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Montaigne And Jacob Cats

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Chapter Summary

Having a full scale overview of the references to Montaigne in the oeuvre of the Dutch poet Jacob Cats, the first thing to say is that the Essais have been a major and permanent source for invention, from the earliest publication in 1618 to the last in 1658. The highest frequencies are found in the emblem book Maechden-plicht and in the didactic poem Houwelick. Cats started his reading of Montaigne in chapter III 5, quoting exclusively from the particular chapter “Sur des vers de Vergil”, which is primarily about love and sex. Cats continued to use it in his first creative period, for as long as he wrote about love, marriage and the relationship between man and woman. Elegant aphorisms, either from Montaigne himself or in his citations, found their way into Cats’s emblematic works. This chapter traces the influence of Montaigne in the works of Cats.

Keywords: Essais; Houwelick; Jacob Cats; Maechden-plicht; Montaigne



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