The pleasure of the text
Reading and happiness in Rabelais and Montaigne
in Positive emotions in early modern literature and culture
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Focusing on early modern France, Ian Frederick Moulton explores the notion that happiness and peace of mind can be found above all in the act of reading. His essay, ‘The pleasure of the text: reading and happiness in Rabelais and Montaigne’, investigates definitions of happiness—including ataraxia and eudaimonia--and addresses the question of whether happiness can be found beyond the contemplative life of mind and spirit. It also juxtaposes the notion of a happy reader with the early modern stereotype of the melancholy scholar who suffers from an excess of study.

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