!!> PDF / Epub ☆ How to Live or A Life of Montaigne in One Question and Twenty Attempts at an Answer ✪ Author Sarah Bakewell – Bassgrotto.co.uk

10 thoughts on “How to Live or A Life of Montaigne in One Question and Twenty Attempts at an Answer

  1. says:

    Second reading now.This is an excellent book I enjoyed Michel de Montaigne s Complete Essays immensely when I read them some years ago Yet one leaves the Essays, or at least I did, with little understanding of how Montaigne s thought fits into an overall historical context Like most people today I was not trained in the good letters Moreover, I do not possess the capacity for fielding that a few abstractions at a time So the great philosophers have always been rather opaque to me Montaigne, by contrast, was the first thinker I could read Montaigne was the first philosopher I came across if I may be so bold who could write He was no friend to heaped abstractions, so the Essays tend to be rich in clarity Yet the Essays make no attempt to teach us the classics, nor should they That s why this book by Sarah Bakewell is so useful She shows us not only how the Essays arose in the context of Montaigne s intellectual life and times, but also how they are linked to works of the great philosophers, and how they have been received over the intervening 500 years Montaigne was essentially, Bakewell points out, a Pyrrhonian Skeptic She s careful to tell us what makes this particular strain...

  2. says:

    This was supposed to be boring It s about Michel de Montaigne, after all Michel de Who You know, the dude who wrote yet another one of those classics we use as doorstops, in this case, The Complete Essays.So why did I read it One, I got an ARC, which never hurts Two, I kept running into hosanna after hosanna in the press And STILL I went into it with low expectations It sure looked like the type of book where you enter at your own risk and exit at everyone else s risk make way Wrong, wrong, wrong.Sarah Bakewell s book has a unique design, for starters The title comes at you in waves, like baroque riffs in a Bach piece, as the heading in every chapter Each How to Live is followed by a different answer Thus you get topics like Don t Worry About Death, Guard Your Humanity, and Reflect on Everything Regret Nothing From there, Bakewell explores not only Montaigne s thoughts on these ideas as reflected in the essays, but on a wide array of other topics.For me, that was the book s winning ingredient It was as much about the world around Montaigne as it was about him It wasn t afraid to go backwards e.g to ancient Greece to talk about the Stoics, the Epicureans, and the Skeptics and it wasn t afraid to spring forward e.g to Rousseau and Voltaire and even 21st century blogs on the Internet For Montaigne was an Everyman if ever there was one, and his self obsession made a thoroughly modern man, one we can recognize for selfish reasons Why He d...

  3. says:

    Oh, fuck it I just spent forty minutes writing up what was going to be my best review ever, and lost it by accidentally flipping to Wikipedia Here s the dim reflection of what might have been.I have been trying to read Montaigne s essays for about 12 years now Montaigne entered my consciousness in my first year at university, when I somehow picked up the notion that every well rounded reader should be acquainted with his writing.However, my every attempt to grapple with the Essays has thus far left me flummoxed by the As and Bs and Cs that are scattered through the sentences, the snippets of Latin and French, and the roundabouts and whirligigs of the language While every commentator dwells upon Montaigne s personal appeal to the reader a dangerous seduction for those who find his writing seditious a sense of self identification for those who don t I couldn t find my entry point.Sarah Bakewell has given it to me She notes at the end of this book that it was five years in the making, and I don t doubt that at all Not only must the research and reading required been prodigious, but that crafting of research into the eventual structure of the book must have been a painstaking process unless Bakewell is touched by a genius for textual visualisation.A little background Michel Montaigne 1533 1592 was a landowner, writer, politician and diplomat who live in the Aquitaine region of France, near Bordeaux his fathe...

  4. says:

    _ _

  5. says:

    A cleverly digressive account of Montaigne, less a biography, of an attempt to tell stories of Montaigne s life in the style of his essays, taking in his historical context and the ongoing reception of the man and his works all branching out from the question how to live and in order to offer maximum value to the reader Bakewell offers not a single miserly answer, but a full twenty answers one for almost everybody, all gleaned from Montaigne in short nomen est omen and Sarah has baked well mixing diverse ingredients into something both substantial, but also light and flavoursome.On the one hand the information about the civil wars, Montaigne s work as Mayor of Bordeaux, his connections with Catherine de Medici Queen Mother sometimes regentto Francis II, Charles IX and Henri III, as well as general political heavy weight , and Henri of Navarre the future Henri IV added to understanding the essays and Montaigne, on the other hand pointing out that since his mother s family came from Spain that they were probably Jewish refugees I felt added nothing since this was something that Montaigne was apparently unaware of, likewis...

  6. says:

    On reading about Montaigne while sitting on trainsMost mornings I step onto the last carriage of the train and wander down the aisle to the small seat at the very back This space is separated from the rest of the passengers by a half wall and a dirty, square window Unlike the other seats, there is a small bench where I can my rest belongings and, on rare mornings like this one, tap away on a rickety netbook.My wife and a couple of friends inhale several books a week before diligently hammering out thoughtful responses I admire and envy their passion for the written word and it makes me happy to read their thoughts, especially when they write about a book that I have a vague aspiration to read but will likely never quite find the time for When I started catching the train I believed that all this would change I would join their scholarly ranks While I did not expect to keep up, I at least expected to read a book every week or two This has not transpired.Goodreads has made me realise that I am not very good at reviewing books I read a book and it fills me with ideas I go out into the world and I bump into things that I reinterpret in response to the text ...

  7. says:

    1397 1 2 1397.12.29

  8. says:

    , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , .

  9. says:

    It had the perfect commercial combination startling originality and easy classification. With the state of the world especially of the United States growing unsettling and absurd by the day, I felt a need to return to Montaigne, the sanest man in history Luckily, I had Bakewell s book tucked away in the event of any crisis of this kind and I m happy to report it did take the edge off How to Live is a beguiling mixture While purportedly a biography of Montaigne, it is also, as many reviewers have noted, a biography of Montaigne s Essays, tracking how they have been reread and reinterpreted in the centuries since their publication This double biography is structured as a series of answers to the question How to live In the hands of a less able writer, this organizational principle could easily have become a cheap, tacky gimmick but Bakewell s skill and taste allow the book to transcend biography into philosophy or, at the very least, into self help.Bakewell herself is hardly a Montaignesque writer Her prose is disciplined and controlled and though she must weave philosophy, history, literary criticism, and biography into a coherent narrative, she keeps her material on a tight rein While Montaigne serves as the massive gravitational core of his own essays, holding all the disparate topics together by the force of his personality, Bakewell herself is mostly absent from these pages Instead, she gives us a loving portrait ...

  10. says:

    Bakewell s work is too structured and readable to be a modern re mix of Montaigne Bakewell takes us through Montaigne s life even as we are taken through the essays and their evolution To top it off we are also taken through the evolving reception of the essays and of the changing reflections that various readers of various generations and centuries found in them In the end we are given not only a lif...

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

How to Live or A Life of Montaigne in One Question and Twenty Attempts at an Answer Winner Of The 2010 National Book Critics Circle Award For BiographyHow To Get Along With People, How To Deal With Violence, How To Adjust To Losing Someone You Love Such Questions Arise In Most People S Lives They Are All Versions Of A Bigger Question How Do You Live How Do You Do The Good Or Honorable Thing, While Flourishing And Feeling Happy This Question Obsessed Renaissance Writers, None Than Michel Eyquem De Monatigne, Perhaps The First Truly Modern Individual A Nobleman, Public Official And Wine Grower, He Wrote Free Roaming Explorations Of His Thought And Experience, Unlike Anything Written Before He Called Them Essays, Meaning Attempts Or Tries Into Them, He Put Whatever Was In His Head His Tastes In Wine And Food, His Childhood Memories, The Way His Dog S Ears Twitched When It Was Dreaming, As Well As The Appalling Events Of The Religious Civil Wars Raging Around Him The Essays Was An Instant Bestseller And, Over Four Hundred Years Later, Montaigne S Honesty And Charm Still Draw People To Him Readers Come In Search Of Companionship, Wisdom And Entertainment And In Search Of Themselves.This Book, A Spirited And Singular Biography, Relates The Story Of His Life By Way Of The Questions He Posed And The Answers He Explored It Traces His Bizarre Upbringing, Youthful Career And Sexual Adventures, His Travels, And His Friendships With The Scholar And Poet Tienne De La Bo Tie And With His Adopted Daughter, Marie De Gournay And We Also Meet His Readers Who For Centuries Have Found In Montaigne An Inexhaustible Source Of Answers To The Haunting Question, How To Live