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Autobiographical Quests

Augustine, Montaigne, Rousseau and Wordsworth
Elizabeth de Mijolla
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How reliable is the history that human memory produces? Does the self, creating for others, become other? Elizabeth de Mijolla approaches these questions using a descriptive, nonprescriptive approach to the writings of four famous autobiographers: the early Church Father Augustine, the Renaissance essayist Montaigne, the French Romantic philosopher Rousseau, and the English Romantic poet Wordsworth. Exploring theories of memory, time, and autobiographical design and disorder, she argues against the imperative of traditional mimesis and for the variety of autobiographical renderings that personal memory permits.