theory of it, to guess what it is that makes our moods resolute or fitful, why we act consistently or inconsistently, what it is that repels or attracts us in our dealings with other people, what our private fancies are.
He must believe with all his might in the interest of what he enjoys, to the extent at all events of believing it worth recording and representing, but he must not believe too solemnly or urgently in the importance and necessity of any one sort of business or occupation. Cranachring 27 68789 St. Addison in The Spectator dealt with delicate humour. Addison, in the Spectator,treated with delicate humour of life and its problems, and created what was practically a new form in the essay of emotional sentiment evoked by solemn scenes and fine associations. But the essayist must not have a castle, or if he does, both the grounds and the living-rooms must be open to the inspection of the public. He has nothing then but his own thoughts to help him, unless he is alert to see what is happening in hedgerow and copse, and the work of the essayist is to make some-thing rich and strange of those seemingly monotonous spaces, those lengths of level road. He does not see life as the historian, or as the philosopher, or as the poet, or as the novelist, and yet he has a touch of all these.
Behind all forms of art whether, whether poetry or prose lies the principle of wonder, of arrested attention. He will need to have an all encompassing thoughts to get pleasure from all he thinks price recording, and never be slender minded. The eminent banker, the social reformer, the forensic pleader, the fanatic, the crank, the puritan—these are not the stuff out of which the essayist is made; he may have ethical preferences, but he must not indulge in moral indignation; he must be essentially tolerant, and he must discern quality rather than solidity. But in the writings of Cicero, such as the De Senectute,the dramatic interest is but slight, and the whole thing approaches far more nearly to the essay than to the novel. He needs to transcend the mundane petty every day frets, the discordant, undignified components of life. Is, then, the Essay in literature a thing which simply stands outside classification, like Argon among the elements, of which the only thing which can be predicated is that it is there? The essayist ought to be able to indicate a case or a problem that is apt to occur in ordinary life and suggest the theory of it, to guess what it is that makes our moods resolute or fitful, why we act consistently or inconsistently, what it is that repels or attracts us in our dealings with other people, what our private fancies are.
The similarity between an essayist and a poet is that each understand the greatness of life. De Quincey wrote what may be called impassioned autobiography, and brought to his task a magical control of long-drawn and musical cadences. The author is an expert essayist in the way she maps out details in the retelling of a nostalgic memory. In the first place, an Anglo-Saxon likes doing things better than thinking about them; and in his memories, he is apt to recall how a thing was done rather than why it was done. We must remember in all this that the nomenclature of literature, the attempt to classify the forms of literary expression, is a confusing and a bewildering thing unless it is used merely for convenience. He observes and analyses life, colours it with his fancy, enjoys the charm and quality of simple things and endeavours to make others lead a better life.
The essence of it is that it is a large force flowing in any channel that it can, and the classification of art is a mere classification of channels. Human nature is indecisive, it vacillates. Probably Cicero supplied to his readers the function both of the essayist and the preacher, and fed the needs of so-called thoughtful readers by dallying, in a fashion which it is hardly unjust to call twaddling, with familiar ethical problems of conduct and character. The art of the essayist There is a pleasant story of an itinerant sign-painter who in going his rounds came to a village inn upon whose sign-board he had had his eye for some months and had watched with increasing hope and delight its rapid progress to blurred and faded dimness. But an essayist uses the commonest materials of life and transforms simple experiences with a fairy tale delicacy and romantic glow. This, however does not mean that an essayist is forbidden from lapsing into a poetic mood.
But the essayist must not have a castle, or if he does, both the grounds and the living-rooms must be open to the inspection of the public. The poet is emotional, reverential, excitable, in search of the sublime and the uplifted. The moralist who would be sympathetically shocked at the rueful abrasions of the waiter, or mournful over the waste of human skill and endeavour involved in the breakage, would be felt by all human beings to have something priggish in his composition and to be too good, as they say, to live. Even when I was a very young boy at school, instead of running about on holidays and playing with my fellows, I was wont to steal from them and walk into the fields, either alone with a book, or with some one companion, if I could find any of the same temper. The poet perhaps is the man who sees the greatness of life best, because he lives most in its beauty and fineness. It is a little criticism of life at some one point clearly enough defined. The only thing necessary is that the thing or the thought should be vividly apprehended, enjoyed, felt to be beautiful, and expressed with a certain gusto.
The essayist selects his setting, maybe a street, countryside or picture gallery. Thus the essay is a reverie for the essayist — it is a loose sequence of thoughts, irregular in nature which dwells on the moment and allows the writer to dwell within and correspond to himself. Addison treated with delicate humour life and its problems and created almost a new form of essay by incorporating emotional sentiments aroused by solemn scenes and fine associations, Charles Lamb romanticised the most ordinary experiences of life imbuing them with emotion and humour. No, it is not that. An essay is something the writer writes himself.
The supreme fact of human nature is its duality, its tendency to pull different ways, the tug-of-war between Devil and Baker which lies inside our restless brains. De Quincey wrote a sort of impassioned autobiography while Pater used essay as the medium for the expression of exquisite artistic sensation. And then we come to such a writer as Pater, who used the essay for the expression of exquisite artistic sensation. He must have an all encompassing mind to enjoy all he thinks worth recording, and not be narrow minded. He ought to needless to say human thoughts despite weak point is able to idealism, passionate visions, irresponsible humour which can shoot from uninteresting cloudy minds. The essayist needs to be broadminded however not ethical. To his horror he found a brand-new varnished sign.