“The most famous of his autobiographical writings is the Confessions, but there’s also Reveries of a Solitary Walker, and the famous Dialogues, where you have a very paranoid Rousseau in conversation with another character, ‘the Frenchman,’ concerning the faults of an alter ego, Jean-Jacques. So Rousseau did tell the story of his own life, but Damrosch tells it very well in English. He also has some reflections on the veracity of Rousseau’s own autobiographical writings, which is an interesting aspect of Damrosch’s book. On the whole, he finds that Rousseau was quite truthful. Of course there are elements of the story Rousseau tells about himself where he is self-deceived, or indeed paranoid, but so far as telling the truth about the facts and external events of his life, he seems to have been quite honest with us.” Read more...
The best books on Jean-Jacques Rousseau