Tuesday, February 28, 2006
Happy Birthday, Michel Eyquem de Montaigne!
If at first you don't succeed...
Today is the birthday of Montaigne, the great essayist. Most certainly even considered THE greatest by his French compatriots (stick an "e" between the "t" and "s" and it's already French, people!). In fact, in his official portrait, former French president Mitterand holds an open copy of the Essays in his hands.
Montaigne is considered to be the inventor of the personal essay. He published a book titled Essais in 1580. He was the first person to call short pieces of prose "essays" from the French word for... oui, attempt!
...try, try and try again.
Yes, the mantra for anyone attempting to learn anything when things don't go right, right away, will now remind me of Montaigne. This, in turn, offers me a course of action by association: If I can't get it right and I'm tired of trying- I'll just write about it!
essayer = to try
un essai = an attempt
Photo: Try our delicious sandwiches
au Nouveau-Mexique, en septembre 2001