The Essay: Forms and Transformations

56,00 € *

1. Edition, 2017
337 Pages

ISBN: 978-3-8253-6687-2
Product: Book
Edition: Hardcover
Subject: Komparatistik
Series: Wissenschaft und Kunst, Volume No.: 32
Available: 21.09.2017

Keywords: Essay, Feminismus, Orwell, George, Literaturgeschichte, Gattungsgeschichte, Sozialgeschichte, Woolf, Virginia, Epistemologie, 18. Jahrhundert, 19. Jahrhundert, Islam, Montaigne, Michel de, Bacon, Francis, 20. Jahrhundert, politischer Essayismus, Eco-Criticism

The essay has constituted an important prose form since the sixteenth century and opens up an intriguing field for interdisciplinary study. Applied to such heterogeneous writings as maxims, aphorisms, proverbs, letters, and treatises, it has always eluded a clear definition. Not surprisingly, literary and cultural studies have been reluctant to tackle what appears to be a random array of prose texts straddling the boundaries between literature, philosophy and scientific writing, criticism and journalism.

This volume explores the shifts and transformations of this rich genre, re-interpreting classic texts as well as drawing attention to previously neglected examples from a variety of cultural fields. A particular focus lies on the political and transformative potential of the essay, which has been embraced by women writers, activists, revolutionary thinkers or marginalized groups to give voice to their ideas and concerns. Thus, the essay has often been central in bringing to the fore new structures of feeling and emerging intellectual trends, conjoining literary and epistemic properties.


Albert Göschl in: arcadia, 55.2 (2020), 308-310

Daniel Schneider in: KULT_online, 58 (April 2019), DOI:

Till Kinzel in: Informationsmittel (IFB), 25 (2017), 4 [10], URL:

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