Dr. Johnson defined the essay as “an irregular, indigested piece, not a regular and orderly performance.” By this count there is no doubt that what Stephen Henighan presents in A Report on the Afterlife of Culture are indeed essays; what is missing however, in both Johnson’s descriptive and Henighan’s book, is necessary, cogent argument. Without […]

Reading Geoffrey Hill’s Collected Critical Writings feels a lot like what it might to step into a graduate seminar in 19th century poetry without having taken the prerequisite courses, or completed the required reading. It will not be immediately understood by ‘a common well educated, thoughtful man of ordinary talents;’ or, for that matter, by […]