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By Bernhard Kuhn

Bernhard Kuhn's examine 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 unearths the clinical personality of autobiographical writing whereas demonstrating the autobiographical nature of typical technology. An unfolding drama emerges, within which Romantic interval writers are noticeable protecting what smooth tradition is set to damage aside.

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Extra resources for Autobiography and Natural Science in the Age of Romanticism: Rousseau, Goethe, Thoreau

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Whether at the first appearance of a fine day ready to burst forth I go to see the knolls gilded by a rising Sun; Or hunted by its ardor at noon, I seek coolness under a bushy tree; Carrying Montagne or la Bruiére there with me,4 I calmly laugh at human misery; Or with Socrates and the Divine Plato I practice walking in the footsteps of Cato:5 Or a shining night in extending its wings Unveils to my gaze the Moon and the stars, Then, following la Hire and Cassini from afar,6 I calculate, I observe, and near the infinite Upon these various worlds that the Ether contains for us I urge on in reasoning, Huyghens and Fontenelle:7 Or finally surprised by an unforeseen storm, While running I reassure the frantic Shepherd, Frightened by the winds that blow on his head; The whirlwinds, the lightning, the thunder, the storm; Always equally happy and satisfied, I desire no more perfect happiness.

Although French urbanity might have forgotten itself in my regard for several moments, I shall never think that such a gentle People, who shine with so much enlightenment, who possess so many estimable talents, who enrich Europe with so many immortal works, and whose society appears to me preferable to that of the rest of men could have believed its glory concerned by the pretensions of a Music unbearable to every ear that was not predisposed, and by a talent that is refused to it at the same time by its own language, reason, nature, the ear, and the unanimous judgment of all the peoples of the world.

You know, dear Parizot, what generous hand Came to dry up the unfortunate source of my tears, You know it and your eyes have been the witnesses Of whether my heart can feel what it owes to her eVorts. 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.

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