Confessions, Excuses, and the Storytelling Self: Rereading Rousseau with Paul de Man

JVF Conference Papers

Recall the details of Rousseau’s self-described worst confession, the incident of Marion and the stolen ribbon (pp. 78-85).  He writes that his “conscience is still weighed down” by the event decades later, that its “bitter knowledge, far from fading, becomes more painful with the years,” and goes so far as to suggest that the need …