Saturday, September 29, 2007

Was Montaigne the First Blogger?

Dipping into the delightful world of Michel De Montaigne at the minute. What a great bloke he was.

I love the way the essays meander about and veer way off the point into bizarre, often pointless, digressive alleys. I love the way the entire project revolves around Michel and his impressions - it's all me me me. Was he the first blogger?

Nicholas Lezard chose How To Read Montaigne a few weeks ago as his paperback choice. I am allergic to instructions (Adam could tell you about the time I broke the light fitting next door and there is a massive list Mary could entertain you with of occasions I have found myself in trouble by refusing to read or follow instructions) and so there was never any chance I would read How To Read Montaigne. In fact my extreme aversion to instructions even meant I didn't read his review of How To Read Montaigne just bought myself a copy of the Everyman's Library Complete Works and leaped in.

Now I go to link to Lezard's review of How To Read Montaigne and look - the first thing he says is:

"Not that hard, I would have thought: you get MA Screech's excellent, 1,280-page translation of the Essays, open it up pretty much anywhere you like and let Montaigne's urbane, friendly, sceptical and inquisitive mind do its thing with you. You don't have a copy? Then you must rush out now and get one."

(Seems I bought the wrong translation - but it appears a fine one to me. The real reason I bought the Everyman's Library edition is that it is a large hardback. I hate Penguin Classics when they are fat books. Just SO ugly. If you're going to own Montaigne why not have a real good solid chunk of a book?)


"I have even heard someone develop the conceit that he was the first blogger, although don't let that put you off."

Bastard. What's the point of my existence if Lezard has already thought of everything?

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