Examples of essay/articles without a character or main person
October 17, 2013 7:41 AM   Subscribe

Hello, I'm looking for examples of good essays/articles/long form journalism (2000-5000 words) that aren't told through profiling a person or based on the author's experience somewhere. I received advice that you don't pitch an idea or a subject, but a character, and I've stuck to that, but I'd like to try a few shorter articles and essays that don't depend on framing it around a person or a trip somewhere (my essays that hang off a person's story take over a year to get the material because I follow the person's journey). I hope that makes sense.
posted by cimuir to Writing & Language (5 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
On a Piece of Chalk - T. H. Huxley
A Dissertation Upon Roast Pig - Charles Lamb
On a Sun-Dial - William Hazlitt
posted by misteraitch at 8:20 AM on October 17, 2013

Best answer: John McPhee's "Oranges" is a classic. It's... all about oranges. (New Yorker paywall)
posted by sestaaak at 11:13 AM on October 17, 2013 [1 favorite]

Sports, but this 'oral history' of The Malice At The Palace would seem to fit the bill.
posted by piato at 2:32 PM on October 17, 2013

Consider the Lobster.

posted by Wet Spot at 5:57 PM on October 19, 2013

Response by poster: Thank you for the suggestions. I liked reading the older examples of the form and the more contemporary ones. Consider the Lobster is one of my favourite essays but the narrative is framed by the author's trip to the festival.
posted by cimuir at 12:51 AM on October 24, 2013

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