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How to Live: Or A Life of Montaigne in One Question and Twenty Attempts at… (2010)

de Sarah Bakewell

Outros autores: Yvonne E. Cárdenas (Editor), John Gall (Designer da capa)

Outros autores: Veja a seção outros autores.

MembrosResenhasPopularidadeAvaliação médiaMenções
1,583718,255 (4.16)89
How does one live? How does one do the good or honorable thing, while flourishing and feeling happy? This question obsessed Renaissance writers, none more than Montaigne, perhaps the first truly modern individual. A nobleman, public official and wine-grower, he wrote free-roaming explorations of his thought and experience, unlike anything written before. He called them "essays," meaning "attempts" or "tries." Into them, he put whatever was in his head: his tastes in wine and food, his childhood memories, the way his dog's ears twitched when it was dreaming, as well as the appalling events of the religious civil wars raging around him. The Essays was an instant bestseller and, over four hundred years later, Montaigne's honesty and charm still draw readers. This spirited biography relates the story of his life by way of the questions he posed and the answers he explored.--From publisher description.… (mais)
  1. 10
    Instead of a Letter: A Memoir de Diana Athill (wandering_star)
    wandering_star: Other memoirs by Athill also recommended - as she puts into practice the honest self-examination as recommended by Montaigne and Bakewell.
  2. 00
    Chaucer's Tale: 1386 and the Road to Canterbury de Paul Strohm (dajashby)
    dajashby: A similar technique of using biography to shed light on the subject's literature.
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» Veja também 89 menções

Inglês (68)  Holandês (2)  Francês (1)  Todos os idiomas (71)
Mostrando 1-5 de 71 (seguinte | mostrar todas)
Montaigne
  18cran | Apr 25, 2021 |
This is the best book I've read this year. Part biography, part history, part literary criticism, it explores Montaigne, his world, and his work.

Starting with Montaigne's Essays, and spiraling out to encompass his life, and the life of his work over the centuries since he died, Bakewell has written a book unlike anything else I have ever read. ( )
  evenlake | Mar 23, 2021 |
Finished: 11/2/2021 ( )
  untraveller | Feb 16, 2021 |
A well-written, very well-structured book--surprisingly so, given everything that Bakewell is trying to do: biography, reception history, philosophy, history... But I confess, her Montaigne gives me hives. In these pages, he is reliably contemporary; by far the most interesting thing about Montaigne is his untimeliness. The answer to how to live given here is, depressingly, "do what you, reader of books like this, already do: hedonism, moderation, liberalism, naturalism, centrism, agnosticism, Heracliteanism; be anti-philosophical, empathetic, unique, rebellious and, preferably, vegetarian. And, above all, seek therapy everywhere you look. "Modern readers," Bakewell writes, "who approach Montaigne asking what he can do for them are asking the same question he himself asked of Seneca, Sextus, and Lucretius...", which is both false--inasmuch as Montaigne seems to have been a notably disinterested reader, looking for other people, rather than trying to see how they can profit him--and obnoxious, because it implies that this just is how modern readers approach Montaigne. For Bakewell, and readers like her, Montaigne's only relation to his own time was to stand in opposition to it, while his only relation to our time is to conform to it. It would be nice if we could approach him in the opposite manner: a man deeply at odds with many of our own preconceptions about what it is to lead a good life. Montaigne spends most of his time writing about things other than himself, because he is interested in things other than himself. Predictably, but tiresomely, Bakewell tries to turn Montaigne into a kind of proto-deist: Montaigne commends his spirit to God on his death bed; for Bakewell, this is "a final act of Catholic convention: a brief acknowledgment to God in the life of this joyfully secular man"--as if our divisions of secular and religious can be read back into the sixteenth century, not to mention our divisions of convention and sincerity). But there's no reason to doubt that he was a genuinely devoted Catholic, as he understood that.

Also, any readers of Descartes are advised to stay well clear of his appearance in the book; Descartes, a man who famously died because he was told to get out of bed before noon, is here a Puritan who hated everything except mathematics.

I'm torn between genuine, gob-smacked admiration for Bakewell's ability to structure a book this complex, and rage at her inability to find in a sixteenth century Frenchman anything other than a twenty-first century American. ( )
  stillatim | Oct 23, 2020 |
I want to read Montaigne's Essays now. ( )
  ltbxf4 | Jul 5, 2020 |
Mostrando 1-5 de 71 (seguinte | mostrar todas)
It is hard to imagine a better introduction-or reintroduction- to Montaigne than Bakewell's book. It is easy to imagine small improvements, however.
adicionado por Shortride | editarHarper's Magazine, Loren Stein (Web site pago) (Jan 3, 2011)
 
Bakewell, cleverly, has nonetheless managed to tap into the booming modern market for such “quick boosts” of wisdom (not all of them by any means as harmless as tips on eyebrow shaping), while actually writing a serious biography of a serious thinker from an age less like our own that we might solipsistically think. She’s not the first to take on such a task, of course. Superior literary lessons for life have become an established sub-genre of the self-help boom: How to Win Friends and Influence Readers of the Paris Review. Thus books such as Alain de Botton’s How Proust Can Change Your Life or John Armstrong’s Love, Life, Goethe have explored this territory in their different ways. Bakewell’s life of Montaigne combines some of the merits of de Botton’s knowing, entertaining intellectual squib and Armstrong’s thorough and absorbing biographical study. If her work enjoys a popular resonance greater than theirs—and I think it may—it’s most likely a tribute to its subject, Montaigne.
 

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Nome do autorFunçãoTipo de autorObra?Status
Sarah Bakewellautor principaltodas as ediçõescalculado
Cárdenas, Yvonne E.Editorautor secundáriotodas as ediçõesconfirmado
Gall, JohnDesigner da capaautor secundáriotodas as ediçõesconfirmado
Porter, DavinaNarradorautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
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How does one live? How does one do the good or honorable thing, while flourishing and feeling happy? This question obsessed Renaissance writers, none more than Montaigne, perhaps the first truly modern individual. A nobleman, public official and wine-grower, he wrote free-roaming explorations of his thought and experience, unlike anything written before. He called them "essays," meaning "attempts" or "tries." Into them, he put whatever was in his head: his tastes in wine and food, his childhood memories, the way his dog's ears twitched when it was dreaming, as well as the appalling events of the religious civil wars raging around him. The Essays was an instant bestseller and, over four hundred years later, Montaigne's honesty and charm still draw readers. This spirited biography relates the story of his life by way of the questions he posed and the answers he explored.--From publisher description.

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