Category Archives: Michel de Montaigne

“pure naturalness and truth”


“[P]ure naturalness and truth, in whatever age, still find their time and their place.”

— Michel de Montaigne


So do I believe.

And earnestly wish.

I myself have strived to achieve “pure naturalness and truth” in my writing. Here and elsewhere. In writings and communiques, public and private.

Some narrow minded, mean spirited critics, who feel it incumbent upon themselves to keep an eagle eye on this site, feel otherwise. They are always carping and finding fault. They never have a complimentary word for my writing. In fact, incredibly, they find me to be pompous and feel that I pay fast and loose with “the truth,” as they see it. This, they feel, makes them entitled to correct and scold me, instead of offering constructive criticism.

My most admired writers, those whom I wish to emulate, include, along with Montaigne, Samuel Johnson and (in various works, including prose) Walt Whitman.  It’s unlikely that my detractors are well acquainted with their works.


— Roger W. Smith

   September 2017

Montaigne on books


“… I take pleasure from the fact that I can enjoy [books] when it pleases me to do so; my soul is satisfied merely with possession. I never travel without books, neither in peace nor in war.  Sometimes whole days go by, even months, without my looking at them. But it might be at any moment now, or tomorrow; or whenever the mood takes me. . . . Books are, I find, the best provisions a man can take with him on life’s journey.” — Michel de Montaigne



Exactly my sentiments!

Except ….

I have learned from experience not to take books with me on actual trips. (Note Montaigne’s reference to “life’s journey,” which is something entirely different.) Extra baggage. And, I am in such an excited state mentally when traveling that I never read them (during a trip).

I do return lugging hard to find books (e.g., Juan Ramón Jiménez in Spain), increasing by a large measure the weight of my baggage.


— Roger W. Smith

  August 2017