This book, first published in 1987, is an examination of Montaigne’s Essais and a guide to the reading of this fascinating, stimulating and imaginative writer – a writer who is also difficult to read and interpret. This book’s aim is to help the reader of Montaigne understand that their own experiences of life and literature can be brought to bear to help comprehend the true meaning of Montaigne.
1. Introduction 1.1. Biography 1.2. The ‘Living’ Text 2. How to Read a Page of Montaigne: Active Participation of the Reader 3. Intellectual and Philosophical Background 3.1. Renaissance Humanism 3.2. Stoicism and Epicureanism 4. The ‘Apologie de Raimond Sebond’: Religion and Scepticism 5. Political and Ethical Ideas 6. The Classical Literary Background: Knowledge and Imagination 7. The Ambiguous Frontier between Prose and Poetry 8. The Study of the Self: Psychology and Humanity 9. The Art de Vivre: Experience and Aesthetics 10. Montaigne through the Ages