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The Notebooks of Joseph Joubert

4.39 of 5 stars 4.39  ·  rating details  ·  64 ratings  ·  11 reviews
The elusive French luminary Joseph Joubert is a great explorer of the mind's open spaces. Edited and translated by Paul Auster, this selection from Joubert's notebooks introduces a master of the enigmatic who seeks "to call everything by its true name" while asking us to "remember everything is double." "Joubert speaks in whispers," Auster writes. "One must draw very close ...more
Paperback, 184 pages
Published June 30th 2005 by NYRB Classics (first published October 1983)
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"truth. to surround it with figures and colors, so that it can be seen."

this is exquisite and enchanting. a single page from these notebooks is more thought-provoking than the entirety of most novels being published today.
For years I have been encountering aphorisms and comments by Joubert in books of quotations. Then I discovered this slim volume, which represents the full range of his published work, in Penn Books (one of the great book-shopping treasures of NYC, a small bookstore in Penn Station, in the LIRR concourse, that has a surprisingly robust selection of books, all the usual disposable commute and travel bestsellers but wonders like this.) “Are you listening to the ones who keep quiet?” ‘The heart must ...more
Read this in less than six hours and it was amazing. I felt like I was reading a book of wisdoms by a prophet or a founder of a religion, but it's even better because it isn't! And how tragic is it to think that Joubert never got to writing his great novel. His notebooks give a taste of what the world could have gained from his writing, and it's a bitter feeling knowing I'll never read what he had intended to write.

Joubert's notebooks are full of love, illusion, and wisdom. A must read for anyon
"To survive one's passion and not one's strengths. Happy."

I mean, it's epigrams, so some are better than others, but I really took to many of them. I'd be interested in reading a biography of the author, and may revisit Chateaubriand. Because these notebooks would be worth revisiting, I think I may break down and buy them (it?).
I love the big book of French literature translated by Auster back in the early 80s or so, and this was previously included in another book with three translations by as many authors. Now on its own in this NYRB edition, these aphorisms and "deep thoughts" have a fascinating back story and can be read really fast. Perfect.
"We must treat our lives as we treat our writings, put them in accord, give harmony to the middle, the end, and the beginning. In order to do this, we must make many erasures." -- 1798

charming. some banalities but a short and good read.
Jordan Adams
More reason to write down each day the thoughts great and little that pass through (but often over) our little heads.
Matt Walker
May 04, 2009 Matt Walker marked it as to-read
I might just break down and buy this one full price.
ian mar
like a 19th century celebrity twitter feed
Why such a scant selection? Otherwise great.
For any aspiring aphorist
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NYRB Classics: The Notebooks of Joseph Joubert 1 2 Oct 29, 2013 11:04AM  
Joseph Joubert was a French moralist and essayist, remembered today largely for his Pensées published posthumously.

From the age of 14 Joubert attended a religious college in Toulouse, where he later taught until 1776. In 1778 he went to Paris where he met D'Alembert and Diderot, amongst others, and later became friends with young writer and diplomat Chateaubriand.

He alternated between living in Pa
More about Joseph Joubert...
Pensees and Letters of Joseph Joubert Sobre arte y literatura Pensées, jugements et notations Pensees, Essais, Maximes Et Correspondance de J. Joubert.Tome 2 Pensees, Essais, Maximes Et Correspondance de J. Joubert.Tome 1

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“The breath of the mind is attention 128” 6 likes
“Everything has its poetry. 94” 5 likes
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