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Montaigne (Pushkin Collection) Paperback – 13 Aug. 2015
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'He who thinks freely for himself, honours all freedom on earth.'
Stefan Zweig was already an émigré-driven from a Europe torn apart by brutality and totalitarianism-when he found, in a damp cellar, a copy of Michel de Montaigne's Essais. Montaigne would become Zweig's last great occupation, helping him make sense of his own life and his obsessions-with personal freedom, with the sanctity of the individual. Through his writings on suicide, he would also, finally, lead Zweig to his death.
With the intense psychological acuity and elegant prose so characteristic of Zweig's fiction, this account of Montaigne's life asks how we ought to think, and how to live. It is an intense and wonderful insight into both subject and biographer.
'Will Stone's translation perfectly captures [Zweig's] cultivated Viennese flavour and pacy aphoristic elegance' The Tablet
'An invaluable addition to Zweig's canon, casting as much light on the author s own preoccupation with personal and individual liberty as it does on Montaigne' Independent
'Zweig's accumulated historical and cultural studies remain a body of achievement almost too impressive to take in' -- Clive James
'A beautiful, perhaps even the best, reflection on the great French essayist'Nicholas Lezard, Guardian
'Thanks to Stone's assiduous translation, Zweig's fascinating meditation on the writer in whom he saw himself mirrored appears now for the first time in English' Publishers Weekly
'Stefan Zweig's time of oblivion is over for good... it's good to have him back' -- Salman Rushdie The New York Times
'[During his lifetime] arguably the most widely read and translated serious author in the world'--John Fowles
From the Author
- Publisher : Pushkin Press (13 Aug. 2015)
- Language : English
- Paperback : 160 pages
- ISBN-10 : 1782271031
- ISBN-13 : 978-1782271031
- Dimensions : 12.09 x 1.42 x 16.46 cm
- Best Sellers Rank: 314,724 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer reviews:
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Top reviews from United Kingdom
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This small book is excellent for every possible reason and is one of the best introductions to the life and work or the very great Montaigne. In a tiny volume, Zweig gives the readers a biography, an analysis of the priceless "Essays", an introduction to the XVI century and a very good comment on the wars of religion that plagued Montaigne's life. All with the sober and excellent prose of the author.
The book's only "but" is that's too short - it would fill just around 50 pages (the introduction takes one third of a very small book). Also, it is quite obvious that's a draft, still pending to have its last review (and titles for all its sections). This is why it doesn't get five stars.
Otherwise, and in spite of the previous, a gem and a must to any lover of Montaigne's essays or Zweig's books.