Saturday, April 17, 2010

Venue: Quotidiana

I recently discovered a website called Quotidiana that hosts a bunch of public-domain essays in an easy to browse format. It is run by a guy who teaches essay writing at BYU and who wanted to have a central online repository for the stuff he assigned to students and for his teaching portfolio.

It's got some interviews (some audio, some written) with contemporary essayists, but, as it says on the site, the most important content is:

an anthology of hundreds of classical essays, all published before 1923, all partakers of the ruminative, associative, idea-driven form that predates and surpasses the current "creative nonfiction" trendy stuff. Although most of these essays are available online elsewhere, some are not.

Having a degree in creative nonfiction, I take issue with the site-author's upturned nose there, but it's a great set of stuff here from Seneca to Mark Twain to Jerome K. Jerome (the hilariously named author of Three Men in a Boat) and a ton of people I've never heard of.

In my next post, I will take a look at G.K. Chesterton's On Lying in Bed, which is listed as one of the most popular essays on Quotidiana. (Right above "On Laziness.")

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