The Proto-Blogger

The Proto-Blogger July 2, 2011

Scot wrote about Montaigne this week, and I heartily agree with his appreciation of the inventor of the essay.  I first read Montaigne as a freshman in college, and have been a fan ever since.  “Of Friendship” is my favorite essay by Montaigne, in which he contrasts same-gender friendship with the father-son relationship, the brother-brother relationship, and the fires of romantic love.  In contrast to the lattermost, he writes,

Whereas in friendship, ’tis a general and universal fire, but temperate and equal, a constant established heat, all gentle and smooth, without poignancy or roughness…

Friendship, on the contrary, is enjoyed proportionably as it is desired; and only grows up, is nourished and improved by enjoyment, as being of itself spiritual, and the soul growing still more refined by practice.

Montaigne would have been a great blogger — in fact, I’d argue that he was the proto-blogger, and his invention of the personal essay has evolved into what I and tens of thousands of others do every day on blogs.

If you never have, I encourage you to get your Montaigne on!

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