By Bernhard Kuhn
Bernhard Kuhn's research uncovers a primary connection among the autobiographies and clinical writings of Rousseau, Goethe, and Thoreau that refutes the now entrenched thesis of the 'two cultures.' As he examines those 3 consultant writers, Kuhn finds the clinical personality of autobiographical writing whereas demonstrating the autobiographical nature of common technological know-how. An unfolding drama emerges, within which Romantic interval writers are noticeable retaining what sleek tradition is decided to wreck aside.
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Extra resources for Autobiography and Natural Science in the Age of Romanticism: Rousseau, Goethe, Thoreau
It is not, nevertheless, that my soul gone astray Gave way to an exaggerated softness. Innocence is the good most dear to my heart, Debauchery and excess are objects of horror: Guilty pleasures are the torments of the soul They are purchased too dearly if they are worthy of blame. Doubtless, in order to be a real good, pleasure Must make man happy and not criminal: But it is no less true that of the course of our life Heaven does not forbid us to soften the misery. And to conclude this point debated too long Nothing should be exaggerated, not even virtue.
But can my enﬂamed zeal ever claim To pay for the beneﬁts of that tender mother? If one can aspire to it by feelings Ah! at least by mine I have the right to hope so. I can count her willing kindnesses for little I owe her other, more estimable goods, The goods of reason, the feelings of the heart, Even some rights to honor from talents. , II, 1138–1140 Perhaps destined to perish in the mire. Conceited abortion whose burlesque pride Comically mixed childhood with subjects of Novels Made the good pity, made madman laugh, And sometimes stirred up the wrath of fools.
As a Philosopher a great Prince deigned to attack me, I dared to respond as a free man, happy at doing good with so little risk. 2 Nevertheless the dispute ﬂared up in the public; my adversaries multiplied. , I, 1113–1115 31 refuted, because the truth is not refuted. One can hardly conceive the thoughtlessness with which a crowd of authors vied with each other in taking up the pen and turned over three or four commonplaces from school in a thousand manners; neither reasoning nor reﬂection was ever seen in their writings, while they believed they were uniting against me, they did nothing but destroy each other, the proofs of one would haved served me as a reply to the other and it would have been enough for me to put them in opposition to each other to defeat them.