10-second review: Persona of the essayist. “As part of their ironic modesty, personal essayists frequently represent themselves as loafers or retirees, inactive and tangential to the marketplace. The shiftless marginality of the essayist’s persona is underscored by the titles of some of the most famous essay series: The Idler, The Rambler (Samuel Johnson), The Spectator, and The Tatler (Addison and Steele). Perhaps by affecting the role of lazy scribblers, essayists make themselves out to be harmless, thereby able to poke fun at will.”
The Art of the Personal Essay. Ed. Phillip Lopate.
: Anchor Books. A Division of Random House, Inc. 1995. New York