How To Live: Or A Life Of Montaigne In One Question And Twenty Attempts At An Answer
  • How To Live: Or A Life Of Montaigne In One Question And Twenty Attempts At An Answer
  • How To Live: Or A Life Of Montaigne In One Question And Twenty Attempts At An Answer
ISBN: 1590514831
EAN13: 9781590514832
Language: English
Release Date: Sep 20, 2011
Pages: 416
Dimensions: 1.2" H x 8.2" L x 5.5" W
Weight: 0.95 lbs.
Format: Paperback
Select Format Format: Paperback Select Conditions Condition: Good


Format: Paperback

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Book Overview

This Description may be from another edition of this product.

This question obsessed Renaissance writers, none more than Michel Eyquem de Montaigne, perhaps the first recognizably modern individual. A nobleman, public official, and winegrower, he wrote free-roaming explorations of his thought and experience, unlike anything written before. He called them essays, meaning attempts or tries. He put whatever was in his head into them: 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 to him. They come in search of companionship, wisdom, and entertainment--and in search of themselves.

This audiobook, a spirited and singular biography, relates the story of Montaigne's life by way of the questions he posed and the answers he explored. It traces his bizarre upbringing, his youthful career and sexual adventures, his travels, and his friendships with the scholar and poet tienne de La Bo tie and with his adopted daughter, Marie de Gournay. And we also meet his readers--who for centuries have found in Montaigne an inexhaustible source of answers to the haunting question, How to live?

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Book Reviews (12)

  |   12  reviews
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   Excellent introduction to Montaigne and his ideas.
Montaigne was a French essayist and philosopher who lived in the middle to late 1500s. For all intents and purposes, he pioneered the essay as a literary form. His view is his own experience, but he was widely quoted in classical philosophy and inserts citations in his writing to illustrate the points he is trying to make. The book of Bakewell is both a biography and an introduction to Montaigne's ideas. She provides considerable background information about the man and the world he lived in. I am reading Donald Frame's translation of Montaigne together with Bakewell's book and I highly recommend this approach. The man can speak for himself, but Bakewell puts it all in context for you. She clearly has a tremendous command of her subject and presents it in a very readable way.
I read much of the essays many years ago, but this really fleshed out the people and the era for me. After a few weeks with it, I finished the book this morning.
   Good Bio--Illuminates Key Qualities
Puts a little too much emphasis on Montaigne's religious troubles and their influence on France's thought. The author has definitely a strong affection for one of the greatest writers in the world.
   Essential Montaigne.
A fascinating exposition of the life, philosophy and historical relevance of a lucid man.
It is very interesting to read. The author did a lot of research on Montaigne and the history surrounding his life.
   The honing of Montaigne
I am a fan of Montaigne, but I wanted to find a book that is more modern and easily digested. I often refer to it because she made it very accessible ''. She honed Montaigne so that we can easily carry him without too much difficulty around.
   Good Advice from the First Essayist
Montaigne is a difficult subject for a biographer, but Sarah Bakewell has achieved the feat of presenting three books in one a personal biography, twenty thought-provoking reflections on Montaigne's philosophy of living and an insight into the origins of the lively essay. If you have never read Montaigne's essays, this book will certainly encourage you to do so.
   Some good, some boring information
Unfortunately, this book focuses more on the people alive during Montaigne's life and what people have written or thought about him over the last 400 years. The bad, endless, and endless discussions of why this person or that person disliked him, liked him, etc. YAWN! If you want a book about Montaigne and his writings, I would go elsewhere. If you want to know what life was like around him and what writers have thought about him over the ages, this is your book.
   Great Perspective and Advice
The author shows that she knows her subject thoroughly and gives insights on Montaigne that are entertaining and instructive. Great scholarly, but very accessible read.
   Not a collection of essays, but a biography instead.
Possibly a good biography of Montaigne, but I was neither fascinated by the book nor captivated by it. While not looking for a simple book, I was looking for Montaigne's reflections on how to live, given that that is the main title of the book. This is, however, a biography, not a collection of Montaigne's essays, with perhaps some commentary about what I hoped for. If you are interested in Montaigne's life, this could be a good read, but if you want to learn from his essays, this is not the book to use.