Four months – that’s what took me to complete this book. Mainly because I was reading it on the small screen of my mobile. See the progress yourself.
This is a work of classics which I find myself inept to truly comment on. Not because it should not be done so, rather because I consider my understanding & knowledge of classics still inadequate to make statements. I would need to re-read them some more times to fully understand the importance of such composition.
When I started reading Homer’s Odyssey , I was irritated by the repetitive lines & the constantly crying Hero. Later I realized that it was written in a poetic form, that’s why the repetition & the emphasis on the emotional state of the Characters.
By Jean-Jacques Rousseau
Rating : –
The book was a compilation of the ten parts of Rousseau’s memoirs from different stages of his life.
(Sorry, I would not go in the general routine of discussing the chapters, as there are too many. Instead I will get directly to the review of this book)
Connected – that is the feeling which kept me going, making possible to finish this book. With the history lessons learned for the exam, I was able to visualize & understand the conditions of Rousseau’s era. The childhood to youthful days were so interesting for me, that at most of the incidents, I felt emphatically feeling his state of mind. He was same like anyone of us(boys). His thoughts, his manner, his desires – it was uncanny resemblance to an introvert, shy, clumsy person from present time.(yeah you can point to me here) Each time he fell for a women or girl he was unable to express it, due to his shyness. There was rarely any ideals formed till his teens. In his teens how he made the jump into the uncertainty, clueless about his future destinations. It was inspiring.
Then in his middle life – how he formed his career, solidified his interest in drama. The many different roles he had to play before he became known for his work. If one wants to become an entrepreneur or pursue Arts than his confessions is must for that inner motivation.
The words he used, his style of writing is amazing. I was ecstatic while reading it, constantly saying how can he? how can he?. Incredible use of language.
There is rarely any chapter presenting his role in French Revolution. At the end part, I expected to find that. Instead I found that he was constantly repudiated & condemned for his work. And also by those, for whom’s rights, he stood for. In the later years he spent his life in peaceful solitude with his close ones. His strong will & faith in his personal maxims kept him going till the end. Just like M.Gandhi kept on going.
There are some incidents where I was amazed & shocked to find that Rousseau was involved in such deplorable acts. Then there were incidents which were amusing like his attachments with the opposite sex. In whole, it is an inspiring & awesome work of Rousseau.I should not label it as his work – it is actually his confessions. His log-book or diary where he wrote his memoirs. Also, he started it in his thirties after discerning his own self with rational thoughts & idealism.( I hope my log book will help me in my later years & reflecting on my growth in life.)
I also noticed that how so strongly affectionate & attached he became to women. The inference to women was still in the form of objects. Women were still not seen equal then. The concept will come later in the history.
I found many practices which one can take up to improve upon his/her life. And it is applicable in today’s world also. Like…
– Jumping into uncertain seas to embrace your life & find your true self. ( Leaving the clock-mechanic apprentice & start on a journey around Europe)
– To keep on going even if your work is eccentric to the popular trend. ( Popular censor to your drama in opera houses)
– Be bold enough to present your thoughts even in face of danger.(King’s Army or Church coming to capture you)
You can find many as per your needs & mental level.
I can go on about Rousseau’s life. That’s why I said – I will have to re-read it. Each time I will find something new inside.(like our NCERT 11th & 12th books :P). So I will stop here only.
This one is a classic. And you must pick this one up. If you feel inspired by people’s life or like reading autobiography’s – this one is for you. Keep in mind the era & Rousseau’s time.(Brush up on Europe’s history a little).
P.S – Should I post the snippets I took from the books ? They are lengthy. 😛
& thank you every one for their comments on Midnight Rant.