The essays seem to be a bridge of sorts between classical thought and art and contemporary life.
So I’m curious as to where this interest and focus on classical humanities came from.
But I didn’t want to just write the “what happened.” I wanted to think from it. I feel that your work definitely has a strong foothold in a very classical tradition of essaying, and this book is a stark contrast to other essay collections being published recently.
So I tried to do that and I overlaid some ideas from physics like wave/particle duality and quantum entanglement. For instance, “Of Cripples” doesn’t mention cripples until about nine-tenths of the way in. So it could be a little bit frustrating, but once you get used to it and expect it, then it’s really pleasing. Yours seem very classical in form as well as content.
They do share some of their own lives, but their main focus isn’t to tell you something that happened.
Like I said, my life is pretty mundane—though I do have six kids, which makes for some interesting experiences—but I didn’t have a troubled childhood that I overcame, I haven’t done anything extraordinary, so I really liked finding these essayists who likewise were just writing about regular life.Jacob Eckrich, Associate Creative Nonfiction Editor for The Normal School, talks with essayist Patrick Madden about his new collection Sublime Physick, humor, Montaigne, and the activity we call essaying.: One of the things that I noticed about the collection was that you have a really strong emphasis on the Classics.I come to the essay wanting to have an intellectual experience as well as an aesthetic or emotional experience.If you read these old essayists, that’s what they’re all about.I like a lot of essayists who aren’t pulling in quotes from the great dead authors, but I think they are still consciously participating in the long tradition, and they know somewhat of the past.It always feels good to me when an author acknowledges where we all come from and the debt we owe, to Montaigne especially, but to the others as well.: I do consciously try to write something that honors the tradition of the essay and participates in it.I’m in love with these old dead essayists largely because they kind of taught me how to write.A lot of contemporary essayists are leaping off of the work in The Next American Essay.But I feel that yours would fit very much in The Lost Origins of the Essay.