Essay Library

There are currently 100 essays in the Library – please come in and browse.

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On the Lame (Book III, Essay 11, 1580-95)

by Michel de Montaigne

1595

An essay that combines Montaigne’s review of what it was like to have sex with a lame woman with the profound theme of mankind’s tendency to self-deception. It begins,...

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On the Use of Reason by Irrational Animals (Moralia, vol.12, 46-127 as date unknown)

by Plutarch

127

Plutarch uses Homer’s Odysseus to dramatize a first-century debate about consciousness and character. Odysseus is trying to get his compatriots turned back from pigs into men by ...

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An Account of My Hut (Hojoki)

by Kamo No Chomei

1212

The pre-eminent example of Japanese ‘recluse literature’ and part of the ‘zuihitsu’ genre (personal essays and prose fragments, usually responding to the writer’s surro...

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On Old Age (De Senectute)

by Cicero

-45

The 84-year-old author, using Marcus Cato as narrator, and playing wittily with the allowances made for elderly garrulity and digression, advises us to trust Nature’s wisdom, ada...

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