Montaigne essays on cannibals summary

What sets essaying apart from asserting is failing. Diversion, digression, ambiguity, uncertainty — these are essential, not inimical, to the form. But an essayist who aims for uncertainty is unsatisfying. In good essays, we witness writers grappling genuinely with unanswerable questions, trying to answer and failing, coming by their uncertainty in an honest manner. It is appropriate that the story of the first self-conscious essayist and his times should also be the story of an honest failure: “In the early 1580s, politics looked very much like the form of the essay. Everything was in movement and contested.”

Where death waits for us is uncertain; let us look for him everywhere. The premeditation of death is the premeditation of liberty; he who has learned to die has unlearned to serve. There is nothing evil in life for him who rightly comprehends that the privation of life is no evil: to know, how to die delivers us from all subjection and constraint. Paulus Emilius answered him whom the miserable King of Macedon, his prisoner, sent to entreat him that he would not lead him in his triumph, “Let him make that request to himself.”—[ Plutarch, Life of Paulus Aemilius, c. 17; Cicero, Tusc., v. 40.]

Montaigne essays on cannibals summary

montaigne essays on cannibals summary

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