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How to live, or, a life of Montaigne : one question and twenty attempts at an answer

Author: Sarah Bakewell
Publisher: New York : Other Press, 2010.
Edition/Format:   Book : Biography : English : Other Press edView all editions and formats
Database:WorldCat
Summary:
How 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 more than Michel Eyquem de Monatigne, perhaps the first truly modern individual. A
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Genre/Form: Biography
Named Person: Michel de Montaigne; Michel de Montaigne; Michel de Montaigne
Material Type: Biography
Document Type: Book
All Authors / Contributors: Sarah Bakewell
ISBN: 9781590514252 1590514254
OCLC Number: 670096800
Notes: Originally published: London : Chatto & Windus, 2010.
Awards: National Book Critics Circle Award for Biography, 2010
Description: ix, 389 p. : ill., map ; 24 cm.
Contents: Q. How to live? Michel de Montaigne in one question and twenty attempts at an answer --
1. Q. How to live? A. Don't worry about death ; Hanging by the tip of his lips --
2. Q. How to live? A. Pay attention ; Starting to write ; Stream of consciousness --
3. Q. How to live? A. Be born ; Micheau ; The experiment --
4. Q. How to live? A. Read a lot, forget most of what you read, and be slow-witted ; Reading ; Montaigne the slow and forgetful ; The young Montaigne in troubled times --
5. Q. How to live? A. Survive love and loss ; La Boétie : love and tyranny ; La Boétie : death and mourning --
6. Q. How to live? A. Use little tricks ; Little tricks and the art of living ; Montaigne in slavery --
7. Q. How to live? A. Question everything ; All I know is that I know nothing, and I'm not even sure about that ; Animals and demons ; A prodigious seduction machine --
8. Q. How to live? A. Keep a private room behind the shop ; Going to it with only one buttock ; Practical responsibilities --
9. Q. How to live? A. Be convivial, live with others ; A gay and sociable wisdom ; Openness, mercy and cruelty --
10. Q. How to live? A. Wake from the sleep of habit ; It all depends on your point of view ; Noble savages --
11. Q. How to live? A. Live temperately ; Raising and lowering the temperature --
12. Q. How to live? A. Guard your humanity ; Terror ; Hero --
13. Q. How to live? A. Do something no one has done before ; Baroque best seller --
14. Q. How to live? A. See the world ; Travels --
15. Q. How to live? A. Do a good job, but not too good a job ; Mayor ; Moral objections ; Missions and assassinations --
16. Q. How to live? A. Philosophize only by accident ; Fifteen Englishmen and an Irishman --
17. Q. How to live? A. Reflect on everything; regret nothing ; Je ne regrette rien --
18. Q. How to live? A. Give up control ; Daughter and disciple ; The editing wars ; Montaigne remixed and embabooned --
19. Q. How to live? A. Be ordinary and imperfect ; Be ordinary ; Be imperfect --
20. Q. How to live? A. Let life be its own answer ; Not the end.
Other Titles: Life of Montaigne
Responsibility: Sarah Bakewell.

Abstract:

How 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 more 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 Étienne de La Boétie 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?"--- Book Description.

How does one live? How does one do the good or honorable thing, while flourishing and feeling happy? This question obsessed Renaissance writers, none more than Montaigne, 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 readers. This spirited biography relates the story of his life by way of the questions he posed and the answers he explored.--From publisher description.

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