A literary essay It is a text written in prose and with a relatively short length in which the author reflects on or analyzes a specific subject of free choice. This literary genre is characterized by its rigorous, albeit personal and subjective approach to the subject.
It has arguments, opinions and observations of the author, but always supported by logic and information. For instance: Elm pearsby Octavio Paz; Pen, pencil and poisonby Oscar Wilde; Other inquisitions, by Jorge Luis Borges and Monsters and criticsby JRR Tolkien.
Literary essays are characterized by their aesthetic and creative purpose, which is linked to the process of reflection. In these texts, not only the topic addressed is relevant, but also the way and originality with which the author presents it.
They are not aimed at a specialized but general public, so the author avoids the use of complex terms and technicalities. In addition, the author can use various aesthetic resources to present his ideas. For example, parody, digression, irony, caricature, or humor.
Literary essays are loosely structured, but generally contain an introduction at the beginning and a conclusion at the end.
Examples of literary essays
- The agony of Christianity (1925), by Miguel de Unamuno.
- Vision of Anahuac (1917), by Alfonso Reyes.
- Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz or the traps of faith (1982), by Octavio Paz.
- Literature and the right to death (1949), by Maurice Blanchot.
- The audacity to look (2012), by Antonio Muñoz Molina.
- The writer and his ghosts (1963), by Ernesto Sábato.
- The mediocre man (1913), by José Ingenieros.
- The sackcloth and the purple (1941), by Eduardo Mallea.
- The right to dream (1996), by Eduardo Galeano.
- Ideas about the novel (1925), by José Ortega y Gasset.
- Truth and life (1908), by Miguel de Unamuno
- The utopia (1909), by Ramón Gómez de la Serna.
- History of eternity (1936), by Jorge Luis Borges.
- Judaism in music (1850), by Richard Wagner.
- Texts from a wounded country (2011), by Cristina Rivera Garza.