History of essay as a literature form has begun in 1580 when Michel de Montaigne has published the book “Les Essais”. In French term “essais” means “try” or “experience”. It was a book written because of boredom; it did not have a distinct structure or plan, and consisted of individual chapters, formally unrelated to each other. Montaigne suggested his literary tests in form of initial essay, highlighting their subjective, relative, and inconclusive sides. In fact, those were stories of observer that was keeping honesty and integrity of thought. Observations and reflections on the properties of human nature were expressed often at random occasions. In his essays, Montaigne wanted to understand himself, and let you get to know others, know the nature of man, and bring the world of spiritual passions, vices and virtues.

Montaigne’s essays – is the freedom to build, easy, unhurried manner of presentation, the unexpected deviation from the topic of the association. Metaphors, puns, rhythm, techniques of rhetoric, the possibilities of art expression make that book classics of literature essay. Those principles are still in use today.

After some time English philosopher Francis Bacon introduced the genre of the essay in his experiments (Essayes, 1612). Years passed when essays were realized in German by Hermann Grimm (der Essay, 1860). In the U.S. an essay as an independent literary form became widespread in the late 18th century.

An essay of 18th -19th centuries has been one of the leading genres in journalism in France and England. But the Golden Age for essays has begun in 20th century. All prominent writers and philosophers were using it. Bernard Shaw, Herbert Wells, and Jean-Paul Sartre were among them. Those were times when essay passed from high literature to journalism challenging the pamphlet.

History of essay makes itself product of brilliant writers that enriched the diversity of languages, style and form of the essay. Now students of science of linguistics may train themselves in writing essays in Montaigne’s or Bacon’s styles.

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