Montaigne and Melancholy: The Wisdom of the "Essays" (Penguin philosophy)

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9780140143621: Montaigne and Melancholy: The Wisdom of the

Montaigne (1533-1592), the personification of philosophical calm, had to struggle to become the wise Renaissance humanist we know. His balanced temperament, sanguine and melancholic, promised genius but threatened madness. When he started his Essays, Montaigne was upset by an attack of melancholy humor: He became temperamental and unbalanced. Writing about himself restored the balance but broke an age-old taboo-happily so, for he discovered profound truths about himself and about our human condition. His charm and humor have made his writings widely enjoyed and admired.

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Product Description:

Although Montaigne achieved a balance that made him a model humanist thinker, his temperament was sanguine-melancholic. Screech reassesses the Essais, showing how Montaigne steered his melancholy into appropriate psychological channels, seeking a balance of body and soul as a means to avoid madness.

Review:

A probing, loving companion to the masterwork.--Nicholas Wollaston "Observer "

A sensitive probe into how Montaigne resolved for himself the age-old ambiguities of melancholia and, in doing so, spoke of what he called the 'human condition'.--Roy Porter "London Review Of Books "

Original and important. . . . His study will easily fulfil its avowed aim of making Montaigne's Essays more comprehensible and more enjoyable.--James Supple "Times Higher Education "

An invaluable literary companion to the essays of Montaigne ... the insights it provides are remarkable.--Anthony Storr "Sunday Times "

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