Authors are, of course, sneaky.
His evasions are legendary. He writes a great deal about the tyranny of laws but nothing about his fourteen years as a magistrate or his four years as a mayor, or even about his response, as mayor, to the plague that struck Bordeaux toward the end of his second term, leaving a third of the population dead. He fled. Montaigne, at the time, was thirty-two and, he says, ready to be a dutiful and respectful husband. As for his mother, he alludes to her twice, but only in passing.
Her name was Antoinette Louppes de Villeneuve. She came from a far-flung merchant clan, similar to the Montaignes in wealth and influence, but with the notable exception that, while the Montaignes were then solidly and safely Catholic, some of the Louppes were Protestant, and the family themselves were Sephardic conversos from Saragossa, where their name was Lopez de Villanueva.
She arrived at the castle a reluctant bride of sixteen, to marry Pierre Eyquem, an eccentric but apparently exemplary chatelain and a future mayor of Bordeaux himself , and, once having settled her duty to her children by bearing them, she was attached mainly to herself. For him, the subject of Protestants and Jews who had been barred from practicing their religion in France since the end of the fourteenth century seems to have been, at most, food for his meditations on the absurdities of persecution and the fatal distractions of disharmony.
But, when it came to seeing an old Jew herded naked through the streets of Rome, he remained a reporter—curious, compassionate, but not particularly disturbed. He did not expect much better from the world. Relatives, to his mind, were accidents of birth, consideration, and proximity. The genealogy that interested him was the genealogy of thought. He was far more interested in thinking about religion with the Sophists and Skeptics in his library than he was in the part that religion, even his own Catholicism, played in him.
For all that, he was a passionate traveller. His search for the spa that would cure his kidney stones—the disease had killed his father and would eventually help kill him—took him to Switzerland, Austria, and Germany. His love of the classics took him to Italy. He prowled the ghetto, visiting a synagogue, watching a circumcision, and happily cross-examining the rabbi.
By the end of his visit he had met the Pope and was made an honorary Roman citizen. Today, we would call him a gentleman ethnographer, more enchanted than alarmed by the bewildering variety of human practices. The only things I find rewarding if anything is are variety and the enjoyment of diversity. When did we ever write so much as since the beginning of our Civil Wars?
The Essays of Montaigne - Michel de Montaigne - Google книги
And whenever did the Romans do so as just before their collapse? The words I utter when wretched are words of defiance. Montaigne also eloquently employed many references and quotes from classical Greek and Roman, i. Montaigne considered marriage necessary for the raising of children, but disliked the strong feelings of romantic love as being detrimental to freedom. One of his quotations is "Marriage is like a cage; one sees the birds outside desperate to get in, and those inside desperate to get out.
In education, he favored concrete examples and experience over the teaching of abstract knowledge that is expected to be accepted uncritically. English journalist and politician J. Robertson argued that Montaigne's essays had a profound influence on the plays of William Shakespeare , citing their similarities in language, themes and structures.
The remarkable modernity of thought apparent in Montaigne's essays, coupled with their sustained popularity, made them arguably the most prominent work in French philosophy until the Enlightenment. Their influence over French education and culture is still strong. Montaigne heavily edited Essays at various points in his life.
Sometimes he would insert just one word, while at other times he would insert whole passages. Many editions mark this with letters as follows:. A copy of the fifth edition of the Essais with Montaigne's own "C" additions in his own hand exists, preserved at the Municipal Library of Bordeaux known to editors as the "Bordeaux Copy". Analyzing the differences and additions between editions show how Montaigne's thoughts evolved over time. Remarkably, he does not seem to remove previous writings, even when they conflict with his newer views.
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Essays Cover, circa Essais de messire Michel de Montaigne, Millanges Bourdeaus.
Retrieved 1 June — via Gallica. Cambridge Digital Library. Sophie Kinsella. An American Marriage. Tayari Jones. Still Me. Jojo Moyes.
Nine Perfect Strangers. Liane Moriarty.
Essais De Montaigne, Volume 11
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