Introducing the book Confessions by Jean-Jacques Rousseau
If you are a bookworm, you must have seen the name “Jean-Jacques Rousseau” in books on political and philosophical topics. You may have seen the name of his famous work, the book of confessions in the preface of other books. Even if you are not a professional reader or have not yet, we tell you why you should read this great work. Stay with us.
You may ask why I should read the biography or so-called “confessions” of someone who lived in the 18th century in cities like Geneva, Annecy and Paris. We must first consider that this “other person” is Jean-Jacques Rousseau. He was the one who influenced the French Revolution and great philosophers such as Kant and Hume. The second reason is probably rooted in Borya’s life and her gentle personality: sleeping under a clear blue sky and traveling on foot and with hopeful and young eyes. A person who simply calls eating a meal in nature “the best food of his life.”
The book “Confessions” by Jean-Jacques Rousseau, deals with the mental thoughts of the life of this thinker, from childhood to the last years of life.
The book of confessions, which Rousseau sometimes refers to as memoirs, covers in detail all the events of his life from childhood to the last years of his life. But this book is more a story of his feelings and thoughts than a narration of his actions and deeds in different situations of his life and a description of the events he went through.
In this book, Rousseau shows his soul naked to his readers, confesses his flaws and mistakes without any veil, and says what weaknesses and mistakes he made in the aftermath of the events that have embarrassed him. . He also talks in detail about his endless love for nature, which was intertwined with his heart and soul.
Rousseau wrote the Confessions from 1765 to 1770 and honestly recounted his life from the beginning until 1766, when he left the island of Saint-Pierre. Therefore, there is no ambiguity in his life and the repetition of its events here will be boring. However, it seems that adding a few lines to his words, for the readers’ knowledge of what happened to him between 1766 and 1778 (the year of Rousseau’s death) and completing his autobiography, is not out of place.
After being expelled from the island of Saint-Pierre by order of the Senate of Geneva, he went to England and settled in the house given to him by the philosopher Hume. But he, who had long since lost his health and, in addition, had a suspected disease, did not feel safe anywhere. Not in England (1766), not in Normandy under Prince Ducenty (1767), not in Lyon, Monken and Dufina. There was no peace anywhere. Finally, in 1770, after being allowed to return to Paris, he returned to that city and spent the rest of his life there in poverty and solitude.
From then on, he turned his back on those who came to visit him, resumed the profession of transcribing musical notes, and continued to write his memoirs, which he had begun in 1765. In the last years of his life, as a relative improvement appeared in his life and he gained more peace, he completed his memoirs by writing the fantasies of a loner. This book was the result of his walks and walks around Paris and a diagram of his passionate love for nature. In May 1778, one of his admirers, Girardin, invited him to his palace in Ermenonville, where Rousseau died of a stroke on July 2. His body was first buried at his own request on Peplia Island, in Armenonville Park. Then in 1794 it was moved to the Pantheon, the tomb of several French dignitaries.
In confessions, emotions and feelings, as well as bittersweet events and adventures, Rousseau has expressed his life in a passionate language and has made his writing a full-fledged mirror of his conscience. This fervor of emotion was novel in an age when, following the tradition of classicism, the intellect took precedence over emotion, and in a sense, spoke instead of the heart. What Rousseau expressed in lyrical language in praise of nature, as well as in his intoxicating description of “love without purpose,” in the same period and in later periods, had a profound effect on other poets and writers, who had a wider field of expression of their spiritual emotions. They asked, and he left them, and made them follow him.
Therefore, Rousseau scholars have considered him as the initiator of Romantic style and pioneering writers such as Chateaubriand and Georges Sand. A long time ago, a more or less free translation of the book Confessions was published in Persian, but over the years, and due to the need to translate and introduce the masterpieces of world literature, of which confessions are one, at the suggestion of Mr. Hossein Karimi, Honorable Director Niloufar Publications decided to translate it again.
The translation is based on a book published in France in 2003, with very helpful notes and explanations from French researcher Alain Groershar. Of course, because some of these notes dealt with details in great length and detail that were of little use to Persian-speaking readers, some of them were omitted and others were summarized. Here, I need to thank the dear translator Mr. Soroush Habibi, who chose this edition for Niloufar Publications with his own opinion. It is hoped that the dear readers will like this work, despite the possible slips of the translator, and will fulfill the wishes of its author, who had hoped for the judgment of the future, by praising his sensitive and honest writing.
This is the only image that exists of man, and it is likely that this image will exist forever. An image that is drawn exactly from nature and draws his true face. Whoever you are, O those whose destiny or trust has made you the ruler of this office, for the sake of my misfortunes, for the sake of your feelings and emotions, and in the name of humanity, I ask you not to destroy this unique and useful work. .
A work that can be used as the first criterion of comparison in the study of the human condition, a study that has certainly not yet begun, and I wish only the most valuable relic that honors my memory and the chart of my morals and character by hand. My enemies are not distorted, do not destroy them, and finally, even if you are one of these stubborn enemies, no longer be an enemy to my ashes and do not continue your relentless cruelty until neither you nor I are alive. Rather, you can honorably testify to yourself at least once that you were noble and kind, where you could have been malicious and vindictive: Of course, if something bad happened to a man who never did or did not want to do evil, he could be named. Take revenge.
In the book of confessions, Rousseau, in his own words, paints a “picture exactly of nature” and paints his “true face.” Perhaps the first reason for writing the book Confessions, which was published after his death, was to leave his children in an orphanage. Of course, Rousseau has also written a book about raising children, and he is criticized for it. Rousseau has responded to all these criticisms in his book Confessions.
You may be interested to know that by reading this book, you can read about the events that took place in the life of a great philosopher for 66 years, from his simple and cultured childhood to the peak of his youth and old age. In fact, by reading this great work, you can “imagine” them all well. In this book, Rousseau paints a clear and accurate picture of his past for you, without blaming or denying his own faults and mistakes.
Another interesting point that sets this biography apart from other books on its subject is Rousseau’s openness and honesty in recalling all events. Yes, it is true that sometimes the pits of memory are not filled with any memory and the fragments of past events are lost in time and cannot be recovered; But Rousseau has done his best to tell the truth.
With confessions, you can walk the green meadows, the gracious sky, and the days of Rousseau’s liberation. Regardless of the important parts of his youthful life and middle age, which are full of works and ideas, you will enjoy his adolescence very much and you will love his pure circumstances.
Jean-Jacques Rousseau is an eighteenth-century writer, philosopher, and composer of the European Enlightenment. The Rousseau family was originally in France; But they fled to Switzerland to escape the life-threatening Catholics. As a young man, he engaged in various professions such as engraving, writing music notes and teaching music. It is interesting to note that Enlightenment philosophers such as Voltaire and Diderot often ridiculed Rousseau for his spirit and sentiments. This great philosopher has had tremendous influences in literary, political and educational fields on later writers and philosophers.
Other important works include Emile and The Social Contract.
The structure of the book of confessions
This work includes 2 main books and 12 books. At the end of his valuable writings is a caption entitled “The Neuchاتtel Manuscript.” After that, there is the notes section. The memoirs section has been compiled and prepared by the translator of the book, Mahasti Bahraini.
Who is this book suitable for?
If you are interested in reading the story of a great and influential philosopher, do not miss this book. Even if you think you have not read the biography yet and you may leave the book, we still suggest you read the book of confessions. Studying a book of confessions is like being invited to watch a show about a person’s personal life. With this book you can look at Rousseau’s life as a human being, whether he is a philosopher or not. This brings you closer to the depths of your being.
2- Introducing the book in Aparat