Autobiographical, Scientific, Religious, Moral, and Literary Writings

Jean Rousseau

Autobiographical, Scientific, Religious, Moral, and Literary Writings

Jean Rousseau

Distributed for Dartmouth College Press

364 pages | 6 x 9 1/4
Paper $40.00 ISBN: 9781611686456 Published August 2014
Newcomers to Rousseau’s works and those who are familiar with his writings will find something to surprise them both in this wide variety of short pieces from every period of his life. Among the important theoretical writings found here are the “Fiction or Allegorical Fragment on Revelation” and the “Moral Letters,” which are among Rousseau’s clearest statements about the nature and limits of philosophic reasoning. In the early “Idea of a Method for the Composition of a Book,” Rousseau lays out in advance his understanding of how to present his ideas to the public. He ponders the possibilities for and consequences of air travel in “The New Daedalus.” This volume also contains both his first and last autobiographical statements. Some of these writings show Rousseau’s lesser-known playful side. A comic fairy tale, “Queen Whimsical”, explores the consequences—both serious and ridiculous—for a kingdom when the male heir to the throne, endowed with the frivolous characteristics of his mother, has a sister with all the characteristics of a good monarch. When Rousseau was asked whether a fifty-year old man could write love letters to a young woman without appearing ridiculous, he responded with “Letters to Sophie,” which attempt to demonstrate that such a man could write as many as four—but not as many as six—letters before he became a laughingstock. In “The Banterer,” he challenges readers to guess whether the work they are reading was written by an author who is “wisely mad” or by one who is “madly wise.” When Rousseau was challenged to write a merry tale, “without intrigue, without love, without marriage, and without lewdness,” he produced a work considered too daring to be published in France.
Contents
Preface • Chronology of Works in Volume 12 • Note on the Text • Autobiographical Writings • Autobiographical Poems • The Orchard of Madame the Baronne de Warens • Letter to M. Bordes • Enigma • Letter to Monsieur Parisot • Quatrain for One of His Portraits • The Banterer • Biographical Fragment • My Portrait • Response to the Letters Written from the Mountain, Published at Geneva, under this title: Sentiment of the Citizens • Notes for the Reveries • On the Art of Enjoying and Other Fragments • Various Writings • Travel Notebook • [Declaration Intended for a Journal] • Memorative Note on the Illness and Death of M. Deschamps • Sentiments of the Public Toward Me in the Various Estates that Compose It • Declaration Relative to Different Reprints of His Works • Memorandum Written in the Month of February 1777 • Writings on Science • Course on Geography • Response to the Anonymous Memorandum • Memorandum Presented to M. de Mably on the Education of M. his Son • Plan for the Education of Monsieur de Sainte-Marie • Rousseau to the abbé Guillaume-Thomas-François Raynal • Treatise on the Sphere • The New Daedalus • Writings on Religion and Morality • Fragments on God and Revelation • On God • Prayers • Memorandum Delivered April 19, 1742, to Monsignor Boudet, Antonine • Fiction or Allegorical Fragment on Revelation • Fragment on the Infinite Power of God • Moral Letters • Notes on Helvétius’s On the Mind • Literary Works • Queen Whimsical • The Loves of Claire and Marcellin • The Little Savoyard; or, The Life of Claude Noyer • On Eloquence • Idea of Method in the Composition of a Book • Lexicological Remarks • On Women • A Household on rue Saint-Denis • Essay on the Important Events of Which Women Have Been the Secret Cause • Advice to a Curate • Funeral Oration for His Most Serene Highness Monseigneur The Duke of Orléans • Letters to Sara • Remarks on the Letters on the English and the French • Various Fragments • Notes • Index
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