Uncategorized | August 23, 2005

In an era when political discourse has been reduced to buzzwords, catchphrases, and slogans–not that ours is the first era in which this has been the case–William Bradley considers his own role as a writer of creative nonfiction. In his web-exclusive piece, “On Personal Essays and Political Discourse (or, Mr. Speaker, We Don’t Need Your Floaty Riffs,” Bradley ties together, among other things, the Daily Show, drinking games, and Montaigne.

“Certainly, Montaigne viewed his essays as attempts at understanding his world and his place in it—hence the title Essais, French for ‘trials,'” Bradley writes. “As Philip Lopate notes, ‘Montaigne understood that, in an essay, the track of a person’s thoughts struggling to achieve some understanding of a problem is the plot.’ Honesty and attention to detail while seeking to expose truth, then, are the essayist’s chief concerns.”