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Durham University

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Publication details for Prof John O'Brien

O'Brien, John (2017). Montaigne beyond the Rhine: The Essais in the Work of Christoph Besold (1577-1638). In Montaigne in Transit: Essays in Honour of Ian Maclean. Kenny, Neil, Scholar, Richard & Williams, Wes Cambridge, UK: Legenda. 171-186.

Author(s) from Durham


This volume tracks a Montaigne in transit all the way from the genesis and production of his Essais and travel journal in the 1570s 1590s to their diffusion and reception from the 1580s up till the present day, in France, England, Germany, and elsewhere. The contributors take those key terms genesis, production, diffusion, reception as their starting-point, but show that the boundaries between them are blurred. How does embodied thought move through space and time between the author and reader of the Essais? Can the role of the ancient writers whom Montaigne quotes be assessed without consideration of the differences he knew there would be between readers capacities to recognise and contextualise those quotations? Where does Montaigne s punctuation end and that of his compositors, editors, and translators begin? This volume asks such questions by exploring transit as a critical concept cutting across different languages, places, and times. Its authors include leading specialists in early modern French and English studies. It is a tribute to Ian Maclean, whose own trailblazing work has moved through and across numerous fields of early modern learned culture.