Three reasons to read Les Essais de Montaigne

In this work written in the XVIe century, the French writer addresses themes as eternal and familiar as friendship, identity, loneliness and the education of children.

The writer Michel Eyquem de Montaigne (1533-1592).
The writer Michel Eyquem de Montaigne (1533-1592). Granger NYC / Rue des Archives

His century and ours

It’s a book he wanted to make himself. A confined book, written daily for twenty years by Lord Michel Eyquem de Montaigne in the tower of his castle at the gates of Bergerac and Saint-Émilion, in his library where he engraved Latin phrases on the large blackened beams . Reading these cheerful and swarming pages, wonderfully contemporary despite their 400 years, we are sometimes taken with a burst of medieval laughter, sometimes seized by the depth of a universal meditation. It deals with themes as eternal and familiar as friendship, identity, loneliness, raising children.

But if Attemptsspeak to us particularly today, it is because our sensitivity corresponds to that of the century of Montaigne, this XVIe violent century crossed by religious wars, period of intense doubt, upset by the discovery of the New World. Epoch of crisis that echoes ours, marked by the return of history and skepticism

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