Montaigne essays penguin

This last thought will probably get me into a little trouble because I am veering off what is more directly considered “practical philosophy.” But I think I am on good ground here. For starters, Cato the Younger–considered one of the most influential stoics–never wrote anything down. He was a philosopher by action and so many people studied his “work” through biography and anecdote. This was a Roman tradition. For instance, Plutarch wrote many biographies of famous historical figures–from Demosthenes to Mark Antony–which function as philosophy and moral example. A few biographies worth picking up for their practical philosophic value: Where Men Win Glory by Jon Krakauer (Pat Tillman embodies the tragic hero). Titan: The Life of John D Rockefeller (unflappable, disciplined, ultimately generous and humble–there are a lot of good stories here). I mentioned Cato earlier–the most recent biography by Jimmy Soni and Rob Goodman is quite good. I like Frederick Douglass’ autobiography, My Bondage and My Freedom as well as Xenophon’s Cyrus the Great (the modern business translation is most readable). I try to read at least one such biography a month, to get recommendations start here.

What remains? Most of the sentence, and of course the crucial dash, which is the sveltest emblem possible of the license afforded to the sick, to the essayist, and to the sentence itself. “On Being Ill” contains one of Woolf’s boldest essayistic deviations. She has been thinking about Hamlet , and the way rashness, “one of the properties of illness,” allows at last a proper, because “outlaw,” reading of the play’s illogic and excess. And then, without warning: “But enough of Shakespeare—let us turn to Augustus Hare.” Hare was a mediocre 19th-century biographer: his 1893 book The Story of Two Noble Lives (on Countess Canning and the Marchioness of Waterford) is the sort of thing one might have read in bed with flu in 1925. But it gives Woolf her last, long paragraph, on the eruption of violent death into poised, aristocratic Victorian lives. The essay ends in a kind of dream—with the image of a plush red curtain clasped and crushed in grief. And we’re happy to follow Woolf there, in part, because of that dash in her opening sentence, which denotes a passage from the dream-fugue of sickness, depression, and undirected reading into the dirigible madness of writing.

Given Montaigne’s expression of this conception of the self as a fragmented and ever-changing entity, it should come as no surprise that we find contradictions throughout the Essays .  Indeed, one of the apparent contradictions in Montaigne’s thought concerns his view of the self.  While on the one hand he expresses the conception of the self outlined in the passage above, in the very same essay - as if to illustrate the principle articulated above - he asserts that his self is unified by his judgment, which has remained essentially the same his entire life.  Such apparent contradictions, in addition to Montaigne’s style and the structure that he gives his book, complicate the task of reading and have understandably led to diverse interpretations of its contents.

Winckelmann inspired German poets in the latter 18th and throughout the 19th century, [29] :55 including Goethe , who pointed to Winckelmann's glorification of the nude male youth in ancient Greek sculpture as central to a new aesthetics of the time, [40] :612 and for whom Winckelmann himself was a model of Greek love as a superior form of friendship. [45] While Winckelmann did not invent the euphemism "Greek love" for homosexuality, he has been characterized as an "intellectual midwife" for the Greek model as an aesthetic and philosophical ideal that shaped the 18th-century homosocial "cult of friendship." [29] :55 [46]

Montaigne essays penguin

montaigne essays penguin

Winckelmann inspired German poets in the latter 18th and throughout the 19th century, [29] :55 including Goethe , who pointed to Winckelmann's glorification of the nude male youth in ancient Greek sculpture as central to a new aesthetics of the time, [40] :612 and for whom Winckelmann himself was a model of Greek love as a superior form of friendship. [45] While Winckelmann did not invent the euphemism "Greek love" for homosexuality, he has been characterized as an "intellectual midwife" for the Greek model as an aesthetic and philosophical ideal that shaped the 18th-century homosocial "cult of friendship." [29] :55 [46]

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