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Essays of Elia - Wikipedia

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Elia and The Last Essays of Elia / Charles Lamb, by Charles Lamb

Lawrence 0 book in djvu format James Fenimore Cooper books in mobi format. Heroes of myth and legend Lamb and Hazlitt: further letters and records hitherto unpublished Lamb's essays; a biographical study; Life, letters, and writings Literary sketches and letters: being the final memorials of Charles Lamb, never before published Miscellaneous essays Mrs.

Leicester's school Mrs. Like most of Lamb's poems, it is unabashedly sentimental, and perhaps for this reason it is still remembered and widely read today, being often included in anthologies of British and Romantic period poetry. Of particular interest to Liberians is the opening verse of the original version of The Old Familiar Faces, which is concerned with Lamb's mother, whom Mary Lamb killed.

It is very important that we know the time and place to express our emotions instead of letting them loose whenever and wherever. There is a deep pleasure to listen his poems. Furthermore the repetition of vowel sounds is well seen in his poetry. However, there is much difference between his essays and the essays of his model. Montaigne's essays are marked by his tendency towards self-revelation, a light-hearted sense of humor, and tolerance. But Bacon in his essay is more an adviser than a companion: he is serious, objective, and didactic. It has well been said that the essay took a wrong turn in the hands of Bacon.

For two centuries after Bacon the essay in England went on gravitating towards the original conception held by Montaigne, but it was only in the hands of the romantic essayists of the early nineteenth century that it became wholly personal, light, and lyrical in nature. From then onwards it has seen no essential change. The position of Lamb among these romantic essayists is the most eminent. In fact, he has often been called the prince of all the essayists England has so far produced.

Hugh Walker calls him the essayist par excellence who should be taken as a model. It is from the essays of Lamb that we often derive our very definition of the essay, and it is with reference to his essays as a criterion of excellence that we evaluate the achievement and merit of a given essayist. Familiarity with Lamb as a man enhances for a reader the charm of his essays. And he is certainly the most charming of all English essays. We may not find in him the massive genius of Bacon, or the ethereal flights O altitude of Thomas Browne, or the brilliant lucidity of Addison, or the ponderous energy of Dr.

Johnson, but none excels him in the ability to charm the reader or to catch him in the plexus of his own personality. Because of his nostalgia and humorous idiosyncrasies, his works were conspicuously known throughout the 19 th and 20th century. He brought a new kind of warmth to English prose. His sentences can be intense, they can sneer, they can scream, but they always have a kind of rounded glow, like a welcoming, slightly melancholy fireplace. According to the subject he is treating, he makes use of the rhythms and vocabularies of these writers.

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This is the secret of the charm of his style and it also prevents him from ever becoming monotonous or tiresome. His style is also full of surprises because his mood continually varies, creating or suggesting its own style, and calling into play some recollection of this or that writer of the older world.

The evolution of the essay from Bacon to Lamb lies primarily in its shift from objectivity to subjectivity, and from formality to familiarity. Of all the essayists it is perhaps Lamb who is the most autobiographic. Lamb with other romantic essayists completed this change. Walter Pater observes in Appreciations; "With him, as with Montaigne, the desire of self-portraiture is below all mere superficial tendencies, the real motive in 'writing at all, desire closely connected with intimacy, that modern subjectivity which may be called the Montaignesque element in literature.

In his each and every essay we feel the vein of his subjectivity. It is really impossible to think of an essayist who is more personal than Lamb. His essays reveal him fully-in all his whims, prejudices, past associations, and experiences. His tenderness towards his sister Mary is revealed by "Mrs.

She got married and her children had to "call Bartram father. When the reverie is gone this is what he finds: " Samuel C. The admissions of his own weaknesses, follies, and prejudices are so many humorous warnings to his readers. Far from that, Egotism with Lamb sheds its usual offensive accoutrements. His egotism is free from vulgarity. Well does Compton-Rickettobserve: "There is no touch of vulgarity in these intimacies; for all their frank unreserved we feel the delicate refinement of the man's spiritual nature.

Lamb omits no essential, he does not sentimentalize, and does not brutalize his memories. He poetizes them, preserving them for us in art that can differentiate between genuine reality and crude realism.

Essays of Elia by Charles Lamb – review

Though Lamb is an egotist yet he is not self-assertive. He talks about himself not because he thinks himself to be important but because he thinks himself to be the only object he knows intimately. Thus his egotism is born of a sense of humility rather than hauteur.

Chew observes: "Like all the romantics he is self-revelatory, but there is nothing in him of the 'egotistical-sublime.


This change was to be accepted by all the essayists to follow. He has made of chatter a fine art.

He plays with him in a puckish manner, no doubt, but he is always ready to take him into confidence and to exchange heart-beats with him. In the essays of the writers before him we are aware of a well-marked distance between the writer and ourselves. Bacon and Addison perch themselves, as it were, on a pedestal, and cast pearls before the readers standing below.

In Cowley, the distance between the reader and writer narrows down-but it is there still. It was left for Lamb to abolish this distance altogether. He often addresses the reader "dear reader" as if he were addressing a bosom friend. He makes nonsense of the proverbial English insularity and "talks" to the readers as "a friend and man" as Thackeray said he did in his novels.

This note of intimacy is quite pleasing, for Lamb is the best of friends. Lamb shed once and for all the didactic approach which characterizes the work of most essayists before him. Bacon called his essays "counsels civil and moral. Lamb is too modest to pretend to proffer moral counsels. He never argues, dictates, or coerces. We do not find any "philosophy of life" in his essays, though there are some personal views and opinions flung about here and there not for examination and adoption, but just to serve as so many ventilators to let us have a peep into his mind.

He has no aim save the reader's pleasure, and his own. He never bothers about keeping to the point. Too often do we find him flying off at a tangent and ending at a point which we could never have foreseen? Every road with him seems to lead to the world's end. We often reproach Bacon for the "dispersed" nature of his "meditations", but Lamb beats everybody in his monstrous discursiveness. In this essay which apparently is written for comparing the old and new schoolmaster, the first two pages or thereabouts contain a very humorous and exaggerated description of the author's own ignorance.

Now, we may ask, what has Lamb's ignorance to do with the subject in hand? Then, the greater part of the essay "Oxford in the Vacation" is devoted to the description of his friend Dyer. Lamb's essays are seldom artistic, well-patterned wholes.

They have no beginning, middle and end. However, what these essays lose in artistic design they gain in the touch of spontaneity.

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This is what lends them what is called "the lyrical quality.