November 18, 2014
Here’s a link to the latest issue of the journal Republics of Letters, featuring a forum on the essay genre. As well as fascinating contributions by other writers on a range of essayists, there’s one by me, “Reverie and Ambush: on the influence of Montaigne.” It’s about Montaigne and one of my favourite French writers, Francis Ponge.
If you don’t know Ponge’s extraordinary, precise prose poems about things – oysters, cigarette ash, pebbles, snails, candles, soap – I’d recommend seeking out his Le Parti pris des choses (Siding With Things). Try this: a bilingual French/English version of his “L’Orange” (“The Orange“). It will have you peering very closely at the pips next time you squeeze your morning OJ.