I’m back, baby.
The semester’s drawing to a close, which SHOULD mean that I have no time to blog at all, but in reality means that I will begin to update my blog again because I AM PROCRASTINATING. And that’s always nice.
I’m also going to be studying for the final exam of a philosophy class, so EXPECT SOME OF THAT STUFF IN HERE.
BUT I DIGRESS.
Montaigne’s essay of Friendship was interesting. I liked it. Do you remember it? Here it is.
I had a problem with it, though.
In fact, I have a rather large problem.
Let me copy the passage.
Note that this may differ from the one I just linked, because mine is from page 167 of the big book of Montaigne that I have, and yours is from THE INTERNETS.
“Besides, to tell the truth, the ordinary capacity of women is inadequate for that communion and fellowship which is the nurse of this sacred bond; nor does their soul seem firm enough to endure the strain of so tight and durable a knot. And indeed, but for that, if such a relationship, free and voluntary, could be built up, in which not only would the souls have this complete enjoyment, but the bodies would also share in the alliance, so that the entire man would be engaged, it is certain that the resulting friendship would be fuller and more complete. But this sex in no instance has yet succeeded in attaining it, and by the common agreement of the ancient schools is excluded from it.”
Let’s sit down.
So first off, the good points.
I agree with you about a friendship, a bond, like this. I agree wholeheartedly with every description you offer, of a thing so “far from common usage” and so rare that you did not expect to find any good judge of it.
“For the very discourses that antiquity has left us on this subject seem to me weak compared with the feeling I have. And in this particular the facts surpass even the precepts of philosophy.”
Luckily, happily for me, I do not have the same problem. The discourses that you have left for me, Montaigne, resonate very clearly and strongly. So for that, props. Nice job. Have a biscuit.
I could not imagine the effects that shattering such a friendship would have before I read this essay, and now I can. It would not brace me for the shock—I suspect nothing would—but I can look and know intellectually beforehand if ever a time comes when I must know subjectively. WHICH I DOUBT WILL HAPPEN, because things always work out for the best, but THAT’S A SUBJECT FOR ANOTHER ESSAY.
Now, I have good news for you, Montaigne—you might want to sit down. The good news is, you’re right: “if such a relationship, free and voluntary, could be built up,” then “that the resulting friendship would be fuller and more complete.”
The better news is that your statement that “the ordinary capacity of women is inadequate for that communion and fellowship which is the nurse of this sacred bond; nor does their soul seem firm enough to endure the strain of so tight and durable a knot” is COMPLETELY AND WILDLY INCORRECT.
Ah, Michel, you did not look hard enough, not close enough. Perhaps you realized the error you were making in your later edits—the note that “the resulting friendship would be fuller and more complete” was indeed added after the essay itself was written.
But I can tell you now that you’re right on that guess, that edit.
I’m not even sure why I’m writing this to you—after all, if you will forgive me for saying so, you are quite dead, Montaigne.
Perhaps it is merely a roundabout way of trumpeting how much I enjoy my various friendships.
But, perhaps it will make for an interesting blog post.
AND THAT’S GOOD ENOUGH FOR ME.
So I’ll stop at 666 words.
AND THEN I’LL RESUME.
BECAUSE OH MY GOD
I’ve developed the vague idea of writing a book. It probably won’t happen for a while, as research will be required and I haven’t the faintest idea where to start. But I’ll get it done eventually, because it would have a positive impact on many things. AND THAT’S ALWAYS NICE.
SO REALLY that’s all I have to say today.
I wrote about Montaigne for a class; once the class ends perhaps I’ll post the essay here. That’s legal, right?
Have a nice day
and ENJOY THE SUNSHINE, because I know I plan to.