Montaigne | The Essays, Book II, Essay 1.

I've been kind of passively reading the Complete Essays of Michel de Montaigne. I found this bit to be very in line with the psychoanalytic idea of the unconscious contradictory subjectivity being more powerful than our conscious attempts to adhere to a consistent identity.


Those who strive to account for a man’s deeds are never more bewildered than when they try to knit them into one whole and to show them under one light, since they commonly contradict each other in so odd a fashion that it seems impossible that they should all come out of the same shop.
It seems reasonable enough to base our judgement of a man on the more usual features of his life: but given the natural inconstancy of our behaviour and our opinions it has often occurred to me that even sound authors are wrong in stubbornly trying to weave us into one invariable and solid fabric.”
Of Man I can believe nothing less easily than invariability: nothing more easily than variability.

Reading these essays is fun.

Subscribe to [S][J][P]

Don’t miss out on the latest issues. Sign up now to get access to the library of members-only issues.