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Montaigne and Ponge

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.  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.

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