Saturday, October 02, 2004

Friends, Romans, er, uh, um, Countrymen, women, people--er

Motaigne's essay "On a Ready or Hesitant Delivery" was both short (three pages) and disappointing. Short with Montaigne isn't necessarily bad. And the disappointment I think was more because I had expectations than of any real fault of Montaigne's. I was hoping, given the debate on Thursday and the ones coming up coupled with Montaigne's penchant for moralizing, that there would be something juicy and fun to play with. But alas. There is not. Montaigne points out that there are two kinds of people, ones who think fast on their feet and are articulate and ones who need time to think and have to have something prepared in order to sound articulate. He suggests the person with a hesitant delivery would be better off as a preacher, thus having time to prepare the speech and having no unforeseeable replies from an opposite party who might throw him/her off course and force the talk into something that was not previously thought out and prepared. The person with the ready delivery is more suited to a career as a barrister. Montaigne saw himself as someone who was not a good speaker and therefore declares that is why writing his essays are so appealing for him. Even so, he says, he could easily erase holes into his pages from all the turns of thought and hesitant sentences he finds himself scribbling. And that was the essay. No judgment on who has the better character between the two or what each sort of delivery might reveal about the person and how s/he lives life and conducts business. I am therefore unable to make any kind of jab at either Kerry or Bush other than to say that perhaps Bush might want to take up preaching in a church instead of the Oval Office once he gets voted out next month. Perhaps I will make out better next week with "On Constancy."