Book Review, Montaigne – Essays

Montaigne is one of the important thinkers of the 16th century. Montaigne's "Essays" is also the first of its kind in literature. In his Essays, Montagine spoke about his personal thoughts on humane issues such as morality, righteousness, and virtue.
Essays of Montaigne

I can say that it is perhaps the most eye-opening book I have read so far. Also, I think it’s probably the first philosophy book I chose and bought myself.

The topics generally covered in the book are “Virtue” and “Ethics”. However, mostly each essay’s topic is different.

Montaigne wrote his thoughts and views, sometimes including criticism, allegory, and self-criticism. My favorite thing about Montaigne is that he does not mince matters . I very much liked how he speaks in this direct way even though it touches on sensitive issues, full of dogma.

It is a mentally challenging book. It was heartbreaking at times for me, to discover some facts about human nature in this book.

Personally, I think Montaigne is a realistic idealist.

Writing Style of the Book

The book is a collection of articles on different subjects.

In this book Montaigne;

Explains his thoughts and ideas to the reader in a simple and clear language,

States that he presents his ideas open to criticism without any claim or assertion,

Quotes different authors and thinkers, especially Greek philosophers,

Has written articles generally on ‘Humanitarian Issues’ such as virtue, goodness and freedom,

Expresses striking and bitter truths and breaks dogmas by following the voices of reason and conscience in his writings. He also included self-criticism in his book.

Category of Each Essay

My markings on book

I realized that each essay had certain features, so I marked each essay with a post-it to make it easier for me to return and read in the future. In order to categorize, I marked each essay title with one of the 3 colors.

Blue is for positive examples and includes the virtues I see in myself and hope to continue;

Green is for the ones that I make me see the facts more clearly without getting caught in my feelings, in short “to become wiser”;

Orange is for the bad examples of people who hurt themselves as a result of certain situations and events, so that I draw a lesson from those and don’t make the same mistakes

The number of colors I marked are as Green > Orange > Blue.

Also please keep in mind that I read the Turkish translation of this book.

Emin Ali Ertenü
Emin Ali Ertenü
Articles: 486

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