Black Snakes and Lone Pines: Personal Essays and Reflections on the Genre
Date of Graduation
Master of Arts in English
English Language and Literature
The personal essay is often a misunderstood genre because its form and subject matter are hard to pin down into a single definition. This thesis looks at the nature of form, subject and purpose of the personal essay. The critical introduction explores my reasons for writing personal essays; analyzes the persona, or ethos, present in the personal essay; and posits a description of the genre. I then evaluate seven selections of my own writing, placing each one (or both) of two sub genres of the personal essay--a short (personal essay under 2000 words) or a lyrical essay (a form closely tied to poetry in its use of language and dependence on "gaps").
© Carla Anderson
Anderson, Carla, "Black Snakes and Lone Pines: Personal Essays and Reflections on the Genre" (2000). MSU Graduate Theses. 592.