Collected Maxims and Other Reflections

ISBN-10: 0199540004

ISBN-13: 9780199540006

Edition: 2008

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Description: Deceptively brief and insidiously easy to read, La Rochefoucauld's shrewd, unflattering analyses of human behavior have influenced writers, thinkers, and public figures as various as Voltaire, Proust, de Gaulle, Nietzsche, and Conan Doyle. This is the fullest collection of La Rochefoucauld's writings ever published in English, and includes the first complete translation of the Reflexions diverses (Miscellaneous Reflections). This edition includes an excellent introduction that surveys La Rochefoucauld's life, the genesis of his work, its form and content, and its influence, as well as comprehensive explanatory notes. A table of alternative maxim numbers and an extensive and invaluable index of topics help the reader to locate any maxim quickly and to appreciate the full range of La Rochefoucauld's thought on any of his favorite themes, such as self-love, vice and virtue, love and jealousy, friendship and self-interest, passion and pride.

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Book details

List price: $13.95
Copyright year: 2008
Publisher: Oxford University Press, Incorporated
Publication date: 7/15/2008
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 400
Size: 5.00" wide x 7.75" long x 1.00" tall
Weight: 0.814
Language: English

Francois duc de La Rochefoucauld was born in Paris in 1613. Descended from a distinguished and titled Poitou family, he inherited the title of Duke when his father died in 1653. After serving in the army, where he participated in the battles of the Fronde, La Rochefoucauld took a prominent part in court life and politics during the reigns of the French kings Louis XIII and Louis XIV. In his memoirs, which were first published in 1662, he recounted his life as a young man in the army and the French court, from his numerous fights and amorous liaisons to his participation in an attempt to assassinate a Cardinal. In later years, strongly influenced by Jansenism, La Rochefoucauld began to think about the meaning of Christian life. He wrote his thoughts out in the form of maxims, a uniquely French form of epigrams. Brief, clever statements, usually with a moral focus, his maxims illustrate his perception of human behavior in often paradoxical and surprising ways. Because statements such as "Our virtues are most often vices disguised" or "We promise according to our hopes and perform according to our fears" are as relevant now as when they were written some 300 years ago, La Rochefoucauld's Maxims are still popular today. Francois duc de La Rochefoucauld died in 1680.

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