The weekend newspapers are full of them.
Our computer screens are full of them.
They go by different names—columns – opinion pieces – diaries – blogs—but personal essays are alive and well in the twenty-first century.They flourish just as they did in James Thurber’s and E. B. White’s twentieth-century New York or in the nineteenth-century London of William Hazlitt and Charles Lamb.
There seems no end to the appeal of the essayist’s basic idea: that you can write spontaneously and ramblingly about yourself and your interests and that the world will love you for it.
No end—but there was a beginning.
The essay tradition blossomed in English-speaking countries only after being invented by a sixteenth-century Frenchman – Michel Eyquem de Montaigne.
Source: What Bloggers Owe Montaigne