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Lot 8182: Michel De Montaigne LES ESSAIS DE MONTAIGNE 1652 Antique French Renaissance Literature Essays Humanist Philosophy Engraved Portrait Vignettes
September 15, 2013
Ithaca, NY, USALive Auction
Title: Les essais de Michel seigneur de Montaigne. Nouvelle edition exactement purgee des defauts des precedentes, selon le vray original, et enrichie & augmentee aux marges du nom des autheurs qui y sont citez, & de la version de leurs passages; Avec des observations tres importantes & necessaires pour le soulagement du lecteur. Ensemble la vie de l'autheur, & deux tables, l'une des chapitres, & l'autre des principales matieres, de beaucoup plus ample & plus utile que celles des dernieres editions
Author: Michel de Montaigne - Michel Eyquem de Montaigne was one of the most influential writers of the French Renaissance, known for popularizing the essay as a literary genre, and commonly thought of as the father of modern skepticism. He became famous for his effortless ability to merge serious intellectual exercises with casual anecdotes and autobiography-and his massive volume "Essais" (translated literally as "Attempts" or "Trials") contains, to this day, some of the most widely influential essays ever written. Montaigne had a direct influence on writers all over the world, including René Descartes, Blaise Pascal, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, William Hazlitt, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Friedrich Nietzsche, Stefan Zweig, Eric Hoffer, Isaac Asimov, and possibly on the later works of William Shakespeare.
In his own time, Montaigne was admired more as a statesman than as an author. The tendency in his essays to digress into anecdotes and personal ruminations was seen as detrimental to proper style rather than as an innovation, and his declaration that, 'I am myself the matter of my book', was viewed by his contemporaries as self-indulgent. In time, however, Montaigne would be recognized as embodying, perhaps better than any other author of his time, the spirit of freely entertaining doubt which began to emerge at that time. He is most famously known for his skeptical remark, 'Que sçay-je?' ('What do I know?' in Middle French; modern French Que sais-je?). Remarkably modern even to readers today, Montaigne's attempt to examine the world through the lens of the only thing he can depend on implicitly-his own judgment-makes him more accessible to modern readers than any other author of the Renaissance. Much of modern literary non-fiction has found inspiration in Montaigne and writers of all kinds continue to read him for his masterful balance of intellectual knowledge and personal story-telling. (Biography courtesy of Wikipedia)
Publisher: Augustin Courbe, Imprimeur & Libraire de M. le Duc d'Orleans
Binding Style: Hardcover
Pagination: 840 pages
Width: 10.25" Height: 14.5"
Condition / Notes: Antique leather volume has cloth rebacking and cloth-covered corners. Spine has raised bands and printed label. Front and rear covers display rubbing. Foot and head of spine show fraying. Hinges have been reinforced. Volume has modern glossy endpapers. Front flyleaf has chipping and closed tears. Small antique sticker of the C. N. Caspar Co. Book Store in Milwaukee appears in upper left corner of front pastedown. Annotations in ink can be seen on title page. Ornate signature appears on preliminary page under the title in bold "L'imprimeur au lector." Pages exhibit sporadic foxing, largely concentrated at margins, and a small amount of staining in upper right corner of a small number of pages.Final page of text has small blue ink stains with bleed-through. This work is illustrated with an engraved title page vignette. full-page engraved portrait of the author following title page, head and tail pieces as well as decorative initial letters
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