The Last Walk (Multilingual Edition)

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9781441586988: The Last Walk (Multilingual Edition)

The Last Walk Francesca Cernia Slovin Jean Jacques Rousseau s last book Reveries of a Solitary Walker was to have had ten walks The tenth he wrote only three pages before his death Francesca Cernia Slovin s The Last Walk essays its completion Another inveterate walker Nietzsche once remarked that only ideas had while walking only ideas that have been digested and expelled have value As he and Rousseau both knew this idea and practice is perennial from the pre Socratics who in effect walked from the peripheries of mainland Greece to plant the roots of fundamental questioning there through the peripatetic philosophers until any current moment Since at least Montaigne traveling has remained the privileged metaphor of the reflective essay the critical assaying of one s contemporary culture from a perspective simultaneously within and outside it In Maurice Blanchot s words in L attente l oubli Time and time again walking and always marking time another country other cities other roads the same country Voltaire remarks that Rousseau wrote with fire in his pen Echoing eighteenth century style The Last Walk is captivating literary and philosophical invention intertwining the discourses of his critics with those of a quintessential hero walking from the Enlightenment through the immediate pre Revolutionary period to Romanticism with beguiling ambiguity Like a flame Rousseau wavers between memory and delirium embodying at once the fragility of belief and the power of illusion Rousseau s relationship to his milieu and its major global protagonists from Europe to England and back is envisioned here as paranoid in the double sense not only of clinical pathology but also its etymology para nous the reasoning madness that is parallel and irreducible to whatever commonly passes as Reason This luminous historical fiction is based on extensive historical archival and geographical research With keen and critical awareness of the vast se

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About the Author:

Francesca Cernia Slovin is an internationally recognized public intellectual and author. Her Doctorate in Philosophy is from the University of Rome, with a dissertation under Lucio Colletti on the fihiations between Rousseau's moral and political philosophy. Having researched and taught French Enlightenment for many years, she has instructed at The New School and at Cornell University. A regular contributor to Italian and American academic journals, she is a member of the Board of Directors of the New York Council for the Humanities, a member of the Foreign Press Association in New York, and a consultant for the Center for Jewish History. In Principio, her book on the philosophical and political impetus behind the founders of Israel, is required reading in Italian high schools. She edited Gli Anni di Plastica, the history of European design at the beginning of the twentieth century. Her Aby Warburg: Un Banchiere Prestato All 'arte was awarded the Commisso prize for Best Biography of the Year and has been translated as Obsessed by Art. Aby Warburg, His Lfe and Legacy (2006).

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