Michel de Montaigne
Why read it?
2 authors picked Michel de Montaigne as one of their favorite books. Why do they recommend it?
For me, Montaigne’s thoughts on life and human foibles compare favorably with those of St. Augustine. His insights on the human condition are valuable to anyone inclined to self-reflection on one’s own frailties. Montaigne’s advice on coping with one’s mortality is worth heeding. He counsels that in order to deny death its sting, “…let us deprive death of its strangeness; let us frequent it, let us get used to it; let us have nothing more in our mind than death.” Yet our mortality is only one of many issues he discusses. Montaigne offers up wisdom on everything from fear, prayer…
How many people would adopt as their motto, “What do I know?” Yet it is this humility that characterizes the wisdom and humanism of the French philosopher, Michel do Montaigne. His essays are at once deeply (sometimes embarrassingly) personal, yet also universal in their concerns. Though raised a Catholic, Montaigne’s philosophy draws heavily upon Stoic and other classical sources, and he is best regarded as a Renaissance humanist. His wide-ranging essays are gems of condensed wisdom on what matters most in life.
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