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Lettres persanes Download Ú PDF, DOC, TXT, eBook or Kindle ePUB free ↠ 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 friendAre 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. I enjoyed this so much than I could have anticipated But I don't really feel like reviewing it in a thoughtful way My apologies I have always loved the correspondence techniue for storytelling It allows for digressions and timeline manipulations you can't get away with in a regular narrative I liked the parables A person probably gets from the book on a subseuent reading or with time to devote to really contemplating the parables Fantastic Looking forward to reading Montesuieu another time

Montesquieu ☆ 2 Read

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 religions commonly make themselves useful to their country than those of the established religion; because being excluded from all honours they can only render themselves considerable by their opulence; they are led to acuire it by their industry and to embrace the most toilsome employments in the society Besides as all religions contain precepts useful to society it is good that they should be observed with zeal Letter LXXXV Once for religious tolerance I acknowledge that history is full of religious wars; but we must take care to observe it was not the multiplicity of religions that produced these wars it was the intolerating spirit which animated that which thought she had the power of governing It was the spirit of proselytism which the Jews contracted from the Egyptians and which from them hath passed like an epidemic and popular disease to Mahometans and Christians It is in short the spirit of enthusiasm the progress of which can be considered only as a total eclipse of human reason He who would have me change my religion no doubt desires me to do so because he would not change his own if he was forced to it he yet thinks it strange that I will not do a thing which he himself would not do perhaps for the empire of the world Letter LXXXV One uote that prefigurates the principles that lead to the United Nations It seems Rhedi there are two kinds of justice entirely different one which regulates the affairs of private persons which reigns in the civil law; another which regulates the differences that arise between people and people which tyrannizes in the law of nations as if the law of nations was not a civil law not indeed of a particular country but of the world The magistrates ought to administer justice between citizen and citizen every nation ought to do the same between themselves and another nation In this second distribution of justice no other maxims ought to be employed but those in the first Letter XCV How to put down a bigot When two persons who were present denied him any of his principles he presently cried out it is certain we have so determined it and we are infallible judges And how came you said I to him then to be infallible judges Do not you perceive replied he that the holy spirit hath enlightened us That is happy returned I; for from the manner of your talking to day I perceive you have great need to be enlightened Letter CI On the legality of war There are but two kinds of just wars one which is waged to repulse the attack of an enemy the other to succour an ally who is attacked It would not be justice to enter into a war upon the private uarrel of a prince; unless the case was so heinous as to merit the death of the prince or the people who committed it Thus a prince should not engage in a war because he hath been refused an honour which was his right or for any unsuitable demeanor towards his ambassadors and such similar cases; no than a private person ought to kill him who refuses him precedency The reason is this as a declaration of war ought to be an act of justice wherein the punishment should always be in proportion to the fault it should be inuired whether the party against whom war is declared merits death For to make war against any person is to be willing to punish him with death In the law of nations the severest act of justice is war since the effect of it is the destruction of society Letter XCV This is uncannily accurate about the progress of weapons of mass destruction Thou talkest much to me in one of thy letters of the arts and sciences cultivated in the west Thou wilt be ready to regard me as a barbarian but I know not if the benefit derived from them hath made amends to mankind for the bad use to which they are daily applied I have heard say that the single invention of bombs hath destroyed the liberty of all the people of Europe The princes being no longer willing to intrust the guard of towns to the citizens who would surrender them at the first bomb made that a pretext for keeping a large body of regular troops with which they afterwards oppressed their subjects Thou knowest that since the invention of gun powder there is no place impregnable; that is to say Usbek that there is not any longer an assylum upon earth against injustice and violence I always tremble lest they should arrive at last at the discovery of some secret which may furnish them with a shorter way to destroy mankind and to depopulate whole nations and whole kingdoms Letter CV In a lighter mood but again accurate regarding the fashion slaves The caprices of fashion among the French are astonishing; they have forgot how they were dressed in the summer they are even ignorant how they shall dress this winter but above all it is not to be believed how much it costs a husband to put his wife in the fashion What should I get by giving thee a full account of their dress and ornaments A new fashion would destroy all my labour as it does that of their works; and before thou hadst received my letter the whole would be changed A woman who uits Paris to go and pass six months in the country is as antiuated at her return as if she had been forgotten thirty years Letter XCIX On the distribution of wealth The propagation of mankind is vastly promoted by a mild government All republics are certain proofs of this; and above all others Swisserland and Holland which are the two worst countries in Europe if we consider the nature of their land and which are nevertheless the best peopled Nothing invites strangers than liberty and wealth which always follow the former the first is searched after for its own sake; and we are led by our wants into the country where the latter is to be acuired The species increase itself in a country where the plenty of it supports the children without diminishing the substance of their fathers The euality of citizens which commonly produces an euality in their fortunes brings plenty and life into every part of the body politic and extends them through the whole In countries subject to an arbitrary power it is not the same the prince the courtiers and some private persons possess all the riches whilst all the rest groan beneath extreme poverty Letter CXXII I left for last my favorite and sadly it is a lesson we haven't learned yet There are but two kinds of just wars one which is waged to repulse the attack of an enemy the other to succour an ally who is attacked It would not be justice to enter into a war upon the private uarrel of a prince; unless the case was so heinous as to merit the death of the prince or the people who committed it Thus a prince should not engage in a war because he hath been refused an honour which was his right or for any unsuitable demeanor towards his ambassadors and such similar cases; no than a private person ought to kill him who refuses him precedency The reason is this as a declaration of war ought to be an act of justice wherein the punishment should always be in proportion to the fault it should be inuired whether the party against whom war is declared merits death For to make war against any person is to be willing to punish him with death In the law of nations the severest act of justice is war since the effect of it is the destruction of society Letter XCV

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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. One of my first thrills of enthusiasm for classical books vintageWhat a legendary satire my friends The link between you and Montesuieu feels fresh as a glass of beer as if the French writer was having casual talk with you over a drink about the relevance of privatizing SNCF French National Railway Company Un de mes tous premiers coups de cœur pour des auteurs du cru classiueCe livre est tout simplement un monstre de satire On croirait ue Montesuieu est là juste à côté à bavasser plaisamment sur les travers du gouvernement d'Édouard Philippe sur l'utilité de privatiser la SNCF et de faire une comparaison rapide avec les pays voisins ou plus loin des conséuences de la privatisation du transport public de l'énergie de l'enseignement des services de santé avec les pays étrangers comme ça en passant