The American Revolution and Epistolography in Narratives

Dear Reader, I presented my final critical essay on the Founding yesterday, the English Lit course on the American Revolution I've been taking as part of my graduate elective curriculum at Northwestern U, where I am a student of Creative Writing. I thought I did a pretty good job of it, although the paper was twice its length as what was required. I did clear the length with my professor because I wanted to expand my case further, which seemed like a good idea while I progressed from page to page of the final essay, replete with proper citations and footnotes (aka Chicago Manual of Style). My essay explored the viewpoint of the first person narrator and the narrator's pursuit of autonomy in non-fiction and fiction written during the Founding, a time when writers used the epistolary format (letters and their proper salutations) to express their views in correspondences and even in long manuscripts and mid-sized pamphlets. Epistolography is a rhetorical style of writing, which is attributed to the Middle Ages but which goes back further to Grecian and Roman times, and before that to India, Egypt, Sumer, and China. This has been a quarter of rigorous reading and writing. Professor Betsy Erkkila knows her stuff, and I admit that I've been a little sad to see the course come to an end. I can honestly say now that I remain more informed about America's Founding, which bears a crucial history of selfhood and liberty that I am glad to be enjoying now. Patriotism is more, it is also about having a profound understanding of the schismatic and unifying events that formed this country. Your revolutionary, Ignatius