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"Il n'y a que les fols certains et resolus"

English translation: Strange!

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09:30 Jul 4, 2008
French to English translations [PRO]
Art/Literary - Poetry & Literature / Quote from Montaigne
French term or phrase: "Il n'y a que les fols certains et resolus"
The text is here http://essays.quotidiana.org/montaigne/education_of_children... and you can generate a seachable PDF on the site. I've tried lots of searches, with "fool" "madmen" etc, but no result. I'm looking for an "official" translation.
Conor McAuley
France
Local time: 16:38
English translation:Strange!
Explanation:
I've looked at both Cotton's and Florio's translations on the web, and both omit that line!

There IS a French version of the text where that line (and many others) are in a different colour, which may indicate that there are different editions.

All I can say is that whenever my ex threw a wobbly because I'm "a stubborn ass" or, more frequently, because she renegged on a promise, she would say "Il n'y a que les idiots qui ne changent pas d'avis". I had no idea she was paraphrasing Montaigne!

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Note added at 1 hr (2008-07-04 10:37:49 GMT)
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Montaigne composed his essays through an elaborate and extensive PROCESS OF ADDITIONS, a revision process that was ongoing throughout THE QUARTER CENTURY HE WAS WORKING ON THEM. His painstaking practice of addition helps complicate the “self” Montaigne often tries to convey—that of a casual, digressive, “open” writer. The revisions also supply a metacommentary on his writing project (including his tendency to make additions). In these self-reflective additions, he openly grapples with the dominance of writing mentors, particularly Seneca and Plutarch, and he works out a theory of audience for his work.
http://www.informaworld.com/smpp/content~content=a785831989~...


--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 1 hr (2008-07-04 11:04:05 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

If you want an "accepted" translation, you might have to make do with "Only THE fools are certain and assured" (which, given my opinion of insurers, I must say is true). This gets 24 ghits, against just 2 for the slightly better version without the article.

Certainty:-
§ "ONLY THE FOOLS ARE CERTAIN AND ASSURED."
http://www.blupete.com/Literature/Biographies/Literary/Monta...

ONLY FOOLS MAKE UP THEIR MINDS AND ARE CERTAIN: ...
www.spaceandmotion.com/philosophy-michel-de-montaigne.htm

ONLY FOOLS ARE CERTAIN," wrote Montaigne in his essay On the Education of Children, and he developed the essay form as a way of expressing his own ...
www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2007/aug/17/composeyoursel...

ONLY THE FOOLS ARE CERTAIN AND ASSURED. (Michel de Montaigne (1533-1592), French essayist. "Of the Education of Children," The Essays (Les Essais), bk. ...
www.poemhunter.com/quotations/famous.asp?people=Michel de M...

“ONLY FOOLS ARE CERTAIN AND ASSURED” (Montaigne, cited in Frame, 1943, p. ...
www.fcss.org/index.cfm/fuseaction/Newsletter.eNews_53_12 -

let not Aristotle's principles be principles to him any more than those of the Stoics or Epicureans. Let this variety of ideas be set before him; he will choose if he can; if not, he will remain in doubt. ONLY THE FOOLS ARE CERTAIN AND ASSURED."
http://www.wam.umd.edu/~MLHALL/montaigne_ed.html
Selected response from:

xxxBourth
Local time: 16:38
Grading comment
Selected automatically based on peer agreement.
4 KudoZ points were awarded for this answer

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Summary of answers provided
4 +2Strange!xxxBourth
5Only fools have made up their minds and are certainBruon


  

Answers


1 hr   confidence: Answerer confidence 5/5
Only fools have made up their minds and are certain


Explanation:
There no "official" translation in literary translation. However this is a publicated text, therefore authoritative.



    Reference: http://books.google.com/books?id=PfGoTQuvj6MC&pg=PA44&lpg=PA...
    Reference: http://books.google.com/books?id=PfGoTQuvj6MC&hl=fr
Bruon
Local time: 16:38

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
neutral  B D Finch: "Publicated"?
4 hrs
  -> sorry, meant "published". It's in the Essays, I.26, in p.44 here.
Login to enter a peer comment (or grade)

46 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5 peer agreement (net): +2
Strange!


Explanation:
I've looked at both Cotton's and Florio's translations on the web, and both omit that line!

There IS a French version of the text where that line (and many others) are in a different colour, which may indicate that there are different editions.

All I can say is that whenever my ex threw a wobbly because I'm "a stubborn ass" or, more frequently, because she renegged on a promise, she would say "Il n'y a que les idiots qui ne changent pas d'avis". I had no idea she was paraphrasing Montaigne!

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 1 hr (2008-07-04 10:37:49 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

Montaigne composed his essays through an elaborate and extensive PROCESS OF ADDITIONS, a revision process that was ongoing throughout THE QUARTER CENTURY HE WAS WORKING ON THEM. His painstaking practice of addition helps complicate the “self” Montaigne often tries to convey—that of a casual, digressive, “open” writer. The revisions also supply a metacommentary on his writing project (including his tendency to make additions). In these self-reflective additions, he openly grapples with the dominance of writing mentors, particularly Seneca and Plutarch, and he works out a theory of audience for his work.
http://www.informaworld.com/smpp/content~content=a785831989~...


--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 1 hr (2008-07-04 11:04:05 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

If you want an "accepted" translation, you might have to make do with "Only THE fools are certain and assured" (which, given my opinion of insurers, I must say is true). This gets 24 ghits, against just 2 for the slightly better version without the article.

Certainty:-
§ "ONLY THE FOOLS ARE CERTAIN AND ASSURED."
http://www.blupete.com/Literature/Biographies/Literary/Monta...

ONLY FOOLS MAKE UP THEIR MINDS AND ARE CERTAIN: ...
www.spaceandmotion.com/philosophy-michel-de-montaigne.htm

ONLY FOOLS ARE CERTAIN," wrote Montaigne in his essay On the Education of Children, and he developed the essay form as a way of expressing his own ...
www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2007/aug/17/composeyoursel...

ONLY THE FOOLS ARE CERTAIN AND ASSURED. (Michel de Montaigne (1533-1592), French essayist. "Of the Education of Children," The Essays (Les Essais), bk. ...
www.poemhunter.com/quotations/famous.asp?people=Michel de M...

“ONLY FOOLS ARE CERTAIN AND ASSURED” (Montaigne, cited in Frame, 1943, p. ...
www.fcss.org/index.cfm/fuseaction/Newsletter.eNews_53_12 -

let not Aristotle's principles be principles to him any more than those of the Stoics or Epicureans. Let this variety of ideas be set before him; he will choose if he can; if not, he will remain in doubt. ONLY THE FOOLS ARE CERTAIN AND ASSURED."
http://www.wam.umd.edu/~MLHALL/montaigne_ed.html


xxxBourth
Local time: 16:38
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in category: 110
Grading comment
Selected automatically based on peer agreement.

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Dave 72: Bourth, I think (therefore I am) that you have found it!
2 hrs
  -> Though Conor might more felicitously retranslate it himself.

agree  Clair@Lexeme: well, good luck with that challenge, Conor!
4 hrs

neutral  xxxmatmcv: I'd agree, but for the "the". Maybe it relates better to the French grammar (I'm not sure) but it doesn't make half as much logical/empirical sense. I say those 24 hits are literal rather than sensible translations! Other than that, you nailed it. ;)
14 hrs
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