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Reveries of the Solitary Walker

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3.64 of 5 stars 3.64  ·  rating details  ·  1,767 ratings  ·  96 reviews
The struggle between Rousseau's yearning for solitude and his need for society is the central theme of the Reveries.

In the two years before his death in 1778, Jean-Jacques Rousseau composed the ten meditations of Reveries of the Solitary Walker. Combining philosophical argument with amusing anecdotes and lyrical desriptive passages, they record the great French writer's se
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Paperback, 160 pages
Published February 28th 1980 by Penguin Classics (first published 1782)
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Community Reviews

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Eddie Watkins
Revery seems to have fallen out of favor nowadays. If it's not one of ten million authorities emphasizing the need for efficiency and planned action, or modern evolutionists of all sorts (in business, in fitness, in the arts) convincing us that if what we're doing isn't in the name of advancement and improvement then it's not worth doing, or just us telling ourselves that we must keep up with everything and everyone else and so have no time to swim around in our own selves; revery has become the ...more
Jimmy
Well, this sounded really good from the description: slightly crazy Rousseau at the end of his life, walking, thinking, bitterness, misanthropy, etc.

However, in practice, it was like listening to that drunk guy at the bar telling you how everybody is against him, and how he really deserves better, and how he's really a great guy and that he's not really mad at these people (he calls them his 'persecuters')... no, in fact he's found peace. But he emphasizes those last points a little too pointedl
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Jim
If you read his Confessions, which is one of the great autobiographies, possibly the greatest, you will learn that Jean-Jacques Rousseau felt himself persecuted by virtually everyone with whom he was associated. Even famous figures of the day such as Denis Diderot and the Scottish Philosopher David Hume were counted by Rousseau as his tormentors. Although, from my perspective, I am not qualified to pass judgment on the poor man (as he saw himself), I do feel that possibly he was a bit too tightl ...more
Debbie Robson
Maybe I’m psychotic too but I really sympathised with Rousseau and the difficulties plaguing this marvellously intelligent man. Reading the Reveries it is so hard to believe that his “walks” were written over 200 years ago. Some may dismiss him as mad but for me I really think he was overly sensitive and suffered for a good part of his life from a persecution complex. He was also melodramatic, i.e.: “Everything is finished for me on this earth.”
This doesn’t prevent him from writing beautifully.
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أحمد شاكر
أحلام يقظة جوال منفرد
(خواطر- سيرة ذاتية)
لـ جان جاك روسو (كاتب وفيلسوف من جنيف)
ترجمة: ثريا توفيق
طبعة: المجلس الأعلي للثقافة

هو عبارة عن 10 جولات، كتبها روسو ما بين (1776 و 1778)، وهي آخر ما كتب روسو الذي توفي في 2 يوليو 1778 .
كانت الظروف كلها مهيأة لإسعاد روسو إلا ظرفا واحدا: فقد كان يظن أنه محاطا بأعدائه، الذين يحيكون له المؤامرات. لهذا كتب ثلاثة كتب تتناول هجوم أصدقائه عليه ومؤامرات أعدائه وهي: (الاعترافات) و (الحوار) و (أحلام يقظة جوال منفرد).
كان روسو حساسا جدا. والانسان الحساس لا تترجم انفعالا
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M. Sarki
Sad ending to a life obsessed too much with what others thought of him, or perhaps his own obsession with fame and being loved. Hard to say. I wish he would have walked quietly off into the sunset for five years and then died. It would have said more than this work did.
Nick
You can see this book as the man looking at his life and seeking a peace with himself. Lots of people do. I'm a sod, though, so I just seen an endless whinge, a complaint lodged with the Almighty for the mistreatment the author has suffered at the hands of the Universe. The man had an appalling time of it - but when you read this book you can see why; I've never read anything so annoying, so self-commiserating, so self-obsessed. It makes you want to give him a hard time, and a lot of people did. ...more
Andrew
Jun 23, 2014 Andrew added it
Shelves: memoir
We all have our melodramatic moments. Rousseau seems to have nothing but. He wanders around the French countryside all "why does no one liiiiiike me? It's so looooonely at the top!" If he had been a teenager at the same time I was, he would have totally shopped at Hot Topic and I totally would have made fun of him (not to his face, I wasn't popular enough to merit that) for expressing the same curious blend of self-deprecation and narcissism that I felt at the same time, that really most teenage ...more
Ahmad Sharabiani
قسمتی از متن عنوان یک کتاب: باز هم در این جهان تنها ماندم، نه برادری دارم نه قومی و نه دوستی که مرا بشناسد، یا از من یاد کند، در این اجتماع غیر خودم کسی را ندارم. مردی که محبوب همه کس بود، و افراد اجتماع را همانند خویش دوست میداشت، از همان اجتماع رانده شد. آنها در عالم کینه و حسد نقشه کشیدند، که چه نوع شکنجه در روح حساسم بیشتر اثر دارد، و به اتفاق آراء تمام، روابطی که مرا با دنیای خارج مربوط میساخت قطع نمودند. پایان نقل

عنوان یک: «خیالپروریهای تفرجگر انزواجو»، نویسنده: «ژان ژاک روسو»، مترجم: «احم
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Rick
This book only gets three stars due to Rousseau's obvious talent. I cannot rate it any higher because I cannot stand what he represents. Rousseau is the root of modern day rationalizing, relativism and inflated self esteem. The most frustrating thing about reading this is that his sense of self worth and his paranoia has its roots in reality. He was truly both loved and hated in his time. Count me among those that would have been a hater. His justifications for his questionable acts, including a ...more
Bob Nichols
Written just before he died, Rousseau’s reflections are mainly about those (“traitors,” “persecutors”) who failed to recognize the value of his writing or were critical of it; or toward those who criticized him personally or who made demands on his time or position. There’s a good sense of betrayal and self-pity in these “walks” along with a hefty dose of confession about failures.

The “reveries” word in the title doesn’t match the book’s mood. While Rousseau finds joys in this exile from societ
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Ken
Extra star for quotes like "The various periods of short-lived prosperity that I have enjoyed have left me with almost no agreeable memories of deep and lasting impressions: by contrast, in all the hardships of my life I was invariably full of affectionate, touching and delightful emotions which poured a healing balm over the wounds of my injured soul and seemed to change its pains into pleasures."

But mostly this is just the sort-of adorable ramblings of a paranoid, deluded old fool.
Sıla Önder
My god, where do I even begin?
Firstly, I think it's wise to have a general knowledge of what happened between Rousseau and his "enemies" before blaming him for being such a pessimistic, jealous old man. He had every reason to believe that people out there were coming to get him, because they were actually coming to get him. He was loathed by philosophes for he believed that sentiment was more important than reason, and it was certainly unacceptable for the rest of the great thinkers of the age.
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Roger Burk
Rousseau is by turns insufferable, loony, and endearing. He wrote this collection of essays in old age, and it is kind of a coda to the Confessions. He still believes in his own unique purity and goodness: "I should have been the best and most merciful of men if I had been the most powerful" (p. 96); "my heart does not contain the seeds of any harmful passion" (p. 104). He is still clinically paranoid: all efforts to help him are evidence of malevolent conspiracies he cannot fathom. He believes ...more
Beluosus
Il y a des livres dans mes étagères -- un petit nombre mais à peine inconsiderable -- dont j'ai un amour très particulier. Or j'ai lu ces livres au lycée ou à l'université pour le premier fois... et je les ai absolument haï ! Bien sûr, je ne les lisais pas en soi, mais en traduction, et à cause de ça je les ai repris lorsque j'ai pu les lire dans le texte original. Camus, Saint Augustin, Goethe...voilà quelques de mes écrivains favoris, lesquels j'ai autrefois méprisé. Traduction, j'accuse ! J'a ...more
David

Daydreaming is one thing, writing is another indeed, being simply a faithful record of my solitary walks and reveries that occupy them, how could it be?
Not many of the walks are directly concerned with the walks around Paris thought they may record some of the thoughts that filled Rousseau head as he walked...

The forth walk... was the most highly structured of all , it poses a question and deals with its various ramifications in a methodical way answering possible objections giving examples and
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Nejat Gürsel
Bir arkadaş tavsiyesiyle okudum. Yazarın kendi iç hesaplaşmaları, dış dünyaya bakış açısı hoşuma gitti. Gezilerindeki betimlemeleri gayet iyi. O anki duygularını iyi yansıtmış. Ama sürükleyici olmadığını düşünüyorum. Açık söylemek gerekirse okumaktan pek zevk almadım. Bu yüzden okumak için başkalarına tavsiye edemeyeceğim fakat felsefe sevenler için ideal bir kitap olabilir. Farklı bir bakış açısı var. Biraz karmaşık bir dili var.
Alexis
I love these little mini pocket series books. You can literally fit them in your pockets and take them anywhere as they are about the size of an iPhone. Read this one a long time ago, but I remember not thinking the content was the greatest ever but was still extremely good but what I loved about it was the way in which is was written. It's autobiographical yet it reads almost like poetry. I'm a sucker for this type of romanticism. A good read if your looking for something a little bit different ...more
Hannah
Flawless. While reading the book, I felt as though I was waling alongside Rousseau. It was particularly interesting because I, myself, am a solitary walker. I love going on walks by myself, which was why I bought this book. It was everything I expected it to be and more.

Rousseau pours out his thoughts and emotions on being outcast by society in a writing style that was such a pleasure to read. He also writes interesting anecdotes from his life, which was a good thing to have between lots of phil
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Rafael
Pesem embora as prezáveis reflexões (muito bem ilustradas, com memórias que sempre nos acompanham) sobre vários aspectos que presumimos assaltar o indivíduo no rescaldo da sua vida, é difícil ler este livro sem tecer vincadas considerações sobre o autor.
Rousseau estava longe de se sentir feliz, confortado ou de contas feitas com os outros - como faz questão de nos lembrar em cada passeio - mas tenta convencer-se, aceitando a situação, de que está conformado. É legítimo duvidarmos do seu sucesso
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Ironik
Les Rêveries du promeneur solitaire sont le divagations monomaniaques d'un Rousseau gâté par l'âge et les malheurs de l'existence. Peut-être aurait-il dû remplacer les "rêveries" par les "complaintes". Cela aurait été assurément un reflet plus fidèle de la vérité de l'oeuvre. La plupart de ces divagations - Rousseau oppose la rêverie à la pensée - sont centrées sur la persécution qu'a subi l'auteur tout le long de son existence. Quelques pensées toutefois, et parfois intéressantes : notamment un ...more
Fyza Jazra
I am giving this book two stars because it turned out to be quite different from what I had expected. The ten walks are mere internal wanderings with just a few descriptions of natural surroundings around Paris. The book was written at the end of Rousseau's life and was meant to be his private journal-not to be read by anyone else. He seemed disenchanted with society and was finding pleasure away from his friends, his books, and his past life.

Also this is the first book I read by Rousseau and th
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Monty Milne
At first, there was something appealing about Rousseau's descriptions of his rural walks - I too know the daily pleasure of solitude, hidden in a rural retreat, closely contemplating every beautiful plant and flower in my sacred glade....but all too soon, the magic wears off with Monsieur Rousseau as an increasingly irritating companion. What is it that finally makes one turn away in boredom and disgust? Is it his whining, poor-me-everybody-hates-me self obsession, his dull philosophy, the tediu ...more
Μαρία
"Εδώ θα ήταν καιρός να πλουτίσω και να στολίσω την ψυχή μου μ' ένα απόκτημα που να μπορεί να το πάρει μαζί της,όταν,ελεύθερη απ' αυτό το κορμί που την εμποδίζει και την τυφλώνει,και βλέποντας την αλήθεια χωρίς πέπλα,θα διακρίνει τη φτώχεια όλων αυτών των γνώσεων για τις οποίες οι ψευτοσοφοί μας καμαρώνουν τόσο πολύ.Θα στενάξει για τις χαμένες στιγμές αυτής της ζωής όπου θα μπορούσε ν' αποκτήσει αυτές τις γνώσεις.Αλλά η υπομονή,η τρυφερότητα,η καρτερία,η ακεραιότητα,η αμερόληπτη δικαιοσύνη,είναι ...more
Camille Dent
I, personally, found looking directly into the thoughts of an arguably mad man fascinating. The most fascinating thing is that a lot of his thoughts are universally relatable, which then begs the question: how mad are we all? Other than extreme paranoia (whether it's justifiable or not), most of this book follows a pretty standard process of identity crisis, working through that crisis, and the aftereffects. Everyone feels oppressed by others at some point, though maybe not by the entire world l ...more
Sam
I was assigned this book back in college. A couple of folded pages indicate that I read what was assigned, but I didn't recall much of the text. I should also say that I haven't read anything else by Rousseau, so I come at this book from a position of ignorance of his other works.

I have wanted to revisit this book for quite some time and for whatever reason chose this summer to do so. The back cover reads "As he wanders around Paris, gazing at plants and day-dreaming, Rousseau look back over his
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Mendi
At first I was very sceptic. I'd heard some of Rousseau's ideas and I didn't feel he was really my thinker. I was happily surprised though: there were quite a few 'walks' in this book that I found very interesting, and of which I have written down a fair number of quotes.
Sarah
Rousseau's last book, he says that it is meant to be only a recording of his internal thoughts and not for publication, but it also acts in some places as a defense of his theories and a history of his persecution. An interesting and at times lyrical book.
Abdullah Yılmaz
Nov 04, 2014 Abdullah Yılmaz marked it as to-read
Kitap ilk okuyama başlanıldığında sanki birbirinden kopuk gezi notlarının birleşimi gibi gözüküyor. Aslında iki yıllık gezintisinde(1776-1778) küçük küçük almış olduğu notları birleştirmiş kitabın içindeki bölümlere ayrılan gezintilerinde. Yazar Rousseau, kendisine yönelik analizinin, daha doğrusu içe bakışının hesabını vermekte bu kitapta. Ölüme yakın olma, bireysel mutluluğu ve iç huzuru arama, insanın sosyal yanı ile doğal yanı arasındaki karşıtlık, toplumsal dünyadan kaçma arzusu gibi alanla ...more
Amerynth
I actually enjoyed Jean-Jacques Rousseau's "Reveries of the Solitary Walker" much more than I expected to. I found Rousseau's 10 essays interesting and occasionally unintentionally amusing in a sad sort of way.

Rousseau would have been insane in this Internet age where every comment about a person's work, behavior or looks can be seen, dissected and analyzed. Rousseau, writing in the late 1700's in France was utterly paranoid and convinced that there were haters out there at every turn.

Still, I
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Jean-Jacques Rousseau remains an important figure in the history of philosophy, both because of his contributions to political philosophy and moral psychology and because of his influence on later thinkers. Rousseau's own view of philosophy and philosophers was firmly negative, seeing philosophers as the post-hoc rationalizers of self-interest, as apologists for various forms of tyranny, and as pl ...more
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“I have never thought, for my part, that man's freedom consists in his being able to do whatever he wills, but that he should not, by any human power, be forced to do what is against his will.” 51 likes
“In all the ills that befall us, we are more concerned by the intention than the result. A tile that falls off a roof may injure us more seriously, but it will not wound us so deeply as a stone thrown deliberately by a malevolent hand. The blow may miss, but the intention always strikes home.” 21 likes
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