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date: 19 March 2019

Abstract and Keywords

This article surveys the numerous permutations and repercussions, political, ethical, and esthetic, of the hallowed notion of friendship in Montaigne’s Essays. It also studies the literary genealogy and intertextual relations of friendship in the classical and vernacular tradition. The fiction of friendship has sustained a long tradition in Montaigne studies and is no doubt one of Montaigne’s most generous gifts to posterity. Friendship in the Essays is by turns an artistic passion, a civil liberty, and a political profession, metamorphosizing and adapting through the different phases of composition. In this process, the written word remains the most trusted repository of friendship. The mutual obligation of author and book offers a most modern formulation of friendship.

Keywords: Friendship, Renaissance, Montaigne, La Boétie, Aristotle, Plutarch, Ovid, Vigenère

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