After Montaigne, Antoine Compagnon invites us to spend one summer with French philosopher, mathematician, inventor and physicist Blaise Pascal. An entire century bridges these two intelectuals, both, in a sense, founders of modernity and freedom of thought, but their thoughts on many subjects are similar. Pascal, like Montaigne, deals with man, society, the universe, power, faith, suffering, death, play: with everything and nothing. His reflections on fear, uncertainty, worry, habit and the like greatly influenced existentialist philosophy, especially that of Kierkegaard and Heidegger. His Pensées are a shining example of aphoristic essay and have made him one of the foremost Classicist moralists.

In each chapter Compagnon analyses the life and work of the genius that is Pascal, searches for the meaning of his elliptical thoughts and urges us to discover the author of wonder and mercy whose insights help us better understand ourselves.


* * *

The ball I ran after and tried to throw as far as possible was precisely this thought. I was playing with Pascal and this game amused me, he helped me survive the days and nights. I’m not ashamed to admit this, it is after all just another paradox, one of Pascal’s literary devices he never skimps on in his reasoning. Precisely that is proof of this profound human truth and the striking topicality of his Pensées. We debated heart and reason to the last breath, not to obscure reality, hide the truth, but because all that Pascal wrote challenged us so that only death may hush us, like an eternal silence.

Antoine Compagnon

  • ISBN: 978-953-369-000-1
  • Cover: paperback
  • Original title: Un été avec Pascal
  • Original language: French
  • Translation: Dubravka Celebrini
  • Dimensions: 110×170 mm
  • Number of pages: 224
  • Year of the edition: 2021