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Four Essays

3.89  ·  Rating details ·  46 ratings  ·  9 reviews
Four essays from Michel de Montaigne's "The Complete Essays."
Paperback, Penguin 60s, 82 pages
Published September 1st 1995 by Penguin
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3.89  · 
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 ·  46 ratings  ·  9 reviews

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Quentin Crisp
Jun 28, 2015 rated it really liked it

The four essays in this selection are: 'On the Cannibals', 'On Smells', 'On the Art of Conversation' and 'On Thumbs'.

Stercus cuique suum bene olet.

What does this mean? For those, like myself, not conversant with Latin, a translation is given in the book. The reader might be surprised to find it familiar.

Everyone's shit smells good to himself.

The footnotes explain that the source is Erasmus and that Erasmus links the saying to Aristotle.

If you want to get a taste of how far back such f
Aug 13, 2012 rated it really liked it
Lovely essays. Enjoyed the diversity. Would like to read more of his works.
"I wish everyone would write only about what he knows"
"The man who smells nice in fact stinks"
"I may serve in turn as a model to avoid"
"Condemn yourself and you are always believed: praise yourself and you never are"
"The wise have more to learn from the fools than the fools from the wise" erasmus
"While you kept silent you apeared to be a great somebody" erasmus
I like his ideas on luck.
Being surrounded with good or bad inf
Jul 08, 2014 rated it really liked it
This book in the Penguin 60 series gives a small and enticing introduction to the essays by the father of the form. It is not light reading, given the author's use of his extensive knowledge of classical authors, his dense argumentation and (I'm sounding very much like a child of the twenty-first century) the length of his sentences and paragraphs. But he is rather entertaining and, especially in the first essay in this collection, 'On the Cannibals', eminently quotably. "... every man calls bar ...more
Four essays from this author published as a Penguin 60.

These didn't really appeal to me, and I struggled my way through the largest 'On the Art of Conversation'. The other three, were shorter and held my attention more.

Still as these are not really in my reading interest, or genre, they were readable, and well constructed essays.

Not more than 3 stars for level of interest for me unfortunately.
Emma Brown
Jul 16, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: essays, nonfiction
Though only a tiny book of a few essays (phrased rather more simply than other versions I have seen), I enjoyed a great number of his points and reflections. The essays interested me so much that I delved into reading more online and have made plans to pick out a book that contains more of his essays.
Jun 30, 2009 rated it it was amazing
This lovely little book is the one which made me discover this great writer. The essays are very well selected and wonderfully translated. The whole penguin 60s collection was great, but this book is a little jewel.
Jul 14, 2015 rated it really liked it
I found 'the art of conversation' most interesting.
Cora Johnston
Apr 05, 2019 rated it really liked it
The essay ‘On the Art of Conversation’ was such an amazing essay. This was my first time reading Michel De Montaigne, and I can tell you just from this I want to read more.
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Michel Eyquem de Montaigne was one of the most influential writers of the French Renaissance. Montaigne is known for popularizing the essay as a literary genre. He became famous for his effortless ability to merge serious intellectual speculation with casual anecdotes and autobiography—and his massive volume Essais (translated literally as "Attempts") contains, to this day, some of the most widely ...more
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