Monday, April 1, 2013

After Easter, my resolution begins anew. Apparently, the French celebrated Easter as the first day of the year until 1563 when Charles VI changed it to the first of January, so I'll be reviving that practice.

Knee-deep into finals revision, I am reading the wonderful Montaigne alongside Donne on death:

'I want a man to act, and to prolong the functions of life as long as he can; and I want death to find me planting my cabbages, but careless of death, and still more of my unfinished garden.'

- from his essay 'That to philosophize is to learn to die' (I. X)


Ian Wolcott said...

I have boundless enthusiasm for Montaigne. Read on. For Montaigne on death, I also suggest you read his final essay, ‘On Experience,’ from vol. 3. This is the one he wrote while practically on his deathbed from complications of kidney stones. It’s quite different in tone, I think. I don’t have the book in front of me, but he essentially concludes that it’s wrong to pretend to despise life the easier to part with it. I love my life, he says; I accept it as a gift, with gratitude to God. With equal gratitude, he says, I let go of my life, because the nature of the gift is that it is temporary. This doesn’t make the gift any less wonderful.

Sentiments to live by.

Shelf of One's Own said...

Ah, thanks Ian. I was planning on reading it tonight and now it's a sure thing.