The fabulous imagination : on Montaigne's Essays by Lawrence Kritzman

By Lawrence Kritzman

""This is among the few books on Montaigne that fuses analytical ability with humane knowledge of why Montaigne matters."" & mdash;Harold Bloom, Sterling Professor of Humanities, Yale University""In this exhilarating and realized booklet on Montaigne's essays, Lawrence D. Kritzman contemporizes the nice author. examining him from modern day deconstructive the United States, Kritzman discovers Montaigne constantly already deep into a Read more...


Michel de Montaigne's (1533-1592) Essais, was once a profound research of human subjectivity. greater than 300 years ahead of the arrival of psychoanalysis, Montaigne launched into a striking quest to Read more...

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These include: Columbia, Cornell, Duke, Grinell College, Harvard, Johns Hopkins, New York University, the Universities of Miami, Michigan, and Paris IV (Sorbonne), Stanford, and Whitman College. I would like to recognize the encouragement and feedback I received from Tom Conley, Kathleen Perry Long, Richard Regosin, and the late Marcel Tetel. Their thoughtful comments helped me to gain a better understanding of Montaigne. I wish to thank the following friends and colleagues who offered support along the way: Ehsan Ahmed, Faith Beasley, Michel Beaujour, Tom Bishop, Howard Bloch, Christian Delacampagne, Jacques Derrida, Philippe Desan, Nelly Furman, Floyd Gray, Daniel and Janice Gross, Ralph Hester, Vivian Kogan, David La Guardia, Françoise Li-onnet, Gisèle Mathieu-Castellani, Pierre Nora, François Noudelmann, John O’Brien, John Rassias, Domna C.

As Montaigne writes in “De l’experience”: “Il n’y a point de fin en nos inquisitions; nostre fin est en l’autre monde” (III, 13, 1068) (“There is no end to our researches; our end is in the other world” [817]). Despite the essayist’s claim for the autonomy of the text and the desire for intention and meaning to coincide—“Je entends que la matiere se dsitingue soy-mesmes” (III, 9, 995) (“I want the matter to make its own divisions” [761])—the book nevertheless cannot keep authorial intention intact since our imaginative inquiries as readers render texts subject to change.

And so the opinion I give of them is to declare the measure of my sight, not the measure of things” [298]). ” (III, 8, 943) (“All judgmens in gross are loose and imperfect” [721]). ” 9 With this in mind, the imagination is conceived as a transgressive force that undermines the consistency of the self. The encounter with the self as other reveals a divided condition, which also relates to the endless curiosity and vanity that characterizes the human subject and that Montaigne often reiterates: “[De telles] inquisitions et contemplations philosophiques ne servent que d’aliment à nostre curiosité” (III, 13, 1073) (“[Such] philosophical inquiries and meditations serve only as food for our curiosity” [ 821]).

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