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Montaigne's essay "Of Friendship" represents a particularly interesting textual space in which the author's quests for self-knowledge and knowledge of the Other intersect, where the preliminary project of self-exploration--"I am myself the matter of my book" ("To the Reader" 2)--is supplemented by an exploration of the Other, the "perfect friend," Etienne de La Boetie. The double objective of the essay makes the author's search for self-understanding inseparable from the question "Who is La Boetie?," or rather "Who was La Boetie?" or even more precisely: "Who was La Boetie for Montaigne?" Formulating the question this way underscores the importance of the subject of representation (Montaigne the essayist) in relation to the object represented (La Boetie). In this paper, I seek to elucidate Montaigne's writing of La Boetie through the optics of Foucault's notion of the "care of the self" (le souci de soi). Foucault's late turn to this ethical idea, which he derived from the ancient Greek precept epimelesthai s autou, "to take care of yourself" (Technologies of the Self 19), however, did not reflect a naive wish to "return" to the quasi-transcendental subject whose demise he had celebrated in The Order of Things. On the contrary, Foucault still rejected an a priori understanding of the subject (the subject is not a substance) but now shifted his genealogical focus from the formation of the subject to the self's own active self-formation as subject through specific "practices of self" ("The Ethics of Care for the Self" 11). In a late interview, Foucault underscored the aesthetic dimension of self-formation: "From the idea that the self is not given to us, I think that there is only one practical consequence: we have to create ourselves as a work of art" ("On the Genealogy of Ethics" 237). Indeed, the care of the self entails above all an art of life, a stylized relationship to oneself (his rapport a soi), a self-knowledge not based on a hermeneutical process but on the creative activity of self-fashioning. In the car e of the self, writing and the cultivation of self are also intimately linked:

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This was my first Montaigne essay, and I can see I will have to teach myself how to respond to them. I thought about this one a lot, but could only respond in a sort of essay style myself. I also see I picked up on totally different points from sibyx. Anyway, here is what I wrote:


Montaigne Essays Summary Michel de Montaigne Of cannibals

Montaigne Essays Sparknotes Free montaigne papers, essays, and research papers