Reveries of the Solitary Walker
After a period of forced exile and solitary wandering brought about by his radical views on religion and politics, Jean-Jacques Rousseau returned to Paris in 1770. Here, in the last two years of his life, he wrote his final work, "The Reveries." In this eloquent masterpiece the great political... show more
After a period of forced exile and solitary wandering brought about by his radical views on religion and politics, Jean-Jacques Rousseau returned to Paris in 1770. Here, in the last two years of his life, he wrote his final work, "The Reveries." In this eloquent masterpiece the great political thinker describes his sense of isolation from a society he felt had rejected his writings - and the manner in which he has come to terms with his alienation, as he walks around Paris, gazing at plants, day-dreaming and finding comfort in the virtues of solitude and the natural world. Meditative, amusing and lyrical, this is a fascinating exploration of Rousseau's thought as he looks back over his life, searching to justify his actions, to defend himself against his critics and to elaborate upon his philosophy.
Publish date: February 28th 1980
Publisher: Penguin Classics
Pages no: 154
Edition language: French
La jeunesse est le temps d'étudier la sagesse; la vieillesse est le temps de la pratiquer.L'expérience instruit toujours, je l'avoue; mais elle ne profite que pour l'espace qu'on a devant soi. Est-il temps au moment qu'il faut mourir d'apprendre comment on aurait dû vivre?
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.
And I thought my diaries were maudlin and full of self-pity. This book is Rousseau lite, offering a quick summary of some of his major ideas about truth and man's relationships to nature and society all the while ruminating on life in (largely self-imposed) exile. At times, he was so over the top th...