The case of Rousseau
The 1783 publication of Rousseau's Confessions in English translation crystallizes contemporary debates about the nature and value of autobiographical writing. Reactions to the book oscillated between outrage and fascination, testifying to the strangeness of self-writing in this mode. In the terms of reception theory, the Confessions ruptured a ‘horizon of expectation’. It is argued that the (new) idea of ‘autobiography’ formed itself along this fault line, both as a set of expectations about the limits of self-writing and as a persistent transgression of those limits. Studying responses to Rousseau, the central issue is shown to be the problematic relationship between intimacy and publication.
Oxford Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.
If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.