Thursday, August 15, 2013

preview: austen/montaigne essay

I'm about to do something different.  I don't remember the last time I gave students an essay prompt to think about in advance.  But today's conversations got me thinking and they led a solid example worth thinking about during tomorrow's Socratic seminar.  So here is the prompt for the essay you'll write over the weekend:

As David Foster Wallace wrote in his 2001 story "Good Old Neon": 
What goes on inside is just too fast and huge and all interconnected for words to do more than barely sketch the outlines of at most one tiny little part of it at any given instant.
Do Montaigne's techniques and topics support Foster's notion or contradict it?  How does Montaigne's style provide a window into his thinking?  Compare with Austen's style in Pride & Prejudice.  Include examples.  Avoid summarizing or rehashing the original text.

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