The Confessions


By Jean-Jacques Rousseau

cover image of The Confessions

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The writer, composer and philosopher Jean-Jacques Rousseau (1712 - 1778) was a citizen of Geneva before Switzerland even existed. He's a major contributor to the Romantic movement, and one of the most influential political philosophers in history. Confessions is Rousseau's autobiography of sorts, which if you've never read it, might not sound so thrilling coming from a Romantic writer and philosopher from the Enlightenment era: oh, but it is. He's self-centered, yet uncensored, paranoid, yet lucid, dishonest, yet totally charming and brilliant. This is considered by some to be the World's first modern autobiography, and like his philosophy, which would greatly influence the French Revolution, many would soon imitate Rousseau's literary maneuver. His other works include Emile: or, On Education, which is a treatise on the education of the whole person for citizenship, and Julie, ou la nouvelle Héloïse, a novel which helped to launch romanticism in fiction. In Confessions Rousseau reveals his nature as the ultimate Romantic, before the term was even a term. He believed that man is noble by nature, and that we are placed on the Earth with a divine purpose to benefit of all mankind.

The Confessions