A say about essay

February 7, 2019

1 Leave a comment on paragraph 1 0 Jeff Porter in his article discusses about the origin of the essay and how it has evolved quite differently in the academia than its original intentions. He mentions the French writer Montaigne who claimed himself as the father of the essay. He gets into details about what the essay was meant to be when it was first conceived and what it is now. The word essais in French comes from the verb essayer which means to experiment. So kind of in the origin of the word essay there’s a hint of something that has to do with the process of creating and experimenting. Montaigne considered writing essays as a way of catching himself in the act of thinking. As it was for him a practice of his own intellect of what he can do in a text or not and at the same time if he could refute whatever that’s happening within the text or not. And afterwards authors have done remarkable things with the essay as a medium. But institutionalized essay has diverged from what the essay was “meant to be”. I myself am a critical of anything that suggests that things are meant to be something. I rather see the essay as having opportunities that can be played and experimented with as is the case with all other forms of text. But what the author was addressing was that institutionalized essay has become different than what an essay was at the beginning of the conception. Now if we think about texts that play with the self and the other, is innovative or can be self reflectory we instantly think about fiction or metafiction writing. Because essay has become a boring term that has no opportunities for experimentation and a lot of it has to do it the idea of institutions and how any institutions are meant to control and structure our language into the specific power dynamic that it represents. And that’s how it has become in case of institutions today and it opens us to a broader question whether we should have questions about what authenticity is and it doesn’t have to conform to a structure and the intention of any form of text can change and become drastically different and the forms can also interchange between themselves.

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