Well, this is interesting. This evening, I stumbled across a site I’ve never seen before, which— oh, I’ll just get out of the way and let them explain it:
After Montaigne—a collection of twenty-four new personal essays intended as tribute— aims to correct this collective lapse of memory and introduce modern readers and writers to their stylistic forebear.
Though it’s been over four hundred years since he began writing his essays, Montaigne’s writing is still fresh, and his use of the form as a means of self-exploration in the world around him reads as innovative—even by modern standards. He is, simply put, the writer to whom all essayists are indebted. Each contributor has chosen one of Montaigne’s 107 essays and has written his/her own essay of the same title and on the same theme, using a quote from Montaigne’s 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 Montaigne’s themes in ways that both reinforce and challenge the French writer’s prose, ideas, and forms. Featuring a who’s who of contemporary essayists, After Montaigne offers a startling engagement with Montaigne and the essay form while also pointing the way to the genre’s potential new directions.
…This site contains all 107 of Montaigne’s essays, in Charles Cotton’s 1685 translation (John Florio produced the first English translation, in 1605, and several other twentieth-century translators have made their attempts at rendering Montaigne’s mind in English as well). We hope that you will enjoy spending time with this quirky sixteenth-century Frenchman, that by reading his essays you will find yourself pondering timeless ideas, and that in reading his essays, you will begin to create your own essays.