Moving on to the 3rd page of the book “Deep Work” – Rules for Focused Success in a Distracted World by Cal Newport.
Few topics mentioned:
- Current intellectual capacity
- Going away from immediate pursuits
- Not shy of taking time off (from routine work)
- Michel De Montaigne
Let us look at the wiki entry of the gentleman mentioned- Michel De Montaigne:
- Michel Eyquem de Montaigne, Lord of Montaigne, 28 February 1533 – 13 September 1592), was one of the most significant philosophers of the French Renaissance, known for popularizing the essay as a literary genre. His work is noted for its merging of casual anecdotes and autobiography with intellectual insight. His massive volume Essais contains some of the most influential essays ever written.
- Had a direct influence on Western writers, including Francis Bacon, René Descartes, Blaise Pascal, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Albert Hirschman, William Hazlitt, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Friedrich Nietzsche, Stefan Zweig, Eric Hoffer, Isaac Asimov, and possibly, on the later works of William Shakespeare.
I love this part:
During his lifetime, Montaigne was admired more as a statesman than as an author. The tendency in his essays to digress into anecdotes and personal ruminations was seen as detrimental to proper style rather than as an innovation, and his declaration that, “I am myself the matter of my book”, was viewed by his contemporaries as self-indulgent. In time, however, Montaigne came to be recognized as embodying, perhaps better than any other author of his time, the spirit of freely entertaining doubt that began to emerge at that time. He is most famously known for his skeptical remark, “Que sçay-je?” (“What do I know?”, in Middle French; now rendered as Que sais-je? in modern French).
He also worked on child education:
- Montaigne disagreed with learning strictly through books. He believed it was necessary to educate children in a variety of ways. He also disagreed with the way information was being presented to students. It was being presented in a way that encouraged students to take the information that was taught to them as absolute truth. Students were denied the chance to question the information. Therefore, students could not truly learn. Montaigne believed that, to learn truly, a student had to take the information and make it their own.
- Individualized learning was integral to his theory of child education. He argued that the student combines information already known with what is learned and forms a unique perspective on the newly learned information.
The final compliment to him:
Twentieth-century literary critic Erich Auerbach called Montaigne the first modern man. “Among all his contemporaries”, writes Auerbach (Mimesis, Chapter 12), “he had the clearest conception of the problem of man’s self-orientation; that is, the task of making oneself at home in existence without fixed points of support”.
So that who have here – the first modern man! Newport tells us he worked in a private library of his French château.
The message – For Deep Work, you need to isolate yourself.