Monday Morning Montaigne

This week’s Montaigne passage comes from Of the Power of the Imagination. When I saw that title, I assumed it would be an essay on creativity and art.

Nope! Turns out it’s all about erectile dysfunction!

People are right to notice the unruly liberty of this member, obtruding so importunately when we have no use for it, and failing so importunately when we have the most use for it, and struggling for mastery so imperiously with our will, refusing so much pride and obstinacy our solicitations, both mental and manual.

If, however, in the matter of his rebellion being blamed and used as proof to condemn him, he had paid me to please his cause, I should perhaps place our other members, his fellows, under suspicion of having framed this trumped-up charge out of sheer envy of the importance and pleasure of the use of him, and of having armed everyone against him by a conspiracy, malignantly charging him alone with their common fault. For I ask you to think whether there is a single one of the parts of our body that doesn’t often refuse its function to our will and exercise it against our will.

It even has a “friend of mine” anecdote that’s pretty obviously referring to the author himself. Anyway, I enjoyed this one much more than the previous, which was about how philosophizing is how we prepare for death. Especially since the passage above leads into a digression on flatulence.

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