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Rousseau
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Author:  Woodland Nymph [ Tue Apr 10, 2012 4:48 pm ]
Post subject:  Rousseau

I cannot read about 18th century France without coming across the name Jean Jacques Rousseau. I know little about him apart from he had a hand in starting the movement of sentiment that swept across the late 1700's and encouraged nurturing love between mother and child, which became somewhat of a fad among the aristocracy. Has anyone here ever actually read his work? What is it like? And what would you recommend?

Author:  Ludy [ Wed Apr 11, 2012 8:17 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Rousseau

Rousseau is an enthralling author and philosopher, and obviously you have to tackle his works when dealing with the XVIII century. However, I feel there is too much to say, and I would not know how to start.

The French political life is still very much based on his writing : such ideas like the general will (the Social contract) and his vision of public virtue very much influenced the Revolution, namely Robespierre. Contrary to most of the enlightment philosopher, who maintained "bourgeois" stances

He also invented in a way autobiography with his Confessions and his novels such as La Nouvelle Héloïse or the Rêveries really were the starting point of romantism -although this movement later developed more in Germany than in France, due to Bonaparte's sheer dislike of romantism, which was indeed a reaction to the French revolution.

Author:  Woodland Nymph [ Sat Apr 14, 2012 5:27 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Rousseau

Interesting post, Ludy! I ordered La Nouvelle Héloïse through my library system over a month ago and it never came in. I may have to pester the librarian a little and see if she's heard anything yet. I'm very much interested in reading his work; I'm a fan of romanticism myself. Even the feminist writer Mary Wollenscraft admitted that she "couldn't help but love him", which I find astounding because she detested romantic heroines in novels and it disgusted her when women longed to model themselves after them.

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