Renaissance, Moulton suggests that MicheldeMontaigne and François Rabelais bestow on the reader of their texts a gamut of emotions, including the possibility of happiness through contemplation. Relatedly, Ullrich Langer's essay argues that the early modern experience of pleasurable sensations exhibits a kind of positive emotion, one that is not passive, but rather the result of deliberate, virtuous action. Ranging widely among classical, Italian, and French texts, Langer demonstrates the particular pleasure produced by the early modern rhetorical feature of variety. These
John Donne, George Chapman and the senses of night in the 1590s
conveying an immediate set of implications that are
ready to be challenged. The eye’s evidence is crucial, but to take it at face
value would be foolish. Whatever the right answer might be to ‘Did we lie
downe, because ’twas night?’, it is not uncomplicatedly ‘Yes’ or ‘No’, though
the sensory knowledge of night is helpful in working out the answer.
Although the sermons, offering explicit answers to doubt, tend to focus discussion of Donne’s scepticism, we know that Donne read MicheldeMontaigne
and Agrippa, both of whom explored doubt.33 The ‘nothing’ that speaks the
Some reflections on the (literary) perception of pain
poses a further problem – the problem of authenticity. This is a dimension
to which MicheldeMontaigne, writing towards the end of the sixteenth
century, alerts us. For Montaigne, whose own body was racked by that most
agonising of ailments, the kidney stone, the imaginative faculty lay at the
core of the perception of another’s pain.13 In his essay, ‘Of the Power of the
Imagination’, Montaigne wrote of how ‘the sight of other people’s anguish
causes very real anguish to me’, and yet he immediately qualifies this (as we
would now say) empathetic response even
Friendship and treason in Robin Chapman’s One of Us and Blunt: The Fourth Man
MicheldeMontaigne, “Of Friendship,” The Essays of MicheldeMontaigne , Vol. 1, trans. Jacob Zeitlin (New York: Knopf, 1934), p. 168.
Robert Hewison, In Anger: British Culture in the Cold War, 1945–60 (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1981), p. 81.
Montaigne, Les Essais de MicheldeMontaigne (Paris: Club Français du Livre, 1962), II.xxxv, ‘De trois bonnes femmes’, p. 815.
49 Montaigne’s Essays translated by John Florio , ed. L. C. Harmer, 3 vols (London: Dent, 1965 ), vol. II, xxxv, ‘Of three good women’, p. 481.
50 D. Magni Ausonii … opera , p. 11; Gynaikeion , VII, ‘Of women excellent in the art of painting, weaving, &c’, pp. 352–3.
51 Caelus or Uranus ‘filius fuit Aetheris et Diei’ in the 1532 edition of Boccaccio’s Genealogia deorum gentilium prepared by Micyllus, De montium, silvarum
years after the Great Plague of London, which lasted from February 1665 to 1666; 100,000 Londoners died from the Black Death, or one-fifth of the population. But even aside from the Black Death, plagues were a recurring event, ever-present in Europe between 1346 and 1671. France lost almost a million people to the plague in the epidemic of 1628–31. That was after the plague of 1585, which killed 14,000 people in Bordeaux alone, about a third of the population: the mayor of Bordeaux at the time was MicheldeMontaigne, the philosopher we met in the Introduction. 7
Blasons d’un corps masculin, L’Ecrivaillon and La Ligne âpre by Régine Detambel
, p. , for the autobiographical dimension of this quotation.
MicheldeMontaigne, Essais (Paris: Gallimard, Folio, ), p. . See Louis
Marin, La Voix excommuniée (Paris: Galilée, ), p. .
See Susan Bordo, Unbearable Weight: Feminism, Western Culture and the Body
(Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press, ).
Roland Barthes, S/Z (Paris: Seuil, ), pp. –. My thanks to Elza
Adamowicz for reminding me of this passage.
Letter from Detambel to the author, November .
François Dagognet, La Peau découverte (Le
. It is a fallacy, in my view, to imagine that we ever understand anything fully, most especially on first encounter. Writing and understanding are circular, and open-ended. Writing is not a second-order discourse; it is constitutive of thinking. This was the idea that MicheldeMontaigne signalled as the strategy of the essai , the essay, the attempt. It was central to Bauman’s way of thinking, but not only to his. The same, for me, can be said of teaching. It has its own purposes, but it is also a way to think. At the end of my path, it is my Chinese students who
Katherine Sutton’s Experiences (1663), the printer’s device and the making of devotion
and MicheldeMontaigne on the Eye’, in W. S. Melion and Lee Palmer Wandel (eds), Early Modern Eyes (Boston: Brill, 2010), pp. 135 – 56 (141).
Sutton, Experiences , p. 15, sig. B4 v .
Ibid ., p. 33, sig. E1 v