What is an ‘essay’?

To understand what an ‘essay’ is, you have to read as many essays as possible. The term is incredibly flexible, as shown for instance, in Carl H. Klaus and Ned Stuckey-French’s edited book, Essayists on the Essay: Montaigne to Our Time (University of Iowa Press, 2012). This book brings together an impressive range of texts in which essayists try to define what the essay form is for them.

In the video below, I try to give a working definition of the term for the blog:

 

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