||The essay is one of the great inventions of the human mind. It can talk about anything and everything. It can be lightsome or solemn. It can be witty or informative. Above all, it is short. It likes the passage in which Socrates told Callicles in the Gorgi as to make his answers brief. Yet, we can find in essays things we need and want to know. Aquinas often managed to make the most profound arguments in two paragraphs. Samuel Johnson did the same.||The essays in this book all touch on knowledge and its pleasures. Schall does not tarry on the effort and determination it often takes to say just what we want to say, then say it and know that we have said it. Our writing is our thinking, our thinking-through, our being pleased to know this is it... this is the point Schall, one of America's greatest essayists, makes here.||The "classical moment" is that intense experience of seeing or hearing or encountering some vista, or song, or person that takes us out of ourselves. We are most ourselves somehow when we are most outside of ourselves, seeing what is not ourselves. We are intended to be more than ourselves in being ourselves, to know with others what is the truth, to know what is.