This collection of essays features essayists writing about the essay as a literary form, from its creation in the fifteenth century by Michel de Montaigne to its contemporary manifestations. The essays consider, define, categorize, and reveal aspects of the essay differently from any other anthology, and the anthology contains work that is not anthologized  elsewhere. Included are essays by Michel de Montaigne, William Cornwallis, Thomas Culpepper, Charles Colton, Joseph Addison, David Hume, Samuel Johnson, Leigh Hunt, William  Hazlitt, Charles Lamb, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Alexander Smith, Virginia Woolf, Georg Lukàcs, Christopher Morley, G. K. Chesterton, Theodor Adorno, Robert Atwan, Réda Bensmaïa,  Carl Klaus, R. Lane Kauffmann, Phillip Lopate, Hélène Cixous, Rachel Blau DuPlessis, Nancy Mairs, Cynthia Ozick, John D’Agata, Brian Lennon, Lia Purpura, David Shields.

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