21W.735 Writing and Reading the Essay

As taught in: Fall 2004

Image of Creston Clarke writing with quill pen.

Creston Clarke. Writing with quill pen, as a character in a play. Ca. 1890. (Image courtesy of the Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division [reproduction number, LC-USZ62-128868 (b&w film copy neg.)])




Prof. Anthony Lioi

Course Description

As the course title suggests, this class is meant to acquaint you with the literary and rhetorical tradition of the essay, a genre which has been described by one scholar as "the meeting ground between art and philosophy," and by another as "the place where the self finds a pattern in the world, and the world finds a pattern in the self". Though the essay is part of a tradition of prose which stretches back to antiquity, it is also a thoroughly modern and popular form of writing, found in print media and on the web.