• 78. Against Indolence

    If you haven’t figured it out yet, I’m exhausted of discussing Montaigne’s view of death. He’s just as obsessed with it as Alvy Singer was in “Annie Hall.” I wonder if Montaigne shared with his mistresses lots of depressing books about death as well. I’m going to jump directly to his conclusion in this essay,…

  • 77. We Can Savor Nothing Pure

    Now that I’ve brought Nietzsche into the essays, I’m having a hard time keeping him out. I’m going to start with him again: Man, the bravest of animals and the one most accustomed to suffering, does not repudiate suffering as such; he desires it, he even seeks it out, provided he is shown a meaning…

  • 76. On Freedom of Conscience

    We come to one of Montaigne’s more baffling essays, one with very little within it worth quoting, and that deals mostly with naming the virtues of Julian the Apostate, the notably anti-Christian Roman Emperor. I suppose from this I could jump into a discussion of freedom of religion or tolerance of opposing political or philosophical…

  • 75. On Giving the Lie

    As I mentioned in my essay yesterday, I had a big problem with telling the truth when I was younger. While I am probably a little more skilled than most in telling when another person is lying, I’m also less judgmental towards people who have this problem, because I understand the cost of it all….

  • 74. On Presumption

    If I’m going to use Montaigne to examine myself, this essay is a great place to start. When I returned here in 2023, I was eager to drop some truth bombs. The essay ends with a declaration of unconditional love, and reading it again now, that seems to be the only point. I’m not the…

  • 73. On Glory

    I’m attached to this little tribute to my long-time boss, former Virginia Governor Doug Wilder. A few years after writing this, I finally did help him pitch his autobiography to publishers and shape it for the marketplace. Flawed as he is, I still have great affection for this 94 year-old lion. When I was still…