Wonderful essay on essaying in the New York Times a couple days ago, "The Essayification of Everything." And when I say "essay" I don't mean just Christy Wampole's treatise itself (which is mostly on Montaigne - hey, Wampole is a French professor, after all), but the hundred-some varied comments as well. Together, Wampole and the many reasoned, passionate, silly, knuckleheaded, and/or profound responses constitute a meditation on the essay as a form with both depth and scope. Unfortunately the essay can only achieve this level of call-and-response that I consider intrinsic to the form if it's published in a handful of major publications, like the Times, that haven't yet warmed to the idea of the essay (read: an attempt, a thought experiment) as a marketable form. Hopefully this is changing as major publications like the Times see the number of responses, and the marketing department figures out how to match those hits with advertisers that the readers can then avoid.


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AuthorJohn Proctor