The Backward Look : Memory and Writing Self in France 1580-1920 book cover
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The Backward Look
Memory and Writing Self in France 1580-1920




ISBN 9781900755313
Published March 31, 2000 by Routledge

 
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Book Description

Theories of memory and fictional recreations of the remembering mind have occupied a central place in French literature since Montaigne. The author investigates the shifting relation between cognitive or "scientific" memory and emotional or spiritual recollection in a series of major writers from the 16th to the 20th centuries. Her study focuses on the 18th century, where the interplay between memory and imagination and the link between self-knowledge and self-presentation are shown to be exceptionally fertile. The philosophical, scientific and fictional writings of Diderot and the novels and autobiographical works of Rousseau are central to this ground-breaking work, which should be of interest to all readers concerned with the specificity of the French literary tradition.