The lyric essay, as the name suggests, partakes of poetry, and its practitioners generate meaning using the resources of poetry: segmentation, juxtaposition, and an effaced narrative presence. John DAgata, in a special anthology of Seneca Review essays called We Might as Well Call It the Lyric Essay, argues that Nonfiction developed in response to a perceived threat. He cites a 1903 article in which librarian William Doubleday complains of his patrons increasing demand for fiction, seen as unserious frippery for passive (usually With its Fall 1997 issue, Seneca Review began to publish what we've chosen to call the lyric essay.
The recent burgeoning of creative nonfiction and the personal essay has yielded a fascinating subgenre that straddles the essay and the lyric poem.
Anne Carson, in her essay on the lyric, 'Why Did I Awake Lonely Among the Sleepers' (Published in Seneca Review Vol. XXVII, no. 2) quotes Paul Celan. What he says of the poem could well be said of the lyric essay: The poem holds its ground on its own margin. The poem is lonely. It is lonely and en route. Its author stays with it. Lyric essay is a term that some writers of creative nonfiction use to describe a type of creative essay that blends a lyrical, poetic sensibility with intellectual engagement.
Although it may include personal elements, it is not a memoir or personal essay, where the primary subject is the writer's own experience. Mar 26, 2014 These are trends, not sole categories. Lyric essays also tend to be particularly rich in litany, parallel structure, and what I call" stipulative truths, " which include imperative voice, grafted images, or invented tableaus. Below are some favorite or oftcited examples of authors working in the mode of lyric essay.
Mar 23, 2013 Loyal to that original sense of essay as a test or a quest, an attempt at making sense, the lyric essay sets off on an uncharted course through interlocking webs of idea, circumstance, and language a pursuit with no foreknown conclusion, an arrival that might still leave the writer questioning. 5.
5. About this Magazine: Seneca Review specializes in innovative poetry, translations from around the world, and the lyric essay. Work from the magazine is regularly featured in annual anthologies. Work from the magazine is regularly featured in annual anthologies.