Monday September 19
Discussion of the poetics of the essay: William Dean Howells, from “Editor’s Easy Chair” (1902), 36-37; Jose Ortega Y Gasset, from “To the Reader” (1914), 38-39; William Carlos Williams, “An Essay on Virginia” (1925), 48-50; Katherine Fullerton Gerould, from “An Essay on Essays” (1935), 61-4; German Arciniegas, “The Essay in Our America” (1956), 78-81; Hilaire Belloc, “An Essay upon Essays upon Essays” (1955), 51-54.
Discussion Partners: Ian G. and Mia
Wednesday September 21
Read and annotate on Hypthes.is. Ross Gay, Some Thoughts on Mercy. (The essay is published in the online journal The Sun.The category “Essays, Memoirs, and True Stories” has a number of interesting essays for students and writers of the form.); Drew Lanham, Birding While Black (published on Literary Hub) and Forever Gone (published by Orion.) This essay was chosen for “The Best American Essays 2019” anthology, placing it among the 20 best essays of the year among all U.S. authors.
(Consider Lanham’s essay alongside an incident in 2020 recounted in two articles in the New York times: How 2 Lives Collided in Central Park, Rattling the Nation and A Central Park Birder is Back in the Public Eye, On His Own Terms.)
Discussion Partners: Aidan and Zach
Friday September 23
Post essay #2 on your course blog no later than midnight