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From Meditation To Reverie: Montaigne And Rousseau

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Chapter Summary

This chapter begins with Montaigne and his use of the concept meditation. For Montaigne, rêveries word, mostly applied to his own reflections and writings, denotes, rather negatively, unpredictable, unordered and useless discourses, and therefore implies an ironic self-deprecation. The chapter on prayer never becomes an actual prayer as is the case in Pascals later Pensées, for instance. For Montaigne, his library is the material concretization of spiritual retirement, of philosophical solitude. The chapter demonstrates that Montaigne inspired Rousseau to the thematic linking of reverie, promenade and solitude. This connection between the three terms enabled Rousseau to create a new theme, soon to be adopted by a host of romantic writers, all solitary, ambulant, introspective rêveries .

Keywords: Montaigne; reverie; Rousseau



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