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3 von 3 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
4.0 von 5 Sternen A review of Frame's translation, 29. Februar 2000
Von Ein Kunde
Rezension bezieht sich auf: Complete Essays of Montaigne (Taschenbuch)
I know that Donald Frame has been widely praised for the quality of his translation and having used it side by side with the original I wouldn't disagree. There are however two points where I would like to voice a differing opinion. Any translation of a work should only presume to translate one language--if the author employs quotations in his work in languages other than his own they should remain untranslated in the body of the work (translations of Latin and Italian can either go side by side or in footnotes). This preserves the quality of presentation that the author strove for and is especially important with Montaigne, part of whose charm resides in his famous erudition. On the other hand, one area that a translation rightly smooths the path for a modern reader is in providing citations for Montaigne's quotations. Frame neglects to do this and while one can expect to know the exact locus of some of Montaigne's quotes, the educational environment of our day and his differs to such an extent that a worthwhile edition would provide references to passages cited--after all, Cicero survives in some 30 volumes and any given sentence is not that easy to track down.
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1 von 1 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen A Sominex of a book? I beg to differ., 3. März 1999
Von Ein Kunde
I disagree with those who find Montaigne to be great bedtime reading. Contentment is the wrong word to use to describe the feeling one gets upon really reading, really considering the Frenchman's line of thought. What could be more adverse to a good night's sleep than being slapped and provoked into ever-greater stages of mental alertness. This is the effect that these stimulating and brutally honest essays have on the would-be sleeper. Montaigne is especially aware of the general effect of epistemological investigations on those who pursue them. In the essay 'On Experience', Montaigne chides, "It is nothing but our personal weakness that makes us content with what others, or we ourselves, have discovered in this hunt for knowledge. It is a sign of failing powers or of weariness when the mind is content." (The search for reliable knowledge is the main theme of the Essays) It is understandable that someone might want to drift off to sleep to avoid the incessant chore of questing after ever further and more accurate knowledge; though I would even posit that this is a dangerous way to read good books, for it might establish in the sleeper an irreversible habit of veering away from doing the difficult thinking required by challenging situations that need to be confronted in the course of one's life.
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5.0 von 5 Sternen Wanting to show us his experiments, not indoctrinating ..., 28. August 2005
FrizzText "frizz" (Wuppertal) - Alle meine Rezensionen ansehen
Rezension bezieht sich auf: Complete Essays of Montaigne (Taschenbuch)
"My library is in the third story of a tower; on the first is my chapel, on the second a bedroom with ante-chambers, where I often lie to be alone; and above it there is a great wardrobe. Adjoining my library is a very neat little room, in which a fire can be laid in winter, and which is pleasantly lighted by a window..." Michel de Montaigne (1533 - 1592) wrote in the chapter "On Three Kinds of Relationships".
Montaigne liked being retired, seeking distance to a world of bloody fights between religious groups. Did these things develop, 400 years later? Montaigne tried to escape dogmatic thoughts finding a new way of hammering out thoughts via his typical relaxed method of writing. Living 200 years earlier than the other genius of essay, the poor Soeren Kierkegaard, Montaigne was not as filled up with anxiety as the Danish philosopher - he instead managed to stay calm with a solid resource of optimism, though things outside his favorite tower often run very worse.
His courageous goal was the overcoming of the stereotyped medieval conception of the world, in which humans usually had been overwhelmed by church- or government-authorities like puppets on a string. Montaigne established the departure to individual noticing, founded an anthropocentric view of world. This probably had something fresh to his contemporary readers.
Montaignes program was to dip down in ones own mind: "Everyone, who is listening to his inner landscape of thoughts, is able to discover his identity, so that he is able to repel everything, which does not fit this." About his style of writing essayist Elias Canetti noticed: "Montaigne is most beautiful, because he does not hurry."
Aged 17 Michel de Montaigne had ridden to Paris, to complete his humanistic education. There he had attached important relations, had operated with prostitutes notoriously and had squandered the family wealth, until the father pulled the emergency brake and called him back to Bordeaux, where he had to begin a boring job at the local court (if we can trust the speculations of the French biographer Lacouture).
Historically more secured is Montaigne's political identity: the France of his time had torn up, the faith splitting escalated in the "St. Bartholomew's Day Massacre" in Paris on 24 August 1572, bloody amuck in many other French cities followed, also in Montaigne's Bordeaux. He had been the mayor, and particularly in the second term of office 1583-85, he skillfully succeeded to calm down the parties (Catholics tried to slaughter the Protestant Huguenots).
His "ideology-free" position had been developed in expanded studies of the classical philosophers - and in a thereupon diametrically opposite literary attempt to justify an own individual kind of thinking and writing: precisely analyzing human conditions (using oneself as the only field, one can explore without too much strange mistakes) without being paralyzed by social regulations of how to search and communicate.
"I do not proclaim doctrines of faith, but not obligatory opinions, which one can classify as a gesture alike done by children, trying to show their experiments: they only want to learn, not to instruct or indoctrinate."
The skeptical, further-asking, essentially open dialogue of Montaigne influenced such thinkers as Diderot, Lichtenberg or Nietzsche. His writing method encouraged philosophy, psychology - and hundreds of essayists. Indeed we hope, that Montaigne's voice will never get lost ...
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5.0 von 5 Sternen Worth reading, whether at bedtime or no, 21. August 1999
Von Ein Kunde
For those of us with unexceptional powers of reason, insight, and expression, presuming to "review" the Essays of Montaigne approaches impertinence. I comment upon the Essays only to encourage every thinking person to read them.
I find that other reviewers' seemingly incongruous reactions -- feeling "contentment" on the one hand, and "challenged" on the other -- are both accurate.
Challenge abides in the very heart of the literary form that reaches such heights in Montaigne. It is no coincidence that to "essay" means to "test" or "try." It is the nature of the essay form to reveal its author grappling with some trying, challenging aspect of the human condition.
In taking aim at human problems, a good essayist reveals much about his or her own humanity. The humanity of Montaigne the man, as disclosed by his words, should give rise to some contentment. All civilized people find comfort and reassurance in seeing that the same struggles we endure today, and the same core human values we hold dear today, are enduringly echoed in the writings of this 16th century French country gentleman.
400 years later, Montaigne's words still have the power both to jostle us out of our complacency and to reassure us as to the constancy of our souls.
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5.0 von 5 Sternen great book, great translation, 31. Oktober 1998
Rezension bezieht sich auf: Complete Essays of Montaigne (Taschenbuch)
I might have to say that Donald Frame's translation renders the work on a higher level than it was in its original french. Montaigne is great bed-time reading philosophy: reading him always puts me in a state of warm contented happiness. He talks about all kinds of great anecdotes from antiquity expressing the timelessness of humanity.
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