Volume 46, Issue 2
  • ISSN 0035-3906
  • E-ISSN: 1600-0811
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Montaigne prefaces the works of Etienne de la Boétie with a letter that Montaigne supposedly wrote shortly after the sudden death of his friend, whose last enigmatic words to Montaigne were: “make a place for me”. A close examination of the intertexts and rhetoric of the letter reveals that it can be read as a failed attempt by Montaigne to respond to his friend’s wish. The letter, indeed, fails to offer a true literary place to his friend who ceased to be a privileged addressee or reader, to become an absent object of discourse mentioned in the third person. Montaigne will try to “make a place” for his dead friend elsewhere, while writing his Essais, by developing a polyphonic mode of writing functioning as a substitute to the lost friendship. It will be argued that in the Essais, friendship, more that a mere content of discourse, becomes a form of expression.


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  • Article Type: Research Article
Keyword(s): Essais; Etienne de la Boétie; friendship; Montaigne; poetics; Renaissance
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