Developments in Character: “The Children's Punishment” and “The Broken Comb”

E. S. Burt

in Regard for the Other

Published by Fordham University Press

Published in print October 2009 | ISBN: 9780823230907
Published online March 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780823235575 | DOI:
Developments in Character: “The Children's Punishment” and “The Broken Comb”

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This chapter examines the distinction between interpretation and reading and determines some of the stakes involved. It considers two episodes from Book I of the Confessions, emblematic of a Rousseauian autobiographical sequence: “the children's punishment” and “the broken comb.” The first of these episodes concerns the hero's education into the difference between the sexes, and thus casts difference as sexual difference along an oppositional model. The second episode consists in a scene of reading.

Keywords: reading; interpretation; Rousseau; Confessions; sexual difference

Chapter.  12811 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy of Language

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