Thursday, November 25, 2010

Montaigne on Death

I’m reading Sarah Bakewell’s new biography of Montaigne. Wonderful format: she writes one question: How to live? And answers it in 20 essays giving glimpses into Montaigne’s life and writing and thinking.

A near death experience was a key to his life and thinking. He wrote:

“If you don’t know how to die don’t worry; Nature will tell you what to do on the spot, fully and adequately. She will do this job perfectly for you; don’t bother your head about it. Life is more difficult than death; instead of passive surrender, it takes attention and management. It can also be more painful.”

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