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Freedom Over Servitude: Montaigne, LaBoetie, & Voluntary Servitude [Hardcover]

David L. Schaefer

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Book Description

November 24, 1998 0313305277 978-0313305276 1st

This volume contains five articles by prominent scholars of French literature and political philosophy that examine the relation between Montaigne's EssayS≪/i>, one of the classic works of the French philosophical and literary traditions, and the writings attributed by Montaigne to his friend, the French humanist Etienne de La Boétie's.

Three contributors to the volume suggest that Montaigne was the real author of the revolutionary tract On Voluntary Servitude, along with the other works he attributed to La Boétie's. Two contributors describe the remarkable mathematical and/or mythological patterns found in both the EssayS≪/i> and the works ascribed to La Boétie's. Several essays articulate the revolutionary political teaching found in the EssayS≪/i> as well as On Voluntary Servitude, challenging the conventional view of Montaigne as a political conservative. And all the contributors challenge the received view that he was an artless or nonchalant writer. The volume also includes new translations of both On Voluntary Servitude and the 29 Sonnets of Etienne de La Boetie that Montaigne included in all editions of the EssayS≪/i> except the final one. An important work for students and scholars of political philosophy, Renaissance history, and French and comparative literature.


Editorial Reviews

Review

"This book of essays clarifies the political inspiration of Montaigne's Essais. Insofar as the Essais were the breviary of the eighteenth century philosophes who provided the conceptual ground for the American and French Revolutions, it cannot be underscored enough that Montaigne's politics continue to exert influence on our lives and times. The scholars contributing to this volume demonstrate that Etienne de la Boetie's terse pamphlet that sketched out a logic of tyrannicide was not a piece of juvenile rhetoric. It was a precocious tract with which Montaigne shared strong affiliation....No student of the relation of politics and aesthetics in early modern Europe will fail to profit from the careful and inspired work of the authors."-Tom Conley Professor of Romance Languages and Literatures Harvard University

Book Description

Examines the relationship between Montaigne's EssayS≪/i>, one of the classic works of the French philosophical and literary traditions, and the writings attributed by Montaigne to his friend, the French humanist Étienne de la Boétie.


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