Read Selected Essays: with La Boetie's Discourse on Voluntary Servitude by Michel de Montaigne Free Online
Book Title: Selected Essays: with La Boetie's Discourse on Voluntary Servitude|
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 470 KB
v The author of the book: Michel de Montaigne
Edition: Hackett Publishing Co.
Date of issue: March 13th 2012
ISBN 13: 9781603845953
City - Country: No data
Read full description of the books Selected Essays: with La Boetie's Discourse on Voluntary Servitude:In laying the literary groundwork for the development of the essay, French writer and thinker Michel de Montaigne(1533-1592) presented to the world a complete self-portrait - physical, emotional and intellectual - that was also a mirror in which humanity as a whole found itself reflected. His early essays contained strong elements of stoicism and skepticism, while later efforts indicate a greater balance and an acceptance of nature, with an unflinching openness to new ideas and a willingness to examine impartially the foundations of accepted customs and values.
"This new edition of Montaigne's most important essays is a superb achievement, one that successfully brings together in accessible form the work of two major writers of Renaissance France. The translation by James B. Atkinson and David Sices is accurate, clear, readable, and conveys Montaigne's personable style elegantly to modern readers of English. The notes are authoritative and learned, but never intrusive, and the Introduction beautifully places Montaigne's work in context. No less impressive is the inclusion of an elegant English version of La Boetie's Discourse on Voluntary Servitude, which is both a key to understanding much of Montaigne and a major piece of early modern political thought. This is now the default version of Montaigne in English."
--Timothy Hampton, Professor of French and Comparative Literature, University of California, Berkeley
Read information about the authorMichel Eyquem de Montaigne was one of the most influential writers of the French Renaissance. Montaigne is known for popularizing the essay as a literary genre. He became famous for his effortless ability to merge serious intellectual speculation with casual anecdotes and autobiography — and his massive volume Essais (translated literally as "Attempts") contains, to this day, some of the most widely influential essays ever written. Montaigne had a direct influence on writers the world over, from William Shakespeare to René Descartes, from Ralph Waldo Emerson to Stephan Zweig, from Friedrich Nietzsche to Jean-Jacques Rousseau. He was a conservative and earnest Catholic but, as a result of his anti-dogmatic cast of mind, he is considered the father, alongside his contemporary and intimate friend Étienne de La Boétie, of the 'anti-conformist' tradition in French lierature.
In his own time, Montaigne was admired more as a statesman then as an author. The tendency in his essays to digress into anecdotes and personal ruminations was seen as detrimental to proper style rather than as an innovation, and his declaration that, 'I am myself the matter of my book', was viewed by his contemporaries as self-indulgent. In time, however, Montaigne would be recognized as embodying, perhaps better than any other author of his time, the spirit of freely entertaining doubt which began to emerge at that time. He is most famously known for his skeptical remark, 'Que sais-je?' ('What do I know?').
Remarkably modern even to readers today, Montaigne's attempt to examine the world through the lens of the only thing he can depend on implicitly — his own judgment — makes him more accessible to modern readers than any other author of the Renaissance. Much of modern literary non-fiction has found inspiration in Montaigne, and writers of all kinds continue to read him for his masterful balance of intellectual knowledge and personal story-telling.
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