|Do you suppose Montaigne's red nose has something to do with the Beaujolais Nouveau celebrations ? Montaigne's shiny foot reminds me of the post about the tradition of rubbing John Harvard's (Harvard University) feet.|
A bright red nose. That's what it took for me to finally stop in front of the statue of Michel de Montaigne on Rue des Écoles. All of the other times, I've rushed past without giving this influential French writer another thought.
Rather than the traditional "Sunday's Song", I invite you to listen to an interesting audio clip about Montaigne's life. The first minutes are a bit slow, but Sarah Bakewell quickly warms to the topic. Her book, How to Live: Or A Life of Montaigne in One Question and Twenty Attempts at an Answer, won the 2010 National Book Critics Circle Award for Biography.
While I wouldn't have known to attribute the following quotations to Montaigne, these have long been favorites:
A good marriage would be between a blind wife and a deaf husband.
Even on the most exalted throne in the world we are only sitting on our own bottom.
The beautiful souls are they that are universal, open, and ready for all things.
The advantage of living is not measured by length, but by use; some men have lived long, and lived little; attend to it while you are in it. It lies in your will, not in the number of years, for you to have lived enough.