It’s All About Montaigne, Mama

“I quote others only in order to best express myself.”

“There is no passion so contagious as that of fear.”

“A wise man never loses anything, if he has himself.”

“Rejoice in the things that are present; all else is beyond thee.”

“The soul which has no fixed purpose in life is lost, to be everywhere is to be nowhere.”

“Nothing fixes a thing so intensely in the memory as the wish to forget it.”

^^Can you imagine being the mind behind all these quotes, and the luscious lips who sputtered forth those delightful dew drops of glory?^^

Michel de Montaigne, a  philosopher from the French Renaissance, and one of the preeminent essayists of all time, came to me quite by accident. I’d heard of him but have never read him.  In my quest to better my writing and perhaps to become a little more interesting and knowledgeable, I’m taking MFA level writing and literature courses.  As of now, I’m focusing on the essay. It seems like a simple enough place to start. And I suppose it is. But, it isn’t.

Writers read. And, so I shall. I’m compiling my summer reading list early. And, so far, it consists, primarily of essayists. Montaigne, Lopate, Emerson, Thoreau, Didion, and perhaps a smattering of Sontag. Add to that, Spinoza, Buber, Maimonides, Lionel Trilling and Franz Rosenzweig. And, I think I’ll have a fairly well rounded approach with which to begin an attempt… What are you going to read this Summer?

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And the added bonus of taking pictures…is sometimes the unexpected shot. Who paid us a visit? Courtesy of my son, Zach. The sacred and the silly…FullSizeRender-1.jpg

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