The Cambridge Companion to The Essay
by Edited by Kara Wittman and Evan Kindley
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Pub Date 17 Nov 2022 | Archive Date 01 Nov 2022
The Cambridge Companion to the Essay considers the history, theory, and aesthetics of the essay from the moment it's named in the late sixteenth century to the present. What is an essay? What can the essay do or think or reveal or know that other literary forms cannot? What makes a piece of writing essayistic? How can essays bring about change? Over the course of seventeen chapters by a diverse group of scholars, The Companion reads the essay in relation to poetry, fiction, natural science, philosophy, critical theory, postcolonial and decolonial thinking, studies in race and gender, queer theory, and the history of literary criticism. This book studies the essay in its written, photographic, cinematic, and digital forms, with a special emphasis on how the essay is being reshaped and reimagined in the twenty-first century, making it a crucial resource for scholars, students, and essayists.