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French Autobiography: Devices and DesiresRousseau to Perec$
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Michael Sheringham

Print publication date: 1993

Print ISBN-13: 9780198158431

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198158431.001.0001

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Rousseau and the Chains of Narrative

Rousseau and the Chains of Narrative

(p.31) 2 Rousseau and the Chains of Narrative
French Autobiography: Devices and Desires

Michael Sheringham

Oxford University Press

An autobiography is a narrative that presents connections, patterns, and linkages between past, present, and future experiences. It is a chain that links a single event, emotion, or experience to all other future occurrences, in a way that one action may lead to several actions. This idea is well identified in the work of Rousseau in his Confessions. This chapter focuses on the work of Rousseau in Confessions and emphasizes the difficulties of narrating using causality, i.e., presentation of cause and effect.

Keywords:   enchainement, Rousseau, Confessions, autobiography

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