The essay community should have hundreds of anthologies from hundreds of different perspectives that are constantly introducing us to new writers, new work, and new visions for our genre. The whole spirit of these anthologies is that there should never be a last word in how essays are interpreted or what they can be.
Since I'm a fan of collections and anthologies, believe that the best writing often shines in shards and galloping stretches, I never find myself lobbying for a writer I enjoy reading regularly to hole up in Heidegger's hut for four or five years to bring forth a mountain.
Anthologies are mischievous things. Some years ago there was a rage for chemically predigested food, which was only suppressed when doctors pointed out that since human beings had been given teeth and digestive organs they had to be used or they degenerated very rapidly. Anthologies are predigested food for the brain.
After my grandfather died I went down to the basement of my family house where my family kept books, anthologies and things and there was an anthology without any names attached to it and I read a poem called Spellbound and I somehow attached it to my grandfather's death and I thought my grandfather had written it.
The Gettysburg Adress has been included, of late, in several anthologies of poetry. It actually meets the major requirement of all poetry: It is a mellifluous and emotional statement of the obviously not true. The men who fought for self-determination at Gettysburg were not the Federals but the Confederates.
No matter how successful, beloved, influential her work was, when a woman author dies, nine times out of ten, she gets dropped from the lists, the courses, the anthologies, while the men get kept. ... If she had the nerve to have children, her chances of getting dropped are higher still. ... So if you want your writing to be taken seriously, don't marry and have kids, and above all, don't die. But if you have to die, commit suicide. They approve of that.
Cross-pollination and "contamination" is really important to the health of fiction, and sometimes it's a literal conversation, too, in that writers who might never otherwise meet and talk do so because of our anthologies.