Literature

The Freedom of Montaigne

“These essays are an attempt to communicate a soul.” —Virginia Woolf “Only fools are cocksure.” —Michel de Montaigne   The soul selects her own Montaigne, and nearly every soul can find the Montaigne she needs. Especially in terrible times, we look to him for ordinary sanity in extraordinary prose. Immune to dangerous idealism, he invented his wonderful essais from a seemingly complete being. “The soul that entertains philosophy,” he wrote, “ought by its health to render the body beautiful too.”[1] He loved health but hated doctors, and there’s something therapeutic about reading him in barbarous times. He was steeped in…

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