In other words, how dare she ask such questions? Well , Seneca would have said, how dare she not ? Life is short. It is a disgraceful thing that a man “should have a wisdom deriving solely from his notebook. . Assume authority yourself and utter something that may be handed down to posterity.” This is what Kipnis tries to do, and she should be saluted for it, not mocked. Her shortcomings lie elsewhere. But the territory she marks out for herself and the boldness with which she sprints into it are cause for gratitude. It is what all essayists should do.