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Montaigne~Father of the Essay.

Montaigne~Father of the Essay.

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Published by Suzanne de Cornelia
The great thinker of the French Renaissance influenced writers from Ralph Waldo Emerson to Rousseau. The most prominent luxury goods street in Paris is named for him. Elegance is a result of deep thought afterall.....
The great thinker of the French Renaissance influenced writers from Ralph Waldo Emerson to Rousseau. The most prominent luxury goods street in Paris is named for him. Elegance is a result of deep thought afterall.....

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Published by: Suzanne de Cornelia on Dec 20, 2012
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09/28/2013

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“Paris…
she has had my heart since my childhood.... I love her
tenderly…
I am French only by this great city: the glory of 
France, and one of the noblest ornaments of the world.” ~
Michel de Montaigne.The
great thinker’s statue above is at the entrance of the
Sorbonne where First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy studied. Thenearby highly polished Avenue Montaigne dates back to themid-1600s and is appropriately named for Michel deMontaigne (1533-1592).
 
From one o
f France’s wealthiest 
families
 
Montaigne’s
first three years were spent in a humble cottage on his family
’s
 estate. His first language was Latin.As a humanistic author and statesman of the FrenchRenaissance
he inspired Descartes, Blaise Pascal, RalphWaldo Emerson, Nietzsche, Isaac Asimov and importantly---
Rousseau whose ‘Social Contract’
based
America’s founding
documents.Montaigne is known as the father of the literary essay that merges deep intellectual reflection with personal storytelling.His essays are free online:
http://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/3600grea
He wrote,
“To compose our character is our duty…Our great 
and glorious masterpiece is to live appropriately. All otherthin
gs…are only little appendages and props, at most…The
beautiful souls are universal, open, and ready for all things.
His ideal of grounded strengths was in editing and perfectingnot piling on
was reflected
in
 
Chanel’s revolutionar
ysimplicity that changed the world of fashion.
Other 
establishments on Avenue Montaigne today: Vuitton, Dior,Chanel, Fendi, Valentino Ralph Lauren, Céline, and the
1889 Art Nouveau
Plaza Athénée.
If you observe closely you’ll seehow they reflect the ideals of their proud street’s namesake:
Beautiful words from Michel de Montaigne:
“I do not care so much what I am to others as I care what I am
to myself. The greatest thing in the world is to know how to
belong to oneself.”
 
 
“A man who fears suffering is already
suffering from what hefears. The most certain sign of wisd
om is cheerfulness. ”“My art and profession is to li
ve. Saying is one thing and doing
is another”“When I dance, I dance; when I sleep, I sleep; yes, and when I
walk alone in a beautiful orchard, if my thoughts drift to far-off matters for some part of the time for some other part I leadthem back again to the walk, the orchard, to the sweetness of 
this solitude, to myself.”“There is no knowledge so hard to acquire as the knowledge of how to live this life well and naturally.”“Every movement 
reveals us. No wind favors he who has no
destined port”“Valor is strength
of heart and soul; it consists not in the worthof...our
weapons, but in our own.”“The thing I fear most is fear.”“The finest souls are those that have the most variety andsuppleness.”“Not being able to
govern events, I govern myself...The great 
and glorious masterpiece of man is to live to the point.”“No spirited mind remains within itself; it is always aspi
ringand going beyond its strength; it has impulses beyond its
power of achievement.”

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