Thursday, July 30, 2015
It's almost as if Montaigne's temperament could be reduced to an equation: a low but accurate view of one's own nature plus a capacity for wonder and astonishment at the bizarreness of creation equals a calming spirit of equipoise. He was, as Bakewell puts it, "liberated to lightheartedness." He seemed to maintain an even keel, neither surrendering to exuberance when things were going well nor falling into despair when they weren't. He created a prose style that embodied graceful nonchalance and then tried to become as cool as his writing.
-David Brooks, The Road to Character