”Here is a late learning: a fiction writer who also writes essays is looking for trouble. While stories and novels under the eye of a good reader are permitted to bask in the light of the free imagination, essays are held to a sterner standard.”
”An essay is rarely seen to be bewitched contraption in the way of a story. An essayist is generally assumed to be a reliable wittness, sermonizer, lecturer, polemicist, persuader, historian, advocate: a committed intelligence, a single-minded truth-speaker.”
”All these notions are, I am afraid, plain foolishness. They imagine that there is a commanding difference between essays and stories, and that the difference is pure: essays are ’honest’ and stories are made up. The reality is otherwise: all good stories are honest and most good essays are not.”
”What is fictitious about the essay is that it is pretending not to be made up — so that reading an essay may be more dangerous than reading a story.”
”The essays herein do represent me: didn’t I tackle them, shouldn’t I ’take responsibility’ for them, whatever unease (or even alienation) they may cause me afterward? What I am repudiating, though, is the inference that a handful of essays is equal to a Weltanschauung; that an essay is generally more than simply another fiction — a short story told in the form of an argument, or a history, or even (once in a very great while) an illumination. But never a tenet.”
Yllä olevat lainaukset ovat Cynthia Ozickin esseekokoelman Metaphor & Memory esipuheesta.