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337 pages
9 x 6 inches
Wissenschaft und Kunst, 32
Universitätsverlag Winter
Hardback (September 2017)
ISBN-13 9783825366872
ISBN-10 3825366871
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Cultural Studies
Literary Studies
The Essay
Forms and Transformations
edited by Dorothea Flothow, Markus Oppolzer and Sabine Coelsch-Foisner
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.
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