Michel de Montaigne


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Montaigne, Michel de

 

Born Feb. 28, 1533, at the Montaigne chÂteau near Bordeaux; died there Sept. 13, 1592. French philosopher and writer.

Montaigne was a descendant of members of the Gascon bourgeoisie who had become nobles. He received a classical education at home, graduated from a collège, and studied the law. From 1580 to 1588 he published his main work, the Essays (books 1–3). The term “essay” and the philosophical and literary genre to which it refers—a work of mental reflection on specific historical and contemporary facts and on the mores of people of different positions, classes, and levels of culture—owe their origin to Montaigne. The creation of the essay form was stimulated by the troubling civil and religious wars between the feudal aristocracy and the developing monarchy, between the Catholics and the Huguenots. Montaigne’s broad freethinking and unique humanist skepticism were directed against church orthodoxy and the Scholasticism that dominated the medieval universities, against superstition and fanaticism, against the cruelty and cynicism of rulers, and against feudal anarchy and tyranny.

Montaigne criticized the moral structure of “civilized” society, which seemed barbaric in comparison to the primitive world of savages, in which social relationships rested on natural morality. To Montaigne, primitive societies seemed to embody a more sensible and a far more human way of life than the European societies of his time. Recounting his own experiences and expressing his personal inclinations and his dedication to common sense, Montaigne created a realistically truthful, self-critical self-portrait. He offered good sense mixed with skepticism as a suitable principle for society, the maladjustments of which inflict the greatest suffering on the common people, whose indignation and intensely French, Gallic humor are characteristic of Montaigne.

The age of classicism could not understand Montaigne, many of whose ideas foreshadowed those of Montesquieu, the 18th-century Enlightenment thinkers, and Rousseau.

WORKS

Oeuvres complètes, vols. 1–6. Paris, 1924–27.
In Russian translation:
Opyty, vols. 1–3. (Afterword by F. A. Kogan-Bernshtein.) Moscow, 1960.

REFERENCES

Istoriia frantsuzskoi literatury, vol. 1. Moscow-Leningrad, 1946. Pages 321–24.
Rvkova, N. “M. Monten’.” In Pisateli Frantsii. Moscow, 1964.
Moreau, P. Montaigne: L’homme et I’oeuvre, 4th ed. Paris [1958].
Europe, January-February 1972, nos. 513–14. (Issue devoted to Montaigne.)
Joukovsky, F. Montaigne et le problème du temps. Paris, 1972.
Tannenbaum, S. A. M. E. de Montaigne (A Concise Bibliography). New York, 1942.

V. I. EFIMOV

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Michel de Montaigne habria tomado elementos diversos del complejo panorama del escepticismo en el Renacimiento, adaptando todas esas influencias de acuerdo con su personal idea de lo esceptico.
Posteriormente, el Renacimiento tendra en Michel de Montaigne el ensayo critico que mostrara el callejon sin salida al que llevan los procesos naturalizados y su facilidad para auxiliar sistemas totalitarios de unificacion.
Coherentemente, fuera de su pais Michel de Montaigne se entusiasma antes con algun lugareno que con un compatriota y graciosamente responde a quienes en Sicilia le quieren presentar a paisanos suyos afincados alli que no han venido a buscar gascones habiendo dejado tantos en su casa (63).
Este relato tiene como trasfondo el descanso eterno de Montaigne, como bien lo escribe Edwards: "Dejamos los restos de Michel de Montaigne, separados de su corazon, enterrados en la iglesia bordelesa de los Feuillants.
Montaigne M (1958) The Complete Essays of Michel de Montaigne.
Superando su nacionalismo inicial, Carlos Fuentes ampliara, en La gran novela latinoamericana (2011), el origen de la renovacion literaria latinoamericana hasta llegar a afirmar que sus mas profundas raices se remontan a la obra de Erasmo de Rotterdam, Thomas Moore y Michel de Montaigne.
9) Me refiero al famoso amigo de Michel de Montaigne, Etienne de La Boetie, jurista y escritor cuya temprana muerte precipitaria la escritura de los Essais de Montaigne, iniciados como una suerte de homenaje a la amistad perfecta.
The essays, however, are The Essays of Michel de Montaigne.
Edwards ha escrito un libro que une a la historia con la imaginacion para recrear y en ocasiones mejorar los sucesos que llevan a conocer los ultimos momentos de Michel de Montaigne.
Merece aclarar que tratandose de un humanista como Hernando Tellez, sus influencias literarias estan en el universo literario y no en uno o dos autores puntuales; sobre esta base, se han seleccionado los escritores que por su trabajo, y la consecuente recepcion que de el se ha hecho, se convirtieron en sus mentores: Michel de Montaigne, en el aspecto tecnico, y Marcel Proust, en el estilistico.
Michel de Montaigne as a philosopher is often reduced to helping revive and popularize Pyrrhonism; by extending skeptical tendencies into a crisis affecting all knowledge, he influenced Descartes and founded "an important intellectual movement that continued to plague philosophers in their quest for certainty.
Michel de Montaigne oferece ao leitor um modo de pensar, de ser e de escrever, como nos diz Coelho (2001), pois em pleno seculo XVI, ele foi uma voz contraria a perspectiva etnocentrica de olhar o outro.