After Montaigne: Contemporary Essayists Cover The Essays
Publish Date: 2015-09-15
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Writers of the modern essay can trace their chosen genre all the way back to Michel de Montaigne (153392). But save for the recent notable best seller How to Live: A Life of Montaigne by Sarah Bakewell, Montaigne is largely ignored. After Montaignea collection of twenty-four new personal essays intended as tributeaims to correct this collective lapse of memory and introduce modern readers and writers to their stylistic forebear. Though its been over four hundred years since he began writing his essays, Montaignes writing is still fresh, and his use of the form as a means of self-exploration in the world around him reads as innovativeeven by modern standards. He is, simply put, the writer to whom all essayists are indebted. Each contributor has chosen one of Montaignes 107 essays and has written his/her own essay of the same title and on the same theme, using a quote from Montaignes essay as an epigraph. The overall effect is akin to a covers album, with each writer offering his or her own interpretation and stylistic verve to Montaignes themes in ways that both reinforce and challenge the French writers prose, ideas, and forms. Featuring a whos who of contemporary essayists, After Montaigne offers astartling engagement with Montaigne and the essay form while also pointing the way to the genres potential new directions.