Great collection of classic essays

Hundreds of essays from the period of greatest flourishing of that nearly lost art. From the familiar (Bacon, Freud, Chesterton, Seneca) to the unknown (at least to me – Louise Guiney, Thomas Browne) to the unexpected (Don Marquis (creator of “Archy and Mehitabel”), A. A. Milne); there are treasures untold waiting to be unearthed. This is one website that will absorb hours of your time to a good purpose – the expansion of your mind and the improvement of your soul. Beware, though lest (like me) you find yourself in these pages, and are not altogether flattered thereat… ;)

From: Louise Guiney, “On the rabid versus the harmless scholar”

Youth is the most inspiring thing on earth, but not the best to let loose, especially while it carries swaggeringly that most dangerous of all blunderbusses, knowledge at half-cock.

The more noxious variety of student, however, is not young. He is “in the midway of this our mortal life”; he is fearfully foraging, with intent to found and govern an academy; he runs in squads after Anglo-Saxon or that blatant beast, Comparative Mythology; he stops you on ‘change to ask if one has not good grounds for believing that there was such a person as Pope Joan. He can never let well enough alone. Heine must be translated and Junius must be identified. The abodes of hereditary scholars are depopulated by the red flag of the nouveau instruit. He infests every civilized country; the army-worm is nothing to him. He has either lacked early discipline altogether, or gets tainted, late in life, with the notion that he has never shown sufficiently how intellectual he really is.

AND, as if that was not enough, a bonus essay on not reading great literature. :)


2 thoughts on “Great collection of classic essays

  1. Morninghawk

    Thanks for the tip on this site. I hadn’t heard of it before, but it is nice to see someone working to preserve and revive the tradition of the essay. I’ve learned to like the essay form, in that it is concise and to the point, moreso than in many books.

    I think that with the rise of blogging, the essay will rise in prominence, since many blogs are basically collections of essays.

  2. executivepagan Post author

    with the rise of blogging, the essay will rise in prominence

    That would be great! I’ve seen that process at work in my own blogging, at least a little – so far I’ve had two requests to turn posts of mine into mini-essays (one for the PaganTheologies wiki and one for the Neos Alexandria website).

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