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Approaches to Teaching Montaigne's Essays

Editor(s): Patrick Henry

Pages: xii & 190 pp.
Published: 1994
ISBN: 9780873527200 (paperback)
ISBN: 9780873527194 (hardcover)

"Approaches to Teaching Montaigne's Essays is a thorough course preparation aid for instructors who are unfamiliar with Montaigne, and its valuable insights will challenge experienced teachers to consider new approaches to the text. It is a pleasure to recommend such a useful guide to teachers who will find stimulating ideas to enhance their own as well as their students' appreciation of the Essays."
French Review

"Highly recommended for all levels."
Choice


Debated and discussed by countless writers and readers during the last four hundred years, Montaigne's Essays constitutes the first example of a major new literary genre and originates the moralist tradition in France. While Montaigne has long been a staple of the French language classroom, recent scholarship on genre and gender studies, intertextuality, reader-response theory, rhetoric, and other critical perspectives has brought the Essays into an impressive array of undergraduate courses and seminars. This volume in the popular Approaches to Teaching World Literature series evaluates the abundant analytic and bibliographic material on the Essays and offers detailed strategies and suggestions for teaching the text in both French and English.

Like other books in the Approaches series, this one is divided into two parts. The first part, "Materials," reviews French and English editions of the Essays and lists helpful reference works for students and teachers. The first two essays in part 2, "Approaches," discuss effective ways of presenting background information on Montaigne and the Renaissance. Subsequent essays outline general, interdisciplinary, and contemporary critical approaches to the text: for example, Montaigne's Essays and political philosophy; the ethics of the author; the book's use of plastic arts, of other texts, of metaphors; the sociological significance of the language; "deconstructive moments" in the Essays; gender; a psychoanalytic interpretation of "Of Friendship." The volume concludes with an in-depth look at how five of Montaigne's essays have been taught in various undergraduate courses and contexts.

Table of Contents

Approaches to Teaching Montaigne's Essays

PART 1: MATERIALS
Patrick Henry

Editions and Texts

Reference Works

Montaigne in the Classroom
Courses Taught
Essays Taught
Approaches and Difficulties
Audiovisual Aids
Required and Recommended Reading for Undergraduates
The Instructor's Library
Background and Biography
Books on the Essays
Collections of Essays on the Essays
Articles on the Essays

PART 2: APPROACHES

Introduction

Montaigne and the Renaissance

Our Troubles: The Essays and Their Backgrounds
Timothy Hampton

The Rhetoric of the Essays
Barbara C. Bowen

General Approaches

The Essays: An Overall View
Gérard Defaux

The Essays in the Context of the Essays
Marianne S. Meijer

Montaigne's Style
Colin Dickson

Interdisciplinary Approaches

Montaigne and Politics
David Lewis Schaefer

Just Say No: Montaigne's Negative Ethics
T. A. Perry

The Essays and the Visual Arts
Tom Conley

For a Sociology of the Essays
Philippe Desan

Contemporary Critical Approaches

The Essays: Autobiography and Self-Portraiture
Richard L. Regosin

A Reader-Oriented Approach to Teaching Montaigne
Cathleen M. Bauschatz

Montaigne and Psychoanalysis
Lawrence D. Kritzman

The Essays as Intertext
Mary B. McKinley

En-gendering the Essays
Julia Watson

Montaigne and Deconstruction
Jerome Schwartz

Teaching Specific Essays

"By Diverse Means We Arrive at the Same End": Gateway to the Essays
Frieda S. Brown

"Of the Education of Children": Knowledge and Authority
Steven Rendall

"Of Three Kinds of Association": In the Library, Looking Out
John D. Lyons

"Of the Art of Discussion": A Philological Reading
Jules Brody

"Of Physiognomy": The Staging and Reading of Facial Narrative
Raymond C. La Charité

Works Cited

Index




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