Encyclopedia of Early Modern History Online

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(3,188 words)

1. Concept

The early modern essay was a literary medium for the development of complex modes of writing on the levels of subjective reflection, thematic discussion, and productive emancipation. The concept, which from the late 16th century was applied to various types of text by no means homogenous in type, essentially declared a productive intention to “essay” (i.e. venture or attempt). It also suggested that the process of thinking and …

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Schärf, Christian, “Essay”, in: Encyclopedia of Early Modern History Online, Editors of the English edition: Graeme Dunphy, Andrew Gow. Original German Edition: Enzyklopädie der Neuzeit. Im Auftrag des Kulturwissenschaftlichen Instituts (Essen) und in Verbindung mit den Fachherausgebern herausgegeben von Friedrich Jaeger. Copyright © J.B. Metzlersche Verlagsbuchhandlung und Carl Ernst Poeschel Verlag GmbH 2005–2012. Consulted online on 21 February 2024 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/2352-0272_emho_COM_018951>
First published online: 2015
First print edition: 20180126

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