[before 1800] The moral essay is a genre situated somewhere between literature and philosophy, between stories and sermons. “The essay interests itself in the narration of ideas,” one critic writes, “in their unfolding.” The moral essay is not about morals per se but about manners, about the way people live--and die. We will read essays by Montaigne, Bacon, Emerson, and Simone Weil.
Limited to 25 students. Spring semester. Professor Emeritus Townsend.
If Overenrolled: The professor will ask students on the first day about their class, major, and invite writing samples and will post a list of accepted students before the second class meeting.