The Confessions of Jean Jacques Rousseau

by J J Rousseau

Other authorsW Conyngham Mallory (Translator)
Hardcover, 1928

Status

Available

Publication

Tudor Publishing Company (1928), Edition: First

Description

This translation first appeared in a privately printed edition in 1904 (the translator remains anonymous). With an Introduction by Derek Matravers. When it was first published in 1781, 'The Confessions' scandalised Europe with its emotional honesty and frank treatment of the author's sexual and intellectual development. Since then, it has had a more profound impact on European thought. Rousseau left posterity a model of the reflective life - the solitary, uncompromising individual, the enemy of servitude and habit and the selfish egoist who dedicates his life to a particular ideal. 'The Confessions' recreates the world in which he progressed from incompetent engraver to grand success; his enthusiasm for experience, his love of nature, and his uncompromising character make him an ideal guide to eighteenth-century Europe, and he was the author of some of the most profound work ever written on the relation between the individual and the state. AUTHOR: Jean-Jacques Rousseau (1712 - 1778) was, arguably, the most original, profound, and creative writer of the eighteenth century, but also the most controversial, and his work continues to divide opinion to this day. His 'Confessions' recreates the world in which he progressed from incompetent engraver to grand success; his enthusiasm for experience, his love of nature, and his uncompromising character make him an ideal guide to eighteenth-century Europe, and he was the author of some of the most profound work ever written on the relationship between the individual and the state.… (more)

User reviews

LibraryThing member libraryhermit
Read this in English Penguin edition when I was in my 20s and now in my late 40s I would like to go back and read it in the French original. At the time of the first reading, I had really very little idea of the milieu in which it was written. Now I have a bit deeper perspective on this period. It will probably make a lot more sense now.
Along with St. Augustine, Rousseau was promoted to me as one of the pioneers of the genre of autobiography, warts and all, as another reviewer of this book has put it.
Perhaps a third individual could be added, and maybe should be added, to this group: Benvenuto Cellini. I also have that book and have started but not finished it yet. When that is all done, maybe I could compare all three together.
… (more)
LibraryThing member Helenliz
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 interesting, exploring how his character had been shaped by experiences when young, but it fell awfuly flat in the middle and turned into a recitation of ills towards the end.… (more)
LibraryThing member ElizaJane
Boring and after the spankings I couldn't bear to read anymore.
LibraryThing member richardderus
Surprisingly readable translation. Paper very acidic, browned throughout. Jacket back, flaps still with book. Signed "Barbara Donnelly". Street sale in Greenwich Village 1988.
LibraryThing member datrappert
Very entertaining, even without a deep background in the era about which Rousseau is writing. He is apparently making up, or mis-remembering a great deal of it, but that isn't really the point. It's seeing a man of over 200 years ago come to life completely. His paranoia is a little annoying after a while, since none of the horrible things he thinks are happening seem to really have that much effect on him. This is one of those classics that truly is a classic when you pick it up.… (more)
LibraryThing member MarkBeronte
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.… (more)
LibraryThing member EadieB
I listened to the audio of this book and found it very interesting. I liked Rousseau's honesty and found him to be a very brilliant man. He had a very entertaining insight of human nature but I found him to be a bit bizarre at times. He was a truly fascinating person, and this classic work of autobiography and the Enlightenment period is not to be missed.… (more)
LibraryThing member deckla
A model of self analysis, engagingly endless. The self doubt of the exceptional is reassuring. Though the translator is the same, my copy's cover is a detail of a drawing of Rousseau by Maurice Quentin-de-la-Tour.
LibraryThing member Joanna.Conrad
It's a toss-up which book is worse, Confessions, or Crime and Punishment, which was about a whiny spoiled brat neglecting to notice how everyone around him is breaking their back for his benefit - or notices, but doesn't care. Here, Rousseau notices and claims to care, but calls them suckers for doing so.
LibraryThing member JVioland
A wonderful autobiography from a brilliant mind. Rousseau's story is all here including his many admitted vices. In reading this work, I not only was impressed with his humanity but with his kindness - and yet he abandoned a child he fathered. Quite an interesting man. I also discovered that pedophilia and homosexuality had been a problem within the Catholic Church at least since he had attended a seminary while a youth and, despite his attempts to seek redress against a colleague from the establishment, he was disciplined. It caused him to re-evaluate his faith. Kind of prophetic.… (more)
LibraryThing member EadieB
Book Description
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.

My Review
I listened to the audio of this book and found it very interesting. I liked Rousseau's honesty and found him to be a very brilliant man. He had a very entertaining insight of human nature but I found him to be a bit bizarre at times. He was a truly fascinating person, and this classic work of autobiography and the Enlightenment period is not to be missed.
… (more)

Language

Original language

French

Barcode

3492
Page: 0.2579 seconds