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The Fabulous Imagination: On Montaigne's Essays


reviewed by Ann Hartle - September 08, 2009

coverTitle: The Fabulous Imagination: On Montaigne's Essays
Author(s): Lawrence D. Kritzman
Publisher: Columbia University Press, New York
ISBN: 0231119925, Pages: 240, Year: 2009
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Montaigne claims that the imagination is the most important of all our faculties. In The Fabulous Imagination, Lawrence Kritzman examines the role of the imagination in the emergence of the Western concept of the self. He states: Montaigne, the inventor of the modern essay, signals the emergence of the Western concept of the self by exploring how human desires and fears are represented in writing. In the Essays, the imagination acts as the generative core of an internal universe that influences both the body and mind and reveals itself as essential to human experience. (p. 22) Kritzman regards Montaigne as “the first thinker in the Western tradition to explore human subjectivity in a profound way” (p. 1). The concept of the self, then, is identified with subjectivity, and Montaigne’s exploration of human subjectivity is an anticipation of Freudian psychoanalysis (pp. 21-22). Psychoanalysis, not philosophy, is the path to self-knowledge. “For Montaigne philosophy... (preview truncated at 150 words.)


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Cite This Article as: Teachers College Record, Date Published: September 08, 2009
https://www.tcrecord.org ID Number: 15764, Date Accessed: 8/24/2019 8:40:01 PM

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About the Author
  • Ann Hartle
    Emory University
    E-mail Author
    ANN HARTLE is professor of Philosophy at Emory University. She is the author of Michel de Montaigne: Accidental Philosopher and is currently working on a book on Montaigne and the origins of modern philosophy.
 
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