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Seminar in French Literature of the Renaissance: Montaigne's Library

FRE 513

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This seminar investigates Montaigne's library. We study the Essais with attention the way Montaigne reads, quotes, and borrows from other books, exploring the complex stakes (literary, historical, philosophical, ethical, erotic) of citationality. We place Montaigne's reading practices within the context of Renaissance humanism and analyze the way he appropriates, dismembers, and deforms other authors (Plutarch, Lucretius, Virgil, La Boétie, etc.). We explore the legendary tower librairie as both physical space and imaginary scene, relating it to personal libraries past and present, and tracking its afterlife in contemporary media.
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Section S01