The Confessions and Correspondence, Including the Letters to Malesherbes
When Rousseau first read his Confessions to a 1770 gathering in Paris, reactions varied from admiration of his candor to doubts about his sanity to outrage. Indeed, Rousseau's intent and approach were revolutionary. As one of the first attempts at autobiography, the Confessions' novelty lay not in just its retelling the facts of Rousseau's life, but in its revelation of his innermost feelings and its frank description of the strengths and failings of his character.
Based on his doctrine of natural goodness, Rousseau intended the Confessions as a testing ground to explore his belief that, as Christopher Kelly writes, "people are to be measured by the depth and nature of their feelings." Re-created here in a meticulously documented new translation based on the definitive Pl iade edition, the work represents Rousseau's attempt to forge connections among his beliefs, his feelings, and his life. More than a "behind-the-scenes look at the private life of a public man," Kelly writes, "the Confessions is at the center of Rousseau's philosophical enterprise."
What people are saying - Write a review
The confessions; and, Correspondence, including the letters to MalesherbesUser Review - Not Available - Book Verdict
Kelly's careful translation, based on the latest French critical edition, seems likely to become the standard English version of the Confessions. In his helpful introductory essay, Kelly claims that ... Read full review
Other editions - View all
abandoned Abbe able acquaintance Annecy appeared attachment beautiful became believe Book VII cause Chambery charming Chenonceaux Clavichord Collected Writings Comte Confessions dare decent desire Diderot Discourse on Inequality Emile esteem everything extremely eyes father favor Favria fear feel felt foundling hospital France Francueil French friendship gave Geneva give Grimm happiness heart Hermitage honor idea imagination Jean-Jacques Jean-Jacques Rousseau judge knew learned leave less letter live longer Lord Marshal Malesherbes Mamma manner Mlle Mme d'Epinay Mme d'Houdetot Mme de Luxembourg Mme de Warens Montmorency natural needed Neuchatel never Nevertheless omits Paris Parlement passed passion pleasure Pleiade reads Rousseau seen Social Contract someone sometimes soon sort soul speak spite spoke stay sweet talents taste Therese things told took trip Turin Venice Voltaire waiting wanted woman word wrote young Yverdon