1st Edition

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

By Angelica Goodden Copyright 2000

    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.

    Introduction 1 Breaking the Mould 2 Eighteenth-Century Histoires 3 Recording and Rewriting 4 Diderot: The Limits of Experience 5 Rousseau: Person and Memory 6 The Soul and the Self , Conclusion


    Angelica Goodden