Rousseau Jean-Jacques – Julie or the New Heloise (Volume 2)
Rousseau Jean-Jacques – Julie or the New Heloise (Volume 2): This is a six-part epistolary novel (163 letters). He enjoyed great success in the 18th and 19th centuries. He relates love, “impossible” because of the difference in their conditions, between a tutor, M. de Saint-Preux, and his pupil Julie, the daughter of Baron d’Etange, on the shores of Lake Geneva. The title refers to the situation of Heloise and Abelard, but the commentators also mention the upset love of Rousseau for Sophie d’Houdetot. It is also an opportunity for Rousseau philosophical dissertations on nature and culture, Paris and Parisians like Valais and its inhabitants. The parliament of Paris, moreover, does not fail to condemn them.
In this novelistic work, “leafy” as Diderot writes, we end up entering and playing the epistolary narration game whose intertwined letters, at first confusing, put into perspective the intrigue and the reflections. It is difficult today to imagine the impact of this work both for its aspect of romantic and sentimental literature (Charles Nodier in his preface to the Painter of Saltzburg, considers it a precursor of romanticism) than for his philosophical theses. In this volume 2, we present parts 3 to 6 in the text of the edition of the Complete Works of 1852-3.