Abstract'No one can write a man's life except himself.' In his Confessions Jean-Jacques Rousseau tells the story of his life, from the formative experience of his humble childhood in Geneva, through the achievement of international fame as novelist and philosopher in Paris, to his wanderings as an exile, persecuted by governments and alienated from the world of modern civilization. In trying to explain who he was and how he came to be the object of others' admiration and abuse, Rousseau analyses with unique insight the relationship between an elusive but essential inner self and the variety of social identities he was led to adopt. The book vividly illustrates the mixture of moods and motives that underlie the writing of autobiography: defiance and vulnerability, self-exploration and denial, passion, puzzlement, and detachment. Above all, Confessions is Rousseau's search, through every resource of language, to convey what he despairs of putting into words: the personal quality of one's own existence.
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Citations of this work
First-Person Authority and Self-Knowledge as an Achievement.Josep E. Corbí - 2010 - European Journal of Philosophy 18 (3):325-362.
The Catechism of the Citizen: Politics, Law and Religion in, After, with and Against Rousseau. [REVIEW]Simon Critchley - 2009 - Continental Philosophy Review 42 (1):5-34.
Botany and the Taming of Female Passion: Rousseau and Contemporary Educational Concepts of Young Women. [REVIEW]Elke Kleinau - 2012 - Studies in Philosophy and Education 31 (5):465-476.
Book Review: Elizabeth Rose Wingrove. Rousseau's Republican Romance. Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 2000. [REVIEW]Rebecca Kukla - 2002 - Hypatia 17 (2):174-183.
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