That it is madness to judge the true and the false from our own capacities28. Nine and twenty sonnets of Estienne de La Boëtie30. On fleeing from pleasures at the cost of one’s life34. Judgements on God’s ordinances must be embarked upon with prudence33.
That it is madness to judge the true and the false from our own capacities28. Nine and twenty sonnets of Estienne de La Boëtie30. On fleeing from pleasures at the cost of one’s life34.
Then, the mystery takes a dramatic, unexpected turn: I close my computer before sending the email, stubbornly “remembering” that I had.
Bordeaux, Day 1 AM, Gare Montparnasse, Paris The drive to Los Angeles along the Pacific Coast is long, but picturesque.
When describing the pressurized cabin air, someone two rows ahead calls it “a bag of stale Cheetos,” and I nod, feeling hungry enough to want a bag for myself. Six days of sightseeing have renewed a reservoir of awe, my capacity for experiencing wonder and dealing with problems like being stranded, champagne-drunk at the Eiffel Tower in the middle of the night.
(The metros had closed, so we coped with swigs of cheap whisky and waited 45 minutes for the next bus.
There’s a question I want to answer: How does an essayist live inside her own walls? If we want to keep our reservation at the cozy Bordeaux apartment with books stacked on the floor and origami cranes dangling from the ceiling, we’ll have to find a way to reach the countryside.
Directions to the estate, in English, can be found on the official Château Michel de Montaigne website, but the notes are vague—a list of three train stations, two airports, and travel times by car from five cities.
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Michel de Montaigne was one of the most influential figures of the Renaissance, singlehandedly responsible for popularising the essay as a literary form. In 1572 Montaigne retired to his estates in order to devote himself to leisure, reading and reflection. One is punished for stubbornly defending a fort without good reason16.
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