1533 – Birth of Montaigne


I encourage you to go and read the Essays

I further think you should listen to this great radio program about Montaigne and his life…

I could write a sketch of the philosophy, life, and influence of Montaigne, but other people have done that far better

Instead, I want to sympathize with my poor students who are forced to write essays over and over and over again in the course of their undergraduate careers, yet will (in all likelihood) not once read a formal essay for pleasure. I don’t blame them for this, obviously. Our culture encourages people to enjoy the informal essay format of the blog post, but not the essay as it was developed by Montaigne and really mastered by writers like George Orwell.

Sorry for making you write essays, my students. Sorry…




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