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Or should we say the lost art?

Blaise Pascal, not given to referring to anyone but himself as incomparable, referred to Montaigne as the incomparable author of, “The Art of Conversation." 

"The surest proof of animal-stupidity is ardent obstinacy of opinion. Is there anything more certain, decided, disdainful, contemplative, grave and serious, than a donkey?"

Michel Eyquem de Montaigne was not a great fan of donkeys or polite conversation:

"We ought to toughen and fortify our ears against being seduced by the sound of polite words. It is not harmony we are seeking in conversation, you cannot dig out the truth if everyone agrees."

In the 16th century, Montaigne essentially invented the literary essay—a short subjective treatment of a given subject— and his essay on conversation was one of his best.

He believed, as Socrates did, "This world is but a school of inquiry."

“But even if one says silly things in conversation, which everyone is wont to do at one time or other, the important this is to be willing to admit your opinion is wrong.”

He predated other great French minds, although, at least, Marcel Proust and François duc de La Rochefoucauld had the advantage of having imaginary conversations with Montaigne.

Rochefoucauld, who claimed the extreme pleasure we take in talking about ourselves ought to clue us in that we hardly give any to those listening to us:

“The reason why so few people are agreeable in conversation is that each is thinking more about what he intends to say than about what others are saying, and we never listen when we are  eager to speak.”

Marcel Proust was a modest man and subscribed to Rochefoucauld's tenet:

Writer Georges de Lauris on Proust:

“He was the best of listeners. Even in his intimate circle his constant care to be  polite prevented him from pushing himself forward and from imposing subjects of conversation...these he found in others’ thoughts.”

Some think, in a world increasingly populated by sound bytes and self- involvement, chitchat is in and depth is out.

A recent study in the U.K. indicated people at work change topics after two or three turns.

I was impressed they lasted that long.

So do you think we've lost the art of conversation or is it just evolving in a different way?

Montaigne did say, “There is no conversation more boring than the one where everybody agrees.

I don't have to worry about that here.

J. Peterman


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48 Members’ Opinions
February 14, 2013 12:30 AM
Com-100Com-300Com-500First-comHr-1Hr-10Hr-5 hazel leese said...

The wise old owl sat in an oak The more he heard, the less he spoke. The less he spoke, the more he heard. Now, wasn't he a wise old bird? (my Dad)

February 14, 2013 12:32 AM
4224 10photoviews10videoviewsCom-100Com-300Com-500First-comFirst-photoFirst-reviewFirst-videoHr-1Hr-10Hr-5 RoadYacht said...

and that is why we have two ears, and one mouth , to listen twice as much as we speak

February 14, 2013 12:33 AM
4224 10photoviews10videoviewsCom-100Com-300Com-500First-comFirst-photoFirst-reviewFirst-videoHr-1Hr-10Hr-5 RoadYacht said...

also, it makes it easier to wear sun glasses

February 14, 2013 12:38 AM
29651 10photoviewsCom-100First-comFirst-photoHr-1 Zenaida said...

Causerie sometimes causes me discomfort!

February 14, 2013 12:46 AM
Stage_2 10photoviewsCom-100Com-300Com-500First-comFirst-photoHr-1Hr-10Hr-5 JALOPKIN said...

ROADY:   I believe you have struck upon it ... the Key to one's being a brilliant Conversationalist, is to be a Good Listener ....... Just as Doctors would be better Doctors if they would judt listen to their Patients .......

February 14, 2013 12:57 AM
29651 10photoviewsCom-100First-comFirst-photoHr-1 Zenaida said...

And chin music makes me go silent!

February 14, 2013 12:59 AM
13091 10photoviewsCom-100Com-300Com-500First-comFirst-photoHr-1Hr-10Hr-5 janej78 said...

Hey Zenaida, nice to see you again. I agree with you Hazel, RY and Ivan

what has happened to the format? Suddenly... a different typeface and I have no choices such as Italics, or bold. I don't like this.

February 14, 2013 1:00 AM
10photoviewsCom-100Com-300Com-500First-comFirst-photoFirst-reviewHr-1Hr-10Hr-5 Mooseloop said...

Since it is Valentine's follow on yesterday's topic....Ella says it so well....

Conversation in the Club Car should be lively today, and especially tonight after all the candy, cake, caviar, and champagne! I'll just sit back and smell the roses while I listen to the Village talk.

February 14, 2013 1:02 AM
29651 10photoviewsCom-100First-comFirst-photoHr-1 Zenaida said...

Hello janej78! It feels great to be back. I promised myself that I would return to the Eye on my birthday. My birthday was February 12. I am a little late. 

February 14, 2013 1:22 AM
29651 10photoviewsCom-100First-comFirst-photoHr-1 Zenaida said...

Mooseloop that is a fantastic tune. I love Ella. Although, I have not read 50 shades of Grey.

February 14, 2013 1:39 AM
29651 10photoviewsCom-100First-comFirst-photoHr-1 Zenaida said...

I apologize if I changed today's topic!

February 14, 2013 1:58 AM
13091 10photoviewsCom-100Com-300Com-500First-comFirst-photoHr-1Hr-10Hr-5 janej78 said...

Better a late return than never and a Happy belated birthday, Zenaida. Plenty of causerie on these pages, hopefully not causing too much discomfort to you or anyone else . Actually, I'm not real sure how to use the word....but I think it definitely describes much of the writing here.
and the old format is back. Hurray!

February 14, 2013 2:33 AM
Com-100Com-300Com-500First-comHr-1Hr-10Hr-5 hazel leese said...

The skill of listening and not judging or opinionating on the speaker is a great gift. Gratuitous advice is seldom of value. There is a huge difference between debate with intellectual equals i.e. conversation, and "Talking therapy" such as counselling or cognitive therapy. Both involve conversing and listening, but on different levels. However clever we think we are, there comes times in our lives when we need a good listener who does not say "If I were you blah blah..." And we don't need somebody who only communicates in TXT SPK.

February 14, 2013 5:37 AM
Myself 10photoviews10videoviewsCom-100Com-300Com-500First-comFirst-photoFirst-reviewFirst-videoHr-1Hr-10Hr-5 Spring Fragrance said...

Dropping by to say Happy Valentine's everyone!!
Am in the middle of doing an exam, an extra accreditation I have to take. It should finish by month end and then I will be back proper. Till then...hugs to all xx

February 14, 2013 6:01 AM
Com-100Com-300Com-500First-comHr-1 bebe said...

HAZEL....................I would probably do well to follow your father's wise words....... and very wise they are......................
ZENAIDA..........................happy belated birthday!
SPRING...................good luck! your husband playing music somewhere tonight? If so, have fun..........
MOOSE...............50 Shades????????? Do tell......................
IVAN...................I am very lucky doctor wise....................she listens well..................
Need to make my batch of sugar cookies. My girls get to frost & decorate their own cookies today!

February 14, 2013 8:28 AM
Com-100Com-300Com-500First-comHr-1Hr-10Hr-5 hazel leese said...

Where did that big space come from?Spring F~ I was wondering where you were. Delighted to see villagers who have been AWOL coming home.

February 14, 2013 8:34 AM
Waldo 10photoviews10videoviewsCom-100Com-300Com-500First-comFirst-photoFirst-reviewFirst-videoHr-1Hr-10Hr-5 Tommy Typical said...

I heard I was in town.

February 14, 2013 9:13 AM
Waldo 10photoviews10videoviewsCom-100Com-300Com-500First-comFirst-photoFirst-reviewFirst-videoHr-1Hr-10Hr-5 Tommy Typical said...

Wearing my Valentine's Day present my new Jawbone UP- Pretty darn cool a bracelet that lets you converse with your own body

February 14, 2013 9:39 AM
Paolo 10photoviewsCom-100Com-300Com-500First-comFirst-photoFirst-reviewFirst-videoHr-1Hr-10Hr-5 paolos said...

Miss Zenaida ~ You had me scrambling for my funk and wagnells straight off. I know I lead a sheltered life, but those are two expressions I've not seen or heard used before.  Maybe I wasn't listening before, but you certainly got my attention.  And Happy Birthday.

February 14, 2013 9:41 AM
Paolo 10photoviewsCom-100Com-300Com-500First-comFirst-photoFirst-reviewFirst-videoHr-1Hr-10Hr-5 paolos said...

Happy Valentine's Day everyone.

February 14, 2013 9:45 AM
Paolo 10photoviewsCom-100Com-300Com-500First-comFirst-photoFirst-reviewFirst-videoHr-1Hr-10Hr-5 paolos said...

and can't y'all just see him napping in his little red onsie with a heart on it, stretching his little arms and his little legs, his ears perking up, his eyes popping open, rolling his little head from one side to the other, asking the world "I know she was headed this way, have you seen her? Does anyone know where she is?" Happy Birthday, Stoney.

February 14, 2013 9:59 AM
Img00274-20110613-1309 10photoviewsCom-100Com-300Com-500First-comFirst-photoHr-1Hr-5 l marjorie said...

Happy Thursday everyone, and for those who celebrate Valentine's Day, have a sweet one.  I liked the post from the newbie yesterday about not forcing love sentiments on a certain day, but to celebrate love every day.  However, the lover and I will go out to dinner tonight, have some wine, and I'm sure one thing will lead to another...V day is a good excuse to be "naughty" on a week night!

February 14, 2013 10:15 AM
Paolo 10photoviewsCom-100Com-300Com-500First-comFirst-photoFirst-reviewFirst-videoHr-1Hr-10Hr-5 paolos said...

...rather than naughty on a "weak" night?

February 14, 2013 10:34 AM
Com-100Com-300Com-500First-comHr-1Hr-5 George Hall said... (w)hole days makes one weak.

February 14, 2013 12:00 PM
10photoviews10videoviewsCom-100Com-300Com-500First-comFirst-photoFirst-videoHr-1Hr-10Hr-5 Stoney said...

Thank you, everyone, for the birthday wishes.
paolos ~
Whenever I see or hear the word "onesie," I smell baby powder.

I have not met the great George Hall but there is a sound and sturdy man in his seventies and late of the U. S, Marine Corps who fits the mental image of him that I have.
A security and surveillance expert, he records via lapel, eyeglass or cap cameras almost all of his daily comings and goings outside of the bathroom and, not entirely legally, with sound as well.
His family is, as they say, into miniature dachshunds. So much so, in fact, that they have all been involved in the “Slow Dog” classes run by someone I know... and so do you.
The notion being not that small short legged dogs are slow (they aren’t) but to teach them beginning at day forty-nine to place and pace themselves near to and under the control of the humans who love them and who are... relatively slow.
Cutting to the chase, Lewis, a dog belonging to the man’s young great granddaughter, Eleanor, had gone missing and we will join the story on the forth day of the desperate search at which point the man and a little boy have, at long last, found footprints under blown-away snow suggesting the dog may have hopped out of an open car door at an incidental stop and headed toward a neighboring back door.
To summarize, the family therein: A large man, a lovely wife and mom, one pitifully pale pierced and punky foul mouthed teenaged boy and two cute little kids had decided to keep the dog.
“We’re keepin’ him,” chanted the two cute little kids. “We are,” said the boy trying to sound both definitive and menacing and the dad said: “I promised, we need to work something out.”
“Ain’t gonna happen,” replied our man very firmly.
“I’ll call the police,” said the dad.
“Never mind,” said our man dialing 911 on their phone and activating the speaker function.
The conversation with the operator was about what you’d expect: “This is not a 911 emergency.”
“Well,” said our man, “It’s gonna be because in about ten seconds, they’re either going to hand over our dog or I’m going to drop this guy in front of the wife and kiddies, pick up the dog and go.”
For emphasis, he had removed his ring and watch.
“Give him the dog,” yelled the 911 operator.
“G-give him the dog,” said the dad.
“No way!” said the punk.
“Give him the dog,” screamed the mom.
One of the tots attempted to hurl Lewis to the floor but he escaped and scurried over to be picked up by someone he knew well.
As they, man and dog, made their way across the backyards to the car, the bigger kid, cursing, threw the little food and water dish, a toy, a small bag of food and a doggie bed after them. 

Vids like this don't go YouTube but the hero's daughter invited me to her web site to see it. Made me a little late in meeting with Rings90 as a matter of fact but she was sweet about it.

February 14, 2013 2:07 PM
4224 10photoviews10videoviewsCom-100Com-300Com-500First-comFirst-photoFirst-reviewFirst-videoHr-1Hr-10Hr-5 RoadYacht said...

Word pictures can be so evocative....well done!

February 14, 2013 3:00 PM
1-dscn1106-4 10photoviewsCom-100Com-300Com-500First-comFirst-photoHr-1Hr-10Hr-5 PARK4 said...


February 14, 2013 3:02 PM
1-dscn1106-4 10photoviewsCom-100Com-300Com-500First-comFirst-photoHr-1Hr-10Hr-5 PARK4 said...


February 14, 2013 3:58 PM
13091 10photoviewsCom-100Com-300Com-500First-comFirst-photoHr-1Hr-10Hr-5 janej78 said...

Love it Park4!

February 14, 2013 4:01 PM
10photoviews10videoviewsCom-100Com-300Com-500First-comFirst-photoFirst-videoHr-1Hr-10Hr-5 Stoney said...

You have it right P4 and the Club Car sounds very congenial.
Funny, on her big day, Monday, TMBWITW chose to eat at the Asian Buffet. Tonight, my choice is KFC for their excellent pot pies. We’re real aristocrats.
I guess the weekend family outing will be a little bigger deal.

February 14, 2013 4:55 PM
1-dscn1106-4 10photoviewsCom-100Com-300Com-500First-comFirst-photoHr-1Hr-10Hr-5 PARK4 said...

Weekend family outing!  Sounds fun.  As for FOOD, I like your choice, but I'd have gone for the bucket of extra crispy original.  I love that stuff, I really do.  Good thing we have to "travel" to Lake Geneva to get it or we'd eat too much of it.....For Valentine's Day tonight I was invited to a rather nice place here in the area, an old house with history ooozing out of the the mortar cracks, and scandal and family lore and it sounded pretty much fun - for another day, another evening.   We've spent today in the office, where one of us still is -guess who- dealing with a confused client, and I'm tired out (though not for the raisin' of the whisky glasses later on in the Club Car) - and so, drum roll, for Valentine's Day, we're ordering in Chicago Hot Dogs from the legendary Louie's diner in Linn, Wisconsin.   We're true blue bloods, too.   happyhappybirthday! with a hug or two

February 14, 2013 5:18 PM
Img00274-20110613-1309 10photoviewsCom-100Com-300Com-500First-comFirst-photoHr-1Hr-5 l marjorie said...

Hope you have a wonderful time at KFC Stoney.  May all your birthday wishes come true.

February 14, 2013 5:23 PM
Img00274-20110613-1309 10photoviewsCom-100Com-300Com-500First-comFirst-photoHr-1Hr-5 l marjorie said...

See you all in the Club Car later. I'll bring some pink champagne since it is VD!

February 14, 2013 5:47 PM
Img00274-20110613-1309 10photoviewsCom-100Com-300Com-500First-comFirst-photoHr-1Hr-5 l marjorie said...

Paolos and Mr George Hall, you are both naughty. You make me blush!

February 14, 2013 6:03 PM
10photoviewsCom-100Com-300Com-500First-comFirst-photoFirst-reviewHr-1Hr-10Hr-5 Mooseloop said...

bebe- Honestly, i do not know how the reference to Fifty Shades of Gray got into my little link to hear Ella sing "What Is This Thing Called Love?"...???? ( She said, looking all innocent and naive....and truly ignorant about the link to 50SOG.)

Some of the comments on that Youtube page seemed to allude to the 50SOG, but I had no idea where it came from,and even more, I have not read, not do I want to read 50SOG. I am guessing someone who is researching HOW to do love might have gotten into the 50SOG and that site send them to the Ella song...It is a pretty romantic piece of music!

Happy Birthday to Stoney and Mrs. Stoney on past Monday, and may you get the deluxe treatment at the KFC pot pie window! See ya'll in the Club Car about 10...!

February 14, 2013 6:04 PM
10photoviewsCom-100Com-300Com-500First-comFirst-photoFirst-reviewHr-1Hr-10Hr-5 Mooseloop said...

Oh, We forgot to wish Spring Fragrance a Happy Chinese New Year a few days ago!!
Hope you can shelve the course you are taking and its test long enough to enjoy!!

February 14, 2013 6:07 PM
Com-100Com-300Com-500First-comHr-1Hr-10Hr-5 hazel leese said...

O yes, we are supposed to be conversing about conversation. Some of the most enjoyable evenings of my life have been spent with a friend and a couple of bottles of wine "putting the world to rights" or knocking about fantasy ideas for restaurants like The Greasy Spoon, The Soup Dragon, Just Desserts and so on, down to the decor and the menus. Or we could do "Aren't teenagers horrible?" or planning the publication of an outrageous magazine. Then I'd ricochet home along Welsh country lanes in my battered mini car with holes in the floor that squirted water up my legs if I drove through a puddle. Happy evenings, great conversations. Life is great.

February 14, 2013 6:11 PM
First-com KPJGO said...

I've been listening all day to the great conversation.
Happy Valentine's; Happy Birthday; and Happy Chinese New Year!
My toast to all in the club car!

February 14, 2013 6:54 PM
10photoviewsCom-100Com-300Com-500First-comFirst-photoFirst-reviewHr-1Hr-10Hr-5 Mooseloop said...

Stoney - Great story for standing up for one's rights and one's little dog....! It is hard to imagine what goes through people's minds when they find something and think it is immediately "theirs." Do you suppose some people still subscribe to kids' rule of "Finders keepers, losers weepers"? We know that will not stand the test of the law, especially regarding one's weiner dog or wallet or laptop....

One of the news shows did a test by leaving an expensive I-pad on the back seat of a rental car and putting a GPS device in it so they could track see who would turn it in, who would move it, and who would keep it. I think of the 15 they planted, they said only one was kept and not turned in to the Lost and Found, and that one they tracked to the home of one of the hired guys who clean the rental cars, so they got it back. Lesson learned, MOST people are honest, but there's always one like the family in Stoney's story with the "punky, foul-mouthed teenaged boy."

February 14, 2013 7:04 PM
Com-100Com-300Com-500First-comHr-1Hr-10Hr-5 hazel leese said...

KPJGO~ My time is five hours ahead, so I take my duvet and grab a good snoozing corner seat in the club car. Some nights I don't sleep well and it's nice to chek in to the chat on this page. Hop on board. There's always food and drink. And Floyd the virtual Village dog doing his brown-eyed food begging.

February 14, 2013 7:21 PM
Com-100Com-300Com-500First-comHr-1Hr-10Hr-5 hazel leese said...

Yep, My little clock thing in the bottom right hand of the screen says it's turned midnight, so I suppose I should go to bed. Night night, dear people.

February 14, 2013 8:18 PM
Paolo 10photoviewsCom-100Com-300Com-500First-comFirst-photoFirst-reviewFirst-videoHr-1Hr-10Hr-5 paolos said...

Just a tune to help you find your way to the club car.

G’night all.

February 14, 2013 11:23 PM
10photoviewsCom-100First-comFirst-photo SkyWalker said...

Of all things I miss from the long ago and far off 1960s is the ability and enjoyment of most people (at least the ones I knew then) to discuss topics of intense interest to all with great passion, and we could be quite disputatious, but without rancor and while maintaining respect for one another. Has anyone else noticed that those who disagree with us often decide vacate our friendship? What has happened to us?

February 15, 2013 12:39 AM
13091 10photoviewsCom-100Com-300Com-500First-comFirst-photoHr-1Hr-10Hr-5 janej78 said...

bebe...I completely forgot. Steve had a gig Fat Tuesday at Louie's Cajun Kitchen and he plays tomorrow night at Tampico...but tonight, he's free. I hope you and your hubby have a wonderful Valentine's Day whether you observe it or not.

February 15, 2013 12:52 AM
4224 10photoviews10videoviewsCom-100Com-300Com-500First-comFirst-photoFirst-reviewFirst-videoHr-1Hr-10Hr-5 RoadYacht said...


Cabbage always has a heart;

Green beans string along.

You're such a Tomato,

Will you Peas to me belong?

You've been the Apple of my eye,

You know how much I care;

So Lettuce get together,

We'd make a perfect Pear.

Now, something's sure to Turnip,

To prove you can't be Beet;

So, if you Carrot all for me

Let's let our Tulips meet.

Don't Squash my hopes and dreams now,

Bee my Honey, dear;

Or tears will fill Potato's eyes,

While Sweet Corn lends an ear.

I'll Cauliflower shop and say

Your dreams are Parsley mine.

I'll work and share my Celery,

So be my Valentine

February 15, 2013 6:23 AM
Com-100Com-300Com-500First-comHr-1 bebe said...

JANE.............that just sounds like it would be so much fun....litening & watching as your husband plays music. We are having some weird electrical issues in our house & my sweetheart got in very late, after I was in bed. I did leave him sauce & penne to cook up. Hungry boy! I am very glad that it is Friday!
STONEY..................I had a potpie, ha! The ultimate comfort food.....hope it was a wonderful day...............
PARK..................I hope you saved me a glass of MM because I sure needed some after a wild V day at school................(let's just say some girls don't handle V day very well & turn it into a combo Rosemary's Baby, The Omen, & The Exorcist day..............I left her tiny spinning head in the car pick up room. Her body was attached!) I liked your comments yesterday about V day....................nice way to put it..............
MOOSE.................I'm an Amish, no Youtube.................d*mn!

February 15, 2013 6:28 AM
Com-100Com-300Com-500First-comHr-1 bebe said...

STONEY...................I went back & read the dog story...........being an animal lover it made me shiver & then made me happy..............there are very horrible people in the world......

February 15, 2013 9:28 PM
270752_10150312062190804_7175723_n 10photoviewsCom-100Com-300First-comFirst-photoHr-1 Graygoose said...

And then there's people like George...

Thanks for sharing that, Stoney.

Honor Roll

still thinking about today...

Yesterday's Discussion

Since the beginning of time, we have asked a not so simple question. What is love?


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