Early Modern French Studies
Recent Published Article by Doctoral Student on Montaigne

UC Berkeley's own Caroline Godard, a doctoral student in the French Ph.D. program, recently found her work to be published in the Early Modern French Studies. For readers and researchers entranced by Montaigne, this article is the ideal read. Congratulations, Caroline!

Title: Being ‘time-bound’: Montaigne on Touch, Contagion, and the Contemporary

This paper examines how touch and temporal closeness illuminate the intersubjective nature of Montaigne's Essais. Working against the assumptions towards individuality that often emerge in readings of Montaigne, it asks how the confluences of contemporaneity, contagion, compassion, and community offer alternative ways of understanding the relations between self and other. It considers Erich Auerbach's chapter of Mimesis on Montaigne, ‘L’Humaine Condition', in relation to Montaigne's later comment in ‘Du Repentir’ that he is living through the ‘contagion d'un siecle si gasté’. The paper questions how Montaigne perceives himself to be a part of his contemporary moment, as well as what it means to read Montaigne now in a contemporary way; in so doing, it amends existing definitions of the contemporary as an individual concern. This article ends by theorising that the contemporary is indeed a form of contagion – a way of thinking beyond periodisation and the boundaries it imposes.

To access the full article, click HERE.