This LAPL staff member claims to stumble upon the great variety of books that they read which are mostly old and modern classics.
Montaigne's essays were ultimately written for Montaigne. I often wonder how honest he was in writing the essays. He seems truthful enough, but from the beginning, he makes it very clear that someday he would publish his book. In the end, I suppose it doesn’t matter. Montaigne’s Essays is not a philosophical work concerned with debating the right and wrong, or piercing the veil of reality and gazing at the metaphysical truth. It is not a memoir or an autobiography, since he cares little for specific, factual events themselves, instead focusing on their impact on his mind. No, this book is more closely related to a work of fiction. Though the man lived, breathed and impacted his time and place, his thoughts, however clear, are now only real in print, like any other novel or poem dreamt by a beautiful mind. Montaigne is a character who ponders almost everything and leaves me thinking on these subjects and wanting more. He thought, questioned, and changed his mind in the process. He wrote those ruminations down and provided us with a wonderful template for the fiction in our minds.
Poetry is, to me, the classical music of literature. It is the symphony, the orchestration, the pure yet complicated and deceptively simple manifestation of sound. I say this because, unlike novels, or short stories, or any other form of writing, poetry has the ability to grab me immediately. I’ve memorized many poems and innumerable lines swirl within my brain, completely out of context, but with power nonetheless. Keats’ poems specifically consumed me in a way only Beethoven’s symphonies had before. His words enthralled me, haunted me. I found myself repeating lines as soon as I read them, trying desperately to commit them to memory. Keats was a romantic and an incredibly inventive writer. He thought beauty the ultimate truth and attempted to infuse every line he wrote with that truth. He achieved this more often than not and created some of the most sublime music I’ve ever read.