Fenster especially appreciates Montaigne’s discursive style, which seems to come natch’l to him but which he nonetheless is not loath to slavishly imitate. Montaigne was no stranger to digressions.
There was the time–did I mention this before?–that Montaigne’s best friend Étienne de La Boétie died, an event that would put Montaigne into what amounted to perpetual mourning. La Boétie’s death took days to perfect, and Montaigne was there the whole time, supporting, nursing and listening a lot as La Boétie composed his departure.
La Boétie was, like Montaigne, a writer, and shared Montaigne’s way with words, and words, and words. In Montaigne’s circle even death was made to be a discursive affair and La Boétie was no slouch. Montaigne remarked after the fact that near the end:
(t)he whole room was full of wails and tears, which nevertheless did not interrupt the train of his speeches, which were a little long.
That’s saying something coming from our patron saint.
In any event the above was just a digression. I think you are allowed to open a piece with a digression, don’t you?
This post is mostly to pass along several links to a site where Fenster’s pal–his La Boétie in a way I suppose–deposits commentary that is a bit too long for his Facebook page. Yes, Fenster’s pal is also discursive.
So here are four such commentaries, written in the form of notes to friends. If you are of a mind feel free to check them out.
Here, J— discusses the public values that we venerate where matters of the state are concerned, and how they are being challenged for primacy in the public square by competing value sets. How might this turn out? Well, I would not wish to spoil the play.
Here, J— comments on the concept of neurodiversity, and whether the current mania for speech codes and other enforced orthodoxies discriminates against, and silences, the nerds that we need for progress.
Here, J— discusses whether a law prohibiting discrimination in public accommodations on the basis of gender identity should be repealed.
And here, J— comments on certain aspects of the Kavanaugh hearing.