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(1970). Rousseau and the Spirit of Revolt: By William H. Blanchard. Ann Arbor: Univ. of Michigan Press. 1967. Pp. 300.. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 51:554.

(1970). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 51:554

Rousseau and the Spirit of Revolt: By William H. Blanchard. Ann Arbor: Univ. of Michigan Press. 1967. Pp. 300.

Few will gainsay the fact that Rousseau is one of the initiators of that turn in the sensibility of Western cultures that in literature led to the Romantic movement in the 19th century, and by an oblique route, which no one has charted out so far, culminated in Freud's discovery of the analytic method: that unique stance of introspection where a person is alone in the explicit holding the attention of the other. A vast literature exists on Rousseau, and yet there is a lack. The enigmatic lure of Rousseau's personality and writings continues to elicit enquiry and defy analysis. Dr Blanchard, a clinical psychologist, has attempted to examine the meaning and impact of Rousseau's political writings in terms of his life-experience, as avowed and explicated by his Confessions and correspondence. To this difficult task Dr Blanchard brings an erudition and a knack for discussion that are both refreshing and insightful. Dr Blanchard handles the delicate situation of interpreting Rousseau's quirks of character and confessional self-exposure in terms of Freudian theory with a salutary tact. His discussion of the role of 'humourless honesty' and 'thrill of righteousness' in Rousseau's technique of convincing others with his vision, which was so much larger than his capacity for living, should particularly interest analytic readers. This is a study of Rousseau which will merit serious attention for a long time by all those interested in the subject.

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