Do you remember Mr. De Montaigne, the French intellectual best known for his works about mankind and its behaviour? Well, because some of his essays are now available for the English readership thanks to the collection curated by Tim Parks and the “pop-style” book by Notting Hill Editions.
In this collection, Montaigne ponders the great and small questions of life and subjects as diverse as education, fear, reading and death. Throughout his essays he attempts to reach a deeper understanding of himself and, in so doing, he touches on the greater human condition. His natural curiosity for life shines through in his lively, at times rambling, pieces and the charm of his writing continues to captivate modern readers. Montaigne indicates a direction western thinking could have taken and alas didn’t.
The curator, as already said, is the journalist and writer Tim Parks. For those who do not know him, he is the author of fifteen novels, including the Booker short-listed Europa, he has translated works by Moravia, Calvino, Calasso, Machiavelli and Leopardi. While running a post-graduate degree course in translation in Milan, he writes regularly for the LRB and the NYRB. His many non-fiction works include the bestselling Italian Neighbours and Teach Us to Sit Still, a memoir on chronic pain and meditation. His critical work includes the essay collection Where I’m Reading From, and most recently, The Novel, A Survival Skill, a reflection on the relationship between novelists, their writing and their readers. Tim Parks was longlisted to win the 2015 Notting Hill Editions Essay Prize, organised by the publisher.
Bringing non-fiction to the widest group of readers is a sort of mantra for the independent Publisher Notting Hill Editions. The ‘Classic Collection’, in fact, restores the great essayists of the past, edited and introduced by modern day intellectuals and authors and includes the essays of Virginia Woolf, Ahad Ha’am, Oscar Wilde and William Hazlitt.
You can buy the book at the link http://www.nottinghilleditions.com/books/drawn-from-life-selected-essays-of-michel-de-montaigne/238