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اعترافات جان جاك روسو

3.62  ·  Rating details ·  6,544 ratings  ·  328 reviews
ولد جان جاك روسو في سنة 1712 م وهو نجل ساعاتي من "جنيف" كان في طفولته وشبابه مثالاً للنشاط والتوثب، ولم يكد يبلغ السابعة والثلاثين من عمره حتى نشر كتابه "خطب في العلوم والفنون".

وأشهر مؤلفاته هي "رسالة في عدم المساواة" و "العقد الاجتماعي" و "هيلواز الجديدة" و "الاعترافات".

وكان في نقده شديد القسوة على معاصريه، وكان من رسل الطبيعة الداعين إلى البساطة لأنه يرى أن الناس جديرون
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476 pages
Published by دار البشير للطباعة والنشر والتوزيع (first published 1789)
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Robert I started reading Cohen's translation (Penguin Classics) without much research, and am enjoying it. A quick comparison of a few passages in this and…moreI started reading Cohen's translation (Penguin Classics) without much research, and am enjoying it. A quick comparison of a few passages in this and the anonymous 1890 translation, checked against the French, indicates that some lines seem to be more accurately translated in the former, and sometimes the reverse. Cohen is overall much more readable for my taste, with word-choices conveying the sense of the original more clearly in modern English compared to the older translation—here's an example:
J’ai fait le premier pas et le plus pénible dans le labyrinthe obscur et fangeux de mes confessions.
Now I have made the first and most painful step in the dark and miry maze of my confessions. (Cohen)
I have made the first, most difficult step, in the obscure and painful maze of my Confessions. (anon, 1890)
I don't have access to other, more recent translations in their entirety, but this is the same line in Scholar's translation (Oxford World Classics):
I have taken the first step, and most painful, into the dark and miry labyrinth of my confessions.
Which actually seems the best of all of them in this example. I get the sense that Cohen and Scholar are both quite good and readable.(less)

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Ahmad Sharabiani
955. Confessions, Jean-Jacques Rousseau
The Confessions is an autobiographical book, by Jean-Jacques Rousseau. In modern times, it is often published with the title The Confessions of Jean-Jacques Rousseau in order to distinguish it from Saint Augustine's Confessions. Covering the first fifty-three years of Rousseau's life, up to 1765, it was completed in 1769, but not published until 1782, four years after Rousseau's death, even though Rousseau did read excerpts of his manuscript publicly at
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William2
I would never have read The Confessions had it not been for the admiration W.G. Sebald expresses for the man and his works in his A Place in the Country. The writing here is lucid, often floridly emotional, but it’s the density of Rousseau’s memory that astonishes. His focus on a single incident or individual is uncanny; his retrospective interpretations can go on for pages. And this was a man with substantial social deficits. In Book Three, it becomes clear that the author suffered from ...more
Roy Lotz
There are times when I am so unlike myself that I could be taken for someone else of an entirely opposite character.

This book begins with a falsehood and only escalates from there. Rousseau, prone to hyperbole, boldly asserts that his autobiography is without precedent. Nevermind St. Augustine’s famous autobiography, which shares the same name; and ignore the works of St. Teresa, Benvenuto Cellini, and Montaigne. I suppose this sort of boastful exaggeration shouldn’t count for much; after all,
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Rakhi Dalal
Apr 22, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: rousseau

As is true about classics, they are not only a very authentic expression of the author’s views and ideas, but also by large, present a mirror for the world we live in. This is one reason why it is difficult to review them. For, it calls not only an undivided attention towards the ideas expressed and opinions raised, but also for a deep introspection; a meditation on the relevance of ideas presented, their importance on the working of society and their necessity in the wake of everyday life.

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David Lentz
Jun 20, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book is a revelation as it seemed to me a portrait, or perhaps a mask, of the heightened sensibilities of the interior monologue of a genius. "Since my name is certain to live on among men, I do not want the reputation it transmits to be a false one." Indeed, his honesty is remarkable as he writes about the abandonment of his children, his relationship with lovers and his intimate proclivities. Rousseau's life was a fascinating study of an extraordinary and innovative mind. He dined ...more
Caroline
The Confessions is not a book about the making of the Discourses, Emile and The Social Contract. It is a book about the making of the man who wrote those works. But the making as perceived, rationalized and presented by a mind prey to conceit, pettiness, perversity and paranoia. These qualities pervade the prose in which he parades the aspects of himself he believes make this an honest and complete portrayal of his character, including vices, virtues and accomplishments.

I cannot be the first
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George
In his autobiographical "Confessions" (published in 1782 - four years after his death) Jean-Jacques Rousseau comes across as a bit of a narcissist. But he's a likable narcissist and he grew on me so that by the end I was sad to say “Goodbye” to “poor Jean-Jacques.” And I enjoyed learning more about 18th Century European history (and France on the eve of its Revolution) along the way.

Here's one of many quotes I liked:

"I had always felt, in spite of Father Berthier's show of affection, that
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Manny
Dec 19, 2016 marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
I was surprised to discover this morning that there is supposed to have been a game of chess played between Rousseau and Hume. Like most of the people in the thread, I am sceptical, particularly in view of the Rousseau quote supplied by "Whiteshark":
Toutes les fois qu’avec le livre de Philidor ou celui de Stamma j’ai voulu m’exercer à étudier des parties, la même chose m’est arrivée; et après m’être épuisé de fatigue, je me suis trouvé plus faible qu’auparavant. Du reste, que j’aie abandonné les
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Alex
Jul 07, 2007 marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Not as good as Augustine's, better than Usher's.
Jennifer Uhlich
Jan 17, 2012 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: research
This was hard work.

Until now my Rousseau experience had been from general philosophy classes, reading the Social Contract and the Discourse on Inequality; later I read bits of Emile and the New Heloise.

I'm not sure what I was expecting, but this certainly wasn't it. This is the best and worst of memoir, all at once: chock full of interesting details about one of the greater minds of the Enlightenment . . . and some pretty repugnant self-indulgent whining, as well as painting an overall portrait
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rogue
Oct 27, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
The first half of this book is so charming, and I find myself liking the young Rousseau even as I cringe at his bumbling timidness and unfocused idiocy. He has a way with capturing memories, people's essences in their habits, and the beauty of places. There are passages from the first half of the book that rank as among the most charming descriptions I have ever read. But the second half of this book is intolerable, barely worth skimming through. Rousseau says it best himself: "I was a man so ...more
Roger Burk
This is an important book, and much of it is fun and even fascinating to read, especially the First Part, before he departs for Paris and fame. Let's start by giving Rousseau his due. He indeed lays bare his soul with preternatural honesty. Every youthful folly, sexual experiment, ridiculous crush, infatuation, extravagance, missed opportunity, and betrayal is told directly and openly. Maybe we all do some really cringe-inducing things when young, but I think Jean-Jacques was going for a record. ...more
Erik Graff
Jan 28, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everyone
Recommended to Erik by: no one
Shelves: biography
There's much of importance that I've yet to read. Rousseau's Confessions was something I'd been aware of since high school, but since then I'd only read his Social Contract and part of Emile. Now, with much time available since losing a career and marriage, I had the time to do it.

Confessions was both better and worse than expected. Better, for the first sections about Rousseau's early life, so filled with idealism and so frankly exposed. I could understand how he was at once both a revelation
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Andy
Sep 11, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Honesty about the mortifications and embarrassments, the mistakes and infatuations of growing up. Pretty much the same from one century to the next, but Rousseau was the original. His diversions are also wonderfully thoughtful and precise.
Belmont
I can't stand this guy. self-centered, egotistical wanker
Richard
Dec 21, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Amazingly, Rousseau's fetish for being spanked and exposing himself in alleyways are not the most intriguing things in this book.
Frankie
Mar 03, 2010 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: french
Dostoevsky mentioned this autobiography as an influence to his A Writer's Diary, particularly praising Rousseau for his unflinching relation of every sordid detail of his personal life. I think Dostoevsky was most awed by the indiscreet content of Confessions and surprised that it passed the censors in most countries, while Dostoevsky struggled with censorship constantly. There are surprising passages about homosexuality, masturbation, sexually-transmitted diseases – almost humorous when couched ...more
La pointe de la sauce
M. Jean Jacque spends an enormous amount of time name dropping this Monsieur or that Madame where he's dined and so on, giving advice no one wants to hear and apparently rendering services so great that he can, in all humility, claim to have saved the lives and family of such and such a person! All his friends hate him, he flees his adopted country for creating 'public disorder' in the form of his 'Social Contract' and manages to offend pretty much everyone. Jean-Jacque displays an incredible ...more
Jill
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Ben
Jan 15, 2008 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Rosseau's thoughts on happiness struck me as especially true. I can't remember exactly how it was worded, but he had realized that the happiest times in his life was when he was dreaming. Man is always reaching for something, but never really wants to achieve the goal-like chess, the joy is in the process not the final end. The joy a man gets from the whole process of achievement is the greatest when he dreams of what will be. He paints an ideological picture in his head of how things will be, ...more
Diba
Mar 06, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A huge heavy book for those who are interested in knowing how a very detail in a philosopher's life has made him the way he is when he becomes famous. And how the world goes on and you are going to be hated by those who have loved you once. This is the book which simplifies every single thought which has ever come to your mind and you have considered it as ignorable for its pettiness. But for a philosopher, nothing in life can be passed by without being observed contemplated over.
Marc
Mar 25, 2013 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This certainly is a unique document: especially through its introspection and boldness. It explains a lot of Rousseau's later behaviour. But, to be honest, after a while the personality of Rousseau really gets irritating. And that makes the reading difficult.
Ata
Feb 02, 2017 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
premature evaluation of pure pain
Xander
Sep 13, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
What an amazing book this is! It is long (650 pages long!), but it never tires. I started reading this when I had some time off, and read it through in a couple of days. Never did this delightful autobigraphy bore me, never did it become less interesting.

Rousseau sets out to explain his whole life in retrospect; he claims his only goal is to share with the reader an honest and truthful introspection of his entire life. He wrote this huge work in two parts: part 1 (chapters 1-6) concerns his
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Elisha
This is one of those books that is probably going to go down as a tick off the literary bucket list, but that I can't say I enjoyed reading. The crux of the matter is that I just don't really care about Jean-Jacques Rousseau. Had this book not been on a university reading list (for a module about confession and autobiography, of which it is a pioneer and therefore very much had to be read), I don't think that I'd ever have found the motivation to read it because, let me tell you, enduring over ...more
Geoff Wooldridge
Oh so long and tedious - I couldn't wait to finish!
Miriam Rauch
I don't know if I've ever read a book whose narrator was so self obsessed or deluded. But, honest and occasionally interesting.
Philip Lee
Apr 25, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
That the authors of the American and French revolutions took many keywords from him does not mean Jean-Jacques would have approved their programmes. His own revolutions, converting (par example) from Protestant to Catholic - then back again, were expedient moves that harmed no one but himself. With the impunity of a true Swiss, he crossed the lines in wartime; and, despite wielding a seditious pen, managed his whole life to stay out of gaol, unlike his sometimes friend Denis Diderot. He was a ...more
Ziad Nadda
It was unexpectedly done that I picked Rousseau’s confessions up. It is true that I hesitate before picking up any book to read, but this one held a greater anxiety due to the high expectations I had from it. Probably the last time I have heard of Rousseau in an academic context was during high school and I remember very well that the subject being discussed was happiness. Yes, Rousseau has a rosy view of life as G.K. Chesterton coins it, but his philosophy on the human condition is not so rosy ...more
Martin
Dec 14, 2016 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
The book was readable enough, and interesting enough, and his vagabond life was certainly worth reading about, but it was clouded over by a frustrated expectation: Rousseau was a bright man, and therefore I was expecting life lessons, ruminations, pontifications, broad and expansive thoughts. Instead I got a guy not knowing what he wants to do with his life, while trying desperately to get laid by every woman he encounters. His libido just feels...unworthy of him. If I was to be presented with a ...more
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Well Trained Mind...: #8 The Confessions of Jean-Jacques Rousseau 6 14 Feb 23, 2015 01:03PM  

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1,782 followers
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 ...more
“It is too difficult to think nobly when one thinks only of earning a living.” 256 likes
“There are times when I am so unlike myself that I might be taken for someone else of an entirely opposite character.” 85 likes
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