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The Confessions (1784)
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 014044033X, Paperback)Widely regarded as the first modern autobiography, "The Confessions" is an astonishing work of acute psychological insight. Jean-Jacques Rousseau (1712-78) argued passionately against the inequality he believed to be intrinsic to civilized society. In his "Confessions" he relives the first fifty-three years of his radical life with vivid immediacy - from his earliest years, where we can see the source of his belief in the innocence of childhood, through the development of his philosophical and political ideas, his struggle against the French authorities and exile from France following the publication of "Emile". Depicting a life of adventure, persecution, paranoia, and brilliant achievement, "The Confessions" is a landmark work by one of the greatest thinkers of the Enlightenment, which was a direct influence upon the work of Proust, Goethe and Tolstoy among others.
(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:20:50 -0400)
Only a few popular autobiographies existed before philosopher, author, and composer Jean-Jacques Rousseau (1712-78) published his Confessions. Rousseau wrote treatises on education and politics as well as novels and operas, and as one of the most influential and controversial of the Enlightenment thinkers, he inspired the leaders of the French Revolution. His memoir is regarded as the first modern autobiography, in which the writer defined his life mainly in terms of his worldly experiences and personal feelings. These memoirs constitute the main source of Rousseau's reputation as a leader in the transition from eighteenth-century reason to nineteenth-century romanticism. His emphasis on the effects of childhood experiences anticipates the psychology of Sigmund Freud, and his conviction that the individual is worthy of account forms a major contribution to progressive social and political thought. The book has inspired many imitations in autobiography, fiction, and poetry, and it has influenced the works of Proust, Goethe, Tolstoy, and countless others.
An edition of this book was published by Penguin Australia.
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