Friday, January 31, 2003

Montaigne's blog

A few nights ago, I pulled out The Complete Essays of Montaigne, translated by Donald M. Frame. I think that if Montaigne were alive today, he would have a weblog/blog and might say in his apology for keeping a such a weblog:
I have no doubt that I often happen to speak of things that are better treated by the masters of the craft, and more truthfully. This is purely the [weblog] of my natural faculties, and not at all of the acquired ones; and whoever shall catch me in ignorance will do nothing against me, for I should hardly be answerable for my ideas to others, I who am not answerable for them to myself, or satisfied with them....These are my fancies, by which I try to give knowledge not of things, but of myself.
About linking to other websites or quoting other authors, he might write:
I make others say what I cannot say so well, now through the weakness of my language, now through the weakness of my understanding.
Further (on the likely anti-linear structure of his weblog?), he might post:
As my fantasies present themselves, I pile them up; now they come pressing in a crowd, now dragging single file. I want people to see my natural and ordinary pace, however off the track it is. I let myself go as I am.
From Montaigne's essay "Of Books" in Book II, pp. 296, 297.

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