Now he is chiefly read for his books of light verse-a bad Childs book of beasts and More beasts for Worse Children. As an essayist he has a clear and lucid style laced with humour and charged with polemic energy. He hated to fake an emotion. This makes his essays sincere and, sometimes, moving. He prided himself for one quality-what he called the sense of rhythm, which is apparent especially in his longer sentences which seem to have been crafted like a piece of music without any overt effort. However, he lacks Chestertonian brilliance. Lucas (1868—1938 lucas may be called the Charles Lamb of the twentieth century.
Friday essay: video games, military culture and new narratives of war
Ward finds fault, for example, with Chestertons description of Thomas Hardy a zoo the fellowes village atheist brooding and blaspheming over the village idiot. This is an example of what Ward calls Chestertons verbal exhibitionism. However, Chestertons writing happily abound in such sparkling examples of verbal wit as the following, which attacks Tolstoys pacificism. In the pacifist mythology of Tolstoy and his followers. George did not conquer the dragon; he tied a pink ribbon round its neck and gave it a saucer of milk. Hilaire belloc (1870—1953 belloc was a very close friend and collaborator of Chesterton. Their mutual association was so strong that the two were jokingly named together the Chesterbelloc-as if they were a single but double-headed creature. The two subscribed to the same religion (Roman Catholicism) and the same political ideology (Distributism.) The Chesterbelloc fought a long battle with agnostic socialists like. Wells and Bernard Shaw. Belloc was an extremely versatile writer-essayist, novelist, poet, historian, and biographer.
Basically he was a polemicist-vigorous and incisively witty. He started his career as a journalist writing weekly articles for newspapers. He made his mark with his contributions to the daily news. As an essayist he has literature a tremendous range, and he has always something original and startling to say about everything. Witticisms, epigrams, satiric sallies and ingenious paradoxes are recurring features of his prose. As an example of paradox consider his remark about the French revolution: The greatest event in English history occurred outside England. How odd, but how true! Chestertons predilection for paradox, however, can at time become as fatal a cleopatra as Shakespeares weakness for puns. As Ward puts it, verbal acrobatics became a pernicious habit with him with the passage of time.
Shaw was an agnostic and a socialist whereas Chesterton was a roman Catholic and a distributist (i.e. One who was against state control of property and wanted it to be distributed equitably among deserving individuals). Shaw was very lean whereas Chesterton was very corpulent. It is house said that once Chesterton taunted Shaw for his hollow looks, saying: Mr Shaw, if some foreigner looked at front you he would think there is a terrible famine in England. Shaw retorted at once: And if he looked at you he would also understand the cause of the famine. For once Chesterton was crestfallen. Chesterton was always ready to measure swords with whoever came his way.
And, second, it has compelled the essayists to accept a discipline which was quite irksome but useful insofar as it trained them to write regularly to fill a predetermined space in an organ. The periodical essay of Steele and Addison, which was born with the eighteenth century and died with it, had a new avatar, under widely different circumstances, in the twentieth. The Prominent Essayists of the century-G. Chesterton was foremost among the English essayists of early years of the twentieth century. He was not an essayist but a phenomenon. Chestertonian wit is not less-known than Shavian wit. Chesterton and Barnard Shaw were very different ideologically and even physically.
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Lukács, in his meaty, on the nature and Form of the Essay, wrote: The essay is a judgment, but the essential, the value-determining thing about it is not the verdict (as is the case with the system) but the process of judging. Introduction: journalism and the Essay: The best prose of the twentieth century has gone into the novel and drama. With the close of the nineteenth century the long great tradition of English prose stylists starting with hooker and Bacon came to an end. Though the twentieth century can boast a very large number of competent prose writers from Lytton Strachey to bertrand Russell and. Priestley, yet none of them is comparable in stature with the old masters like browne, tiger swift, lamb, carlyle, or Ruskin. Modern prose writers have hardly any style for they use language only functionally, not like prose-poets or orators.
Take almost any passage from the essays of Bacon or of Lamb and ask even a dull student to identify it and, a hundred to one, he will do so correctly. But modern prose writers write almost alike, with few personal whimsies and little individuality. One important reason for this loss of style is the merger of the essayist with the journalist In this era of mass media a journalist may retain the individuality and independence of his mind but, when it comes to style, he has to accept the. Many of the notable essayists of the twentieth century have been editors of newspapers or journals and some of them journalists. Ward, the enlistment of essayists by newspapers has had the following two effects:. . First, it has raised the standard of journalistic prose.
Note also the word radical in that sentence. Radical implies an effective activism that actually will lead to substantive, desirable change in the world. Criticism generally has a progressive orientation, which seeks to complement the often conservative outcomes of science (that is too rich a claim to defend here, but short version: whose agenda does science typically serve?). Whatever twists and turns occur along its path, and however deep or moral its conclusions, an essay will have little enduring interest unless it also exhibits a certain sparkle or stylistic flourish. Freshness, honesty, self-exposure, and authority must all be asserted in turn. An essayist who produces magisterial and smoothly ordered arguments but is unable to surprise himself in the process of writing will end up boring.
An essayist who is vulnerable and sincere but unable to project any authority will seem, alas, merely pathetic and forfeit our attention. So it is a difficult game to pull off. Readers must feel included in a true conversation, allowed to follow through mental processes of contradiction and digression, yet be aware of a formal shapeliness developing simultaneously underneath. I have spoken about the importance of the critics voice, and here lopate develops the idea and puts some flesh. I now give lopate the final word, and he, in turn, passes the final word onto the great Marxist critic. As you read this final", in light of the other"s that precede it, consider how this relates to a field like hci, with its interface design, user research, and growing awareness of its own socio-cultural responsibility (e.g., sustainability, aesthetics, etc. An essay is a continual asking of questionsnot necessarily finding solutions, but enacting the struggle for truth in full view.
Walden, the anti-video game video game - cnn
The essayist has a voice, which is cheeky, confused, groping, truth-oriented but not arrived. To professional dismiss the essayist as merely providing her point of view utterly proposal defeats its purpose. One can of course demand an accounting for that point of view (and the earlier", which stressed the temporal working out of a knot, suggests at least what that looks like but the cultivation and expression of a point of view is arguably the. Adorno, in The Essay as Form, saw precisely the anti-systematic, subjective, nonmethodic method of the essay as its radical promise. Do i really need to say this? What Adorno is obviously contrasting the essay to is science. This is by no means a rejection of science! It is, rather, an effort to develop and articulate alternative practices of knowledge production, which are both non-scientific and nonetheless rigorous and legitimate.
I also want to stress the temporal unfolding of such knowledge: it is not a static representation of a state of affairs; it is a process of engaging, which has emergent outcomes. The essayist is likely to disagree with herself over time; indeed, foucaults response to critics who pointed out the inconsistencies in his work was to say (very plan roughly paraphrasing Of course! I write in order to change myself. At the end of a book, i am not the same person that began. It would be a boring waste of time otherwise. Back to lopate on the essay: Montaignes What do i know? Is a mental freedom and cheekiness in the face of fashion and authority. The essayist wears proudly the confusion of an independent soul trying to grope in isolation towards truth. This" underscores the non-replicability, non-objectivity of the essay.
of its key terms and contemplates both films that broadly meet the criteria and those that are like essay-films but are not. But Im not worried about the essay-film here, and so i focus only on Lopates attempts to define the essay: the essay offers personal views. Thats not to say it is always first-person or autobiographical, but it tracks a persons thoughts as he or she tries to work out some mental knot, however various its strands. An essay is a search to find out what one thinks about something. Often the essay follows a helically descending path, working through preliminary supposition to reach a more difficult core of honesty. This gets right at why i think critical essays are subjective and why it is so important not to fetishize objective understanding. I am not here rehearsing the kantian argument that there is no such thing as objective knowledge that has taken such prominence in postmodernism. Rather, i am stressing a form of knowledge production whose source is not in empirical reality at all, but rather which is fundamentally embedded in the subjects sensemaking, interpretive, and reflective practices. This sort of knowledge cannot be found in external reality, and so it is absurd to suggest that objective, empirical, or scientific approaches would be more effective in unconvering.
Suffice it to say that I dont believe many in hci have a robust understanding of the nature and contribution of the critical essay. What I want to do in this post is words highlight the nature and goals of the essay as a form of discourse. It is structurally, substantially, and even epistemologically distinct from a typical scientific paper. This is not to suggest that one is better than the other, but rather only to suggest that essays cannot be evaluated on the same terms as scientific papers (and vice-versa, of course). Incidentally, wikipedia has an entry on the essay, so if you want something more comprehensive, go read that. But i am going to share some"s from one of my favorite essayists, Phillip Lopate. I offer this not as a final word on the essay in hci but just to help hciers recognize one when it lands in their laps and hopefully also to be able to evaluate them fairly.
Essay daily: Talk About the Essay: Int l Essayists: Christopher Doda
In my recent post on discourse analysis versus close reading, i got into a discussion in the comments on the origin of the critics understanding and the role of subjectivity, objectivity, and so forth. In the course of that discussion (and Id like to thank jeremy hunsinger for his part of the discussion that helped clarify this for me i realized that there are really two aspects of the problem summary i am talking about. The first aspect is the method or set of interpretive strategies that leads the text analyst to a certain point of view, and the second aspect is the structure of the expression (i.e., paper) in which this analysis is articulated and defended. So my original gripe in that post is that people in hci sometimes seem to think that unless one does some form of coding, ones textual analysis doesnt deserve the name, and one is instead merely advancing an opinion. The point Im advancing in this post is its corollary: Unless one writes a recognizable scientific paper (intro, lit review, methodology, results, discussion, conclusion) one likewise runs the risk of being seen as merely advancing ones opinions or writing (as one reviewer once accused me). This calls to mind my regularly repeated rant that in chi, the top conference of our field, there are eight contribution types, and these include development or Refinement of Interface Artifacts or Techniques; Systems, tools, Architecture, and Infrastructure; Methodology; Theory and others. The eighth of eight is Opinion. Now, clearly Opinion is the slot for essays; its accompanying description uses the term provocative essay. Because many trained scientists seem to hold the position that subjective opinion lack of rigor not knowledge, i wrote a post distinguishing between opinion and judgment, and Ill let that do its work and not restate it all here.