"In this exhilarating and learned book on Montaigne's essays, Lawrence D. Kritzman the great writer. Reading him from today's deconstructive America, Kritzman discovers Montaigne always already deep into a dialogue with Jacques Derrida and psychoanalysis. One cannot but admire this fabulous act of translation."Hélène Cixous
In Search of Lost Time by Marcel Proust
Both are long, basically autobiographical works. Though Proust is writing a novel, and Montaigne essays (the form he is credited with initiating), both move through the lives, experiences and reflections of the writers referencing contemporary historical events and social environments. The books share a fearless intimacy relative to personal habits, tastes and psychological states as well as generalizations about the nature of humankind.
Surprising to me, both works are quite funny in parts.
Montaigne's Essays - Anniina Jokinen
There are other ways to write essays: the tripartite form in which thesis is followed by antithesis and then booming synthesis, for example. People still reach conclusions, or strive for transcendence, or, having explored both sides of a question, leave it predictably unanswered. Not all essays are conceived of as explorations or "trials" of the self, and, although it must be said that this model has also licensed an incredible number of windbags, Montaignesque essays that are based on the illusion that the author is talking to the reader about whatever comes into his or her mind tend to be, at the least, more lively, less stagey, than others - revelations, celebrations, or pronouncements - that cultivate an image of the author as provider of enlightenment.