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The Complete Essays of Montaigne

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    Available in PDF - DJVU Format | The Complete Essays of Montaigne.pdf | Language: ENGLISH
    Michel Eyquem Montaigne(Author) Donald M. Frame(Translator)

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This new translation of Montaigne's immortal Essays received great acclaim when it was first published in The Complete Works of Montaigne in the 1957 edition. The New York Times said, "It is a matter for rejoicing that we now have available a new translation that offers definite advantages over even the best of its predecessors," and The New Republic stated that this edition gives "a more adequate idea of Montaigne's manner, his straight and unpretentious style, than any of the half-dozen previous English translations."



In his Essays Montaigne warns us from the outset that he has set himself "no gal but a domestic and private one"; yet he is one author whose modernity and universality have been acclaimed by each age since he wrote. Probing into his emotions, attitudes, and behavior, Montaigne reveals to us much about ourselves.



As new editions of the Essays were published during his lifetime, Montaigne interpolated many new passages―often of considerable length. This volume indicates the strata of composition, so that the reader may follow the development of Montaigne's thought over the years. The detailed index provides a convenient means of locating the many famous passages that occur throughout the work.

In his Essays Montaigne warns us from the outset that he has set himself 'no goal but a domestic and private one' yet he is one author whose modernity and universality have been acclaimed by each age since he wrote. Probing into his emotions, attitudes, and behavior, Montaigne reveals to us much about ourselves.

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Review Text

  • By Rob on 13 January 2012

    This is the original edition of 'The Complete Essays of Montaigne', translated by Donald Frame and published by Stanford on 30 June, 1958 (ISBN-10: 0804704864). It is a fairly big book, but pleasant to handle and easy to hold for reading. It has the great merit of having a large legible typeface on very white acid-free paper. It is however very expensive at £33.73 for the Stanford paperback as compared with the Everyman 'The Complete Works (ISBN-10: 185715259X, hb) which reprints the Donald Frame translation in toto and also gives you all of Montaigne's other writings. It costs only £14 on Amazon.However, there are two other points that would recommend this Stanford publication: (1) It is the edition that is often cited by commentators who give references to its pagination. Ann Hartle, for example, in her very interesting though somewhat dully written book (Michel de Montaigne, Accidental Philosopher) refers to the Stanford page numbers and gives no other indication to let us know which essay she is referring to. (2) The newly published MP3 Audio Book of the Complete Essays (ISBN-10: 1455828300)also uses the Donald Frame translation and refers to the Stanford edition's page numbers in the audio text.So, if you are thinking of buying either of these two books, then you should buy the Donald Frame translation in the more expensive Stanford edition. The Frame translation, however, does not print the original Latin quotations, which is a bit of a loss. If you just want a good translation, then M.A. Screech's Penguin Classics paperback version at £13.84 would be just fine (ISBN-10: 0140446044). Screech handles the quotations much more appropriately and like Frame, his translation is based on Paul Villey's edition of the Bordeaux Copy. (The new Pleiade version has not yet been translated into English, but for most of us this is not very important and won't be for a few years). Frame's translation is smooth and easy to read, just a little too easy perhaps, lacking something of Montaigne's more physical and immediate expression. ('Branloire perenne' seems to me to be a little more than 'perennial movement').If you do decide to buy this book, I would suggest that you to buy it direct through Amazon, and not through a Market Place seller like Chiron Media. Only with Amazon can you be sure that the item will be well-packaged and refunded quibble-free if there is a problem.


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