• Title: When I Am Playing with My Cat, How Do I Know That She Is Not Playing with Me?: Montaigne and Being in Touch with Life
  • Author: Saul Frampton
  • ISBN: 9780307278654
  • Page: 436
  • Format: Paperback
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    When I Am Playing with My Cat How Do I Know That She Is Not Playing with Me Montaigne and Being in Touch with Life A celebration of Montaigne the most enjoyable and yet profound of all Renaissance writers In the year at the age of thirty seven Michel de Montaigne gave up his job as a magistrate and retired
    A celebration of Montaigne, the most enjoyable and yet profound of all Renaissance writers In the year 1570, at the age of thirty seven, Michel de Montaigne gave up his job as a magistrate and retired to his ch teau to brood on the deaths of his best friend, his father, his brother, and his firstborn child But finding his mind agitated, rather than settled, by idleness,A celebration of Montaigne, the most enjoyable and yet profound of all Renaissance writers In the year 1570, at the age of thirty seven, Michel de Montaigne gave up his job as a magistrate and retired to his ch teau to brood on the deaths of his best friend, his father, his brother, and his firstborn child But finding his mind agitated, rather than settled, by idleness, Montaigne began to write, giving birth to the Essays a series of reflections on life in all its profundity and triviality And, gradually, over the course of his writing, Montaigne turned from a philosophy of death to a philosophy of life, finding consolation in the most unlikely places the touch of a hand, the smell of his doublet, the flavor of his wine, and the playfulness of his cat.

    One Reply to “When I Am Playing with My Cat, How Do I Know That She Is Not Playing with Me?: Montaigne and Being in Touch with Life”

    1. It's a cliche, but I sometimes judge a book by its cover. This one offers a clever design with the words "Cat" and "Being in Touch with Life" in the title. I'm an almost single girl with three cats, trudging through the rough terrain of chronic illness and divorce. Like the cats, the book was coming home with me.Self-help books are anathema to me. I'm sure they help many people; unfortunately, dusty stacks of said books purchased by my thrice-married mother left an indelible impression. Montaign [...]

    2. I am a sucker for a few kinds of books--books about Montaigne are one of them. The problem is that it can get hard to say anything new or to say the same things in new enough ways to make them interesting. I think this would be a wonderful introduction to Montaigne for someone who hasn't read about him before. I think I couldn't do the book justice, especially having just recently read yet another book on him (Bakewell's "How to Live). But Frampton writes well and makes one want to read (or re-r [...]

    3. After thoroughly enjoying Sarah Bakewell's 'How to Live? A life of Montaigne in one question and twenty attempts at an answer' (q.v.)I'm on a Montaigne spree, and this book is another quite recent account of him. I like it but compared to the lively and engaging Bakewell book, it's a bit clunky and reads like a PhD thesis that has been edited for a general readership. In fact, I think it is. However, it is quite readable and he brings out different facets of Montaigne that the Bakewell book does [...]

    4. I was inexplicably drawn to this book in Barnes and Noble, Union Square, New York. I'd never read anything about Montaigne before, before I have to admit that I am overly receptive to pretty covers, and attractive bindings. This is a lovely soft-covered book that is a joy to hold, and that probably got me to open the cover and look inside.Flicking through the pages, and deciding whether to invest in this book or not, I was drawn to the personable text and containing nature of the narrative. I'm [...]

    5. It's a bit hard to review this as I am not that familiar with the works of Montaigne. The author spends a great deal of effort trying to convince us that Montaigne is a very modern and relevant writer.Some sections work much better than others. I found the animal section unconvincing but was drawn in by the travelers tales and the musings on humans as a social animal. My own academic background focuses on medieval history - and I found this text somewhat lightweight in this area. This made me so [...]

    6. It took me a million years to read this, but it was really remarkably good. I was too young the first time I read Montaigne and I didn't appreciate him. Now, I'm planning to re-read all of Montaigne.Could have used more velociraptors.

    7. Frampton seems to be pushing a strong anti-Descartes agenda throughout a lot of the book. He makes some pretty remarkable claims about Montaigne being the first author to think/ write/ do this or that - draws some pretty long bows I think - taking all that with a grain of salt. There's also a pretty thin attempt to find a philosophical basis for morality in Montaigne's concern for speaking honestly, and disliking cruelty etc. I get the feeling Frampton may be reverse projecting some of his own 2 [...]

    8. Saul Frampton attempts to take us on a tour of the key ideas and themes in Montaigne's writings. The challenge is to do a better job of this than one can have by merely reading Montaigne in the first place, and at this Frampton fails. Montaigne is so entertaining, and so thought provoking that it is hard to beat him at his own game. Reading Frampton just makes me want to read Montaigne, but doesn't make me feel that I've gained much over and above reading the essays directly. If you want to read [...]

    9. A couple of years ago, I bought a copy of the complete works of Michel de Montaigne for a family member to give to me for a birthday or Christmas (that's how gifts are given to me, unfortunately), can't remember which. Montaigne's name has been known to me for decades and many books reference him, so I thought I should at least have what he's written in my possession, although the book still remains unopened.Although I'm interested in history, I've always preferred secondary texts to start off w [...]

    10. Un escritor, muchos temas. Montaigne parece no haber dejado materia sin tratar en sus Ensayos y aquí, Saul Frampton recorre varios tópicos montaigneanos para componer una visión bastante integral del autor francés. Los puntos tratados son los mismo de siempre (aquellos que solemos encontrar en otras publicaciones, como el estupendo Cómo vivir de Sarah Bakewell): la amistad, la guerra, el amor y el sexo, cuerpo y sus vicisitudes, la conciencia, la moral, el viaje, etc. Pero Frampton no se de [...]

    11. This reads like an academic thesis: it walks through and builds up arguments about Montaigne's context, influences, and perspectives in a rather formal, academic, almost thesis-like way. Although the approach doesn't really lend itself to casual reading, it wasn't dry and I thought it was informative and very interesting overall.The arguments are often stretched beyond the point of believability, though -- ascribing ideas and intents to Montaigne which are nearly absurd, and suggesting he percei [...]

    12. I picked up this book while visiting London, and it became one of the little joys of that trip. Intrigued by the title and the words "being in touch with life" in the title, I enjoyed this introduction to Montaigne. His approach to life and living were welcome thoughts I embraced and soaked up when I read the book in 2011. "Living happily the source of human contentment." Also, I found reading about Montaigne's influence on Shakespeare to be enlightening.

    13. I really loved this book. Like other reviewers mentioned, I initially picked it up due to the awesome cover. I loved learning more about Montaigne and the political culture of the time. As a classicist, I am already a little familiar with some of the ancient philosophers mentioned but it was fascinating to learn more about Stoicism during the Renaissance. And there's a lot of funny parts concerning Montaigne's recordings of his physical state.I highly recommend this book!

    14. Thinking I'd know everything about Montaigne after reading this book, I'd have to say now that I was wrong. Of course that would be a bit silly considering the length of Montaigne's essays and the thickness of this book, but still - I encountered too much "side trackings" and history delvings of my liking that I at some point did not even want to continue to pick it up and finish it. It was "okay" (2 stars), contained a lot of interesting links and quotes but that's about it.

    15. I like almost everything written by and about Montaigne, and having just come back from that part of France I'd like to read more. Hearing about the equivalent of Radio 4 in France (existentialism, philosophy, Nietzsche) makes me think more than ever that France is a socialist country occupied by people of the right and the UK is a right wing country occupied by people of the left.

    16. Bem trabalhado. Mostra a humanidade vulgar de um grande intelecto humanista, sem recorrer a proselitismos baratos ou rebaixa-lo por mostra-lo em sua forma mais simplista. Tanto a obra, que tornou-se "forma" posteriormente, ou o autor, que é deleitoso em mostra-se empenhado em tornar-se eterno. Almenos uma parte de Mongtaine deveremos obter, e sempre que necessário a ele recorrer.

    17. These essays about Montaigne cover a HORRIFIC time of religious wars, plague, famine, and unrest, but Montaigne was an amazing person, who nevertheless relentlessly studied life and studied himself. Author points out that Shakespeare devoured Montaigne's writing, which had a huge effect on his plays. Really interesting. Also the "body arranging" in Renaissance art is intriguing.

    18. A good introduction to Montaigne. My only real gripe is that the book desperately needed a better editor. Frampton has a horrid habit of starting paragraphs with the word but, sometimes multiple times in a row, and in a few instances starting entire sections this way.

    19. Picked this up on a whim as it turns out, serendipitously. Frampton does a great job pitting Montaigne against Descartes, the Stoics and religious hard-liners of the time. A great intro study in a compelling worldview.

    20. Mesmo tendo lido os Ensaios de Montaigne li este livro que, a princípio, parecia apenas destinado a novos leitores. Ainda assim, fiquei muito impressionado com a paixão de Saul Frampton pelo autor, pela contextualização que em partes desconhecia. Li com muito entusiasmo. É um ótimo livro.

    21. An excellent philosophical biography, occupying comfortably the ground between academic and casual; while shunning formal academic rigor, as it should, it engages the casual reader in a fashion that at once relaxes and stretches the mind. Its latter half is particularly enjoyable. Recommended.

    22. Really enjoyed this and now with that great introduction, I want to read Montaigne's actual essays.

    23. Good book, nice introduction to Montaigne; blends biographical information with excerpts fro Montaigne's essay.

    24. The best guide to Montaigne's works. It was about time someone paid attention to the value of Montaigne in these times

    25. I love Montaigne and this book was delightful. Just about as good as Sarah Bakewell's acclaimed, "How to Live - A Life of Montaigne."

    26. Leí este libro por el título y me decepcioné porque solo es una biografía de Montaigne pero igual me dieron ganas de leer sus ensayos, a ver si un día.

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