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The Art of the Essay
August 31, 2004 — 5:30 pm

Julian Sanchez has been reading books of essays lately on the theory that “the best way to improve one’s writing is to read the best stuff in the genre you’re working in.”

I’ve also been working towards the same result. I have always known that I’m a fairly lazy writer. Perhaps some time with the masters of the essay will help rectify this situation. I’ve been reading so much lately that it almost seems as if I’m in, what Ignatius J. Reilly would call, my “Miltonian period”.

I read everything I can by Gore Vidal, Martin Gardner and H.L. Mencken. Now, I feel as if I need to expand a bit. Perhaps some C.S. Lewis as Tim Virkkala recommended? Maybe some Edmund Wilson? But, who else?

Any ideas?

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— Justin M. StoddardComments (0)

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