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Doc Õ Lettres persanes ☆ 352 pages Download Î Montesquieu Ô ➵ [Read] ➯ Lettres persanes By Montesquieu ✤ – Johns-cycling-diary.co.uk This richly evocative novel in letters tells the story of two Persian noblemen who have left their country the modern Iran to journey to EuAre satirized Storytellers as well as letter writers Montesuieu's Usbek and Rica are disrespectful and witty but also serious moralists Persian Letters was a succès de scandale in Paris society and encapsulates the libertarian critical spirit of the early eighteenth century This book a sort of novel is an epistolary story of two Persian travelers Usbek and Rica who travel to Europe Usbek leaves behind five wives and a handful of eunuchs to watch over them The letters are sent from and to a variety of the people and each of them reflect on some form of culture whether the men's perspective of Western civilization or Usbek's wives' opinions on their own society and their place within itWhat makes this particularly interesting for me is that while the novel is meant to be a satire and I haven't had much luck with the genre boo on Candide there is an extensive amount of information about Paris in the early eighteenth century and the end of Louis XIV's reign as seen through the eyes of Persian men and women Discussion of sexual freedom religion government marriage suicide etc are covered all of which is detailed in these letters from each of the characters giving a nicely rounded vision of important issues in two very different societiesThis was a great read with plenty of notes on the text and appendices in the back of the book shedding light on some of the obscure points and references made by Montesuieu

Text ë Lettres persanes Ò Montesquieu

This richly evocative novel in letters tells the story of two Persian noblemen who have left their country the modern Iran to journey to Europe in search of wisdom As they travel they write home to wives and eunuchs in the harem and to friends in France and elsewhere Their c How to sell a book 300 years old to a modern reader What is the appeal today of the epistolary musings of a couple of Oriental travellers having a first contact with Western civilization at the end of King Louis the 14th Here are some points that I hope will tickle your interest1 The Persian Letters were not written as history but as a contemporary satire of French civilization using ridicule and common sense to expose the unsavoury mentalities and practices of fellow countrymen Think of Montesuieu as the 1721 version of The Colbert Report or The Daily ShowI saw a survey here on Goodreads asking what I would do if I had a time machine One answer would be to go back to early 18 century pick up Charles Louis de Secondat baron de La Brede et de Montesuieu and bring him back to 2012 to do a tour of the talk shows I'm sure he would be uite at ease and dazzling in his commentaries2 According to political scientist Donald Lutz Montesuieu was the most freuently uoted authority on government and politics in colonial pre revolutionary British America cited by the American founders than any source except for the Bible So if you are not ready to tackle his magnum opus De l'esprit des lois you might check this lighter material first one that incorporates the basic tenets of his philosophy in a entertaining format Here's a uote that might feel familiar All the people of Europe are not eually subject to their princes for instance the impatient humour of the English seldom give their king time to make his power heavy Passive obedience and non resistance are no virtues in their esteem They say upon this head very extraordinary things According to them there is but one tie that can bind men which is that of gratitude a husband a wife a father and son are not bound to each other but either by the love they bear to one another or by mutual services and these different motives of acknowledgment are the origin of every kingdom and of all societies But if a prince very far from making his subjects live happy endeavours to oppress and ruin them the foundation of obedience ceases; nothing ties them nothing attaches them to him and they return to their natural liberty Letter CIV 3 At the time of its publication The Persian Letters had a success comparable to Twilight and Harry Potter spawning countless imitations While it is not technically the first novel to be written entirely in epistolary form it was the one that made the biggest splash Some of the appeal may have been in the piuant details about life in a harem uite tame by modern standards or in trying to identify the local celebrities lampooned in the text But I believe the major selling point was the outsider view the contact of two civilizations that have evolved on parallel tracks Persian and French Given that today we see a lot of willful misunderstandings and distortions about the Muslim versus the Christian heritage a lecture of the attitudes held by both the Frenchmen and the Orientals might show we were tolerant three centuries ago4 Montesuieu is one of the founding members of the Enlightenment movement a firm believer in progress education science diversity justice and the basic decency of humans in their natural state The parable of the Troglodites in one of the first letters illustrate this point of the difference between a society built solely on greed and one built on respect fairness moral rectitude hard work5 You can start a lively debate with direct appliance to the modern day from any of his letters on such diverse subjects as world demographic evolution Letter CXXX and onward the distribution of wealth Letter XCVIII economic theory Letter CVI science as the new religion Letter XCVII creationism Letter CXIII religious tolerance Letter LX good governance Letter LXXX celibacy Letter CXVII the right to take your own life didn't note the number of this letter poligamy Letter CXIV divorce Letter CXVI modesty Letter CXLIV and so on 6 While Montesuieu doesn't take a clear stance on women liberation and the injustice of locking them in gilded cages reading between the lines of the letters dealing directly with Uzbek and his five wifes and considering the final outcome of trying to impose authority from a distance using brute force he could still be considered one of the first authors to speak up against genre discriminationBefore I get to the numerous uotes I selected from the text I should say a few words about why I didn't give the book the maximum rating and why it may not work for anyone The language especially in the first 20 or 30 letters is archaic chockfull of thee thy art mayest sayest etc I got used to it eventually and stopped noticing the dusty style about a third of the way in And for readers who expect a plot characterization action this is not it Excluding the harem pieces most of the book is in essays and satirical piecesFirst uote is about curiosity and a thirst for knowledge They who love to inform themselves are never idle Though I have no business of conseuence to take care of I am nevertheless continually employed I spend my life in examining things I write down in the evening whatever I have remarked what I have seen and what I have heard in the day every thing engages my attention and every thing excites my wonder I am like an infant whose organs as yet tender are strongly affected by the slightest objects Letter XLVIII Next one about the anti intellectual attitude With regard to those who take pride in their ignorance they would willingly have all mankind buried in that oblivion to which they are themselves consigned When a man is destitute of any particular talent he indemnifies himself by expressing his contempt for it; Letter CXLV A plea for religious pluralism I know not Mirza but it may be good for a state that there should be several religions in it It is observable that the members of the tolerated religio

Montesquieu Ò Lettres persanes Epub

Lettres persanesOlourful observations on the culture differences between West and East culture conjure up Eastern sensuality repression and cruelty in contrast to the freer civilized West but here also unworthy nobles and bishops frivolous women of fashion and conceited people of all kinds This book from 1721 written during and set at the beginning of that licentious interregnum between the death of Lou #14 and the majority of boytoy #15 known as the Regency took me a while to read considering its brevity possibly because it lent itself to reading in small morsels which could be chewed upon slowly and digested in repose Or perhaps because its many tasty tidbits were interspersed with an euivalent amount of unappealing chaff which needs must be sorted through somewhat laboriously Nevertheless it was a feast for the mind whose courses were carefully arranged to stimulate an appetite for philosophical reflection on topics as varied as human nature sexual politics moral and customary relativity and especially reason vs superstition as our two Persian travelers write home to their friends and wives about the curious practices and prejudices of the Europeans which causes them to reflect sometimes seriously upon their own meurs All of this is written with a witty tongue which is often placed with various degrees of firmness somewhere in the vicinity of the cheek eg ‘They have their little courteous ways which in France would seem inappropriate; for example a captain never flogs his soldier without asking his permission and the Inuisition never condemns a Jew to be burnt at the stake without apologizing to him ‘Spaniards who are not burnt at the stake seem to be so fond of the Inuisition that it would seem peevish to deprive them of it; I only wish that another Inuisition could be established not against heretics but against heresiarchs who attribute the same efficacy to trivial monastic practices as they do to the seven sacraments who worship everything they venerate and are so pious that they are barely Christians ‘You can find wit and common sense among Spaniards but do not seek these in their books; take a look at a Spaniard’s library one half novels and the other half works of scholasticism; you’d say that the parts had been chosen and the whole thing put together by some secret enemy of human reason ‘The only one of their books that is good is the one that makes fun of all the others107That one good book full of all of the humours of humankind is of course Cervantes' Don uixoteHighly recommended for anyone who wishes to encounter the birth of France's Enlightenment the way the French themselves did at the time—the book was such a scandale de succès that its anonymous author dined out not so anonymously on its repute for some years through a clutch of printings and always with a wary eye out for the censor of course In the end I would say of it what Montesuieu himself says of The University of Paris which is the eldest and very elderly daughter of the kings of France for she is than nine hundred years old; conseuently she is occasionally confused147—and I would add occasionally boring often outrageous but always very very learned