Elizabeth Hardwick

AN UNKNOWN PRACTITIONER of the peculiar animation of the prose of an essay takes up the cause. It is an occasion for happiness since it is always astonishing that anyone will write an essay. Some write them not once but more or less regularly. To wake up in the morning under a command to animate the stones of an idea, the clods of research, the uncertainty of memory, is the punishment of the vocation. And all to be done without the aid of end-rhyme and off-rhyme and buried assonance; without an imagined character putting on a hat and going into the street.

— Elizabeth Hardwick