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Oxford University Press, 2000 - Literary Criticism - 676 pages
7 Reviews
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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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Review: Confessions (World's Classics)

User Review  - Helen Allton - Goodreads

The jacket explains that this book was revolutionary when it was published, but it didn't move me at all. I found him a bit of a whinger, somewhat unsympathetic and naieve. The opening section was ... Read full review

Review: Confessions (World's Classics)

User Review  - April - Goodreads

My stars, why have so many of us wasted our time on this book. Read full review


Preface to the Neuchâtel Edition of Confessions
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About the author (2000)

Jean-Jacques Rousseau (1712-1778) was a Geneva-born philosopher of the Enlightenment whose political ideas influenced the French Revolution, the development of socialist theory, and the growth of nationalism. Patrick Coleman is at University of California, Los Angeles. Angela Scholar wasformerly at Oxford, Cambridge and London Universities.

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