HomeGroupsTalkZeitgeist
Hide this

Results from Google Books

Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.

Montaigne : selected essays by Michel de…
Loading...

Montaigne : selected essays (original 1580; edition 1949)

by Michel de Montaigne

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
851710,545 (4)7
Member:an_eternalstudent
Title:Montaigne : selected essays
Authors:Michel de Montaigne
Info:New York: The Modern Library, c1949. xxxiii, 602 p. ; 19 cm.
Collections:Your library
Rating:***1/2
Tags:essays

Work details

The Essays: A Selection by Michel de Montaigne (1580)

None.

Loading...

Sign up for LibraryThing to find out whether you'll like this book.

No current Talk conversations about this book.

» See also 7 mentions

English (6)  Spanish (1)  All (7)
Showing 1-5 of 6 (next | show all)
In this collection of essays, Montaigne established the essay form in the modern way that we still recognize today. From this collection I would like to focus on one of the most famous essays; namely, "To philosophize is to learn how to die". Montaigne begins by referencing Cicero (who himself was paraphrasing Socrates as he was presented by Plato in his dialogue, Phaedo). He quickly concludes that the purpose of philosophy "is to teach not to be afraid of dying." (p 17) This, however, he immediately modifies this to say that "the labor of reason must be to make us live well, and at our ease," with a target of happiness (quoting scripture rather than Aristotle).

The essay could have ended here, but Montaigne goes on at length about the nature of virtue and how it abhors death. He also references common opinions about death but comes around to his own recommendations that death is part of the human condition. The answer, it seems, is to always have our death in mind so that we become used to it, and as such prepared for it. He provides quotes from his predecessors including the following, from Plutarch, that sounds just a bit fatalistic:
"Believe that each day is the last to shine on you. If it comes, time not hoped for will be welcome indeed."(p 24)
He even invokes religion and its contempt for life: "why should we fear to lose something which, once lost, cannot be regretted? Death is inevitable, does it matter when it comes?" (p 30) This would seem to be an end to the discussion.

However, he turns to the works of Lucretius in the closing pages of the essay and lets Nature speak about how one should view death: "Leave this world,' she says, 'just as you entered it. The same journey from death to life, which you once mad without suffering or fear, make it again from life to death. Your death is a part of the order of the universe; it is a part of the life of the world'"(p 31)
Thus he suggests living is like a project and one should not regret the unfinished project in anticipation of death. This view is not dissimilar from that later thinker and essayist, David Hume, that puts forth a sense of benevolence for life and death as a natural part of human existence.

Montaigne concludes his essay with an exhortation to seek happiness in the most natural way possible. This will dispel any interest in immortality; even as Nature claims that a life that lasted forever would be unbearable. We should be aware rather of the advantages of death and recognize that what bits of anguish this life may contain only serve to make death more palatable and our acceptance of it more reasonable. Lucretius painted a poetic vision of how natural death is for humans in his great poem, On the Nature of Things. In this essay Montaigne reasons with himself and with us as fellow humans toward that same end in his own philosophical way as an essayist. ( )
  jwhenderson | Jul 11, 2016 |
This review refers to Montaigne: Selected essay edited by Tilley and Boase, 3rd ed. 1954, Manchester University Press

This edition brings the original text in old French of a selection of 15 essays (7 of book I, 4 of book II, 4 of book III). The text is augmented by footnotes, Notes, Select Bibliography, a Glossary as well as a Preface and Introduction. Short historical introductions supplement each essay. The editions of 1580, 1588 and the Bordeaux copy are distinguished by marginal signs (as has been done in my German edition of selected essays).In short: editing has been exemplary!

It is perhaps surprising that the 16th century French does not present an insurmountable obstacle - given the help by footnotes with translations of more unusual words and those that have changed their meaning since then - for me whose knowledge of French is far from fluent.
(II-12) 5* for this edition because of the excellent editing. ( )
  MeisterPfriem | Feb 20, 2012 |
What a wonderful book to have on the bookshelf. It took me about a year and half to read it, as I would leisurely consume an essay or two while between books, or if I was just looking for a pleasant respite from my other reading. Montaigne is every bit as readable, fascinating and wise as the judgment of history has deemed him. ( )
  Narboink | Aug 11, 2011 |
If I had only one book, this would be it. ( )
  jamescostello | Apr 4, 2011 |
Book Description: Roslyn, NY, USA: Walter J. Black, 1951. Very Good. First Edition. 12mo - over 6" - 7¾" tall. Classics Club Series. Frontispiece map of ancient Greece and illustration of Alexander's Empire. Clean copy, near fine condition in cloth. Two volumes in one book.
  Czrbr | Jun 7, 2010 |
Showing 1-5 of 6 (next | show all)
no reviews | add a review

» Add other authors (13 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Montaigne, Michel deprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Montaigne, Michel demain authorall editionsconfirmed
Bates, Blanchard W.Editorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Cotton, CharlesTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Crocker, Lester G.Editorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Florio, JohnTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hazlitt, William CarewTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
You must log in to edit Common Knowledge data.
For more help see the Common Knowledge help page.
Series (with order)
Canonical title
Original title
Alternative titles
Original publication date
People/Characters
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
Information from the Russian Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
Epigraph
Dedication
First words
Reader, thou hast here an honest book;  it doth at the outset forewarn thee that, in contriving the same I have proposed to myself no other than a domestic and private end:  I have had no consideration at all either to thy service or to my glory.
Quotations
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
Blurbers
Publisher series
Original language

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English

None

Book description
Haiku summary

Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0140446028, Paperback)

"Screech's translation brilliantly captures the directness, energy, and pithiness of Montaigne's writing."—The Christian Science Monitor.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:13:13 -0400)

(see all 6 descriptions)

This work, edited and translated by M.A. Screech, features a selection of Michel de Montaigne's highly original essays on a variety of subjects - from coaches to cannibals.

(summary from another edition)

Legacy Library: Michel de Montaigne

Michel de Montaigne has a Legacy Library. Legacy libraries are the personal libraries of famous readers, entered by LibraryThing members from the Legacy Libraries group.

See Michel de Montaigne's legacy profile.

See Michel de Montaigne's author page.

Quick Links

Swap Ebooks Audio
2 avail.
8 wanted
4 pay

Popular covers

Rating

Average: (4)
0.5
1 1
1.5
2 3
2.5
3 13
3.5 2
4 19
4.5 2
5 22

Penguin Australia

An edition of this book was published by Penguin Australia.

» Publisher information page

 

You are using the new servers! | About | Privacy/Terms | Help/FAQs | Blog | Store | APIs | TinyCat | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | Common Knowledge | 114,385,141 books! | Top bar: Always visible