Memoirs of Egotism by Stendhal
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Overview: Written in 1832, three years before The Life of Henry Brulard (which recounts the author’s boyhood and youth), Memoirs of Egotism forms the essential middle section of Stendhal’s intended autobiography. Along with Journals of Italy, these volumes comprise what André Gide has called one of the truly great autobiographies in any language.
Unpublished until fifty years after the Stendhal’s death, Memoirs of Egotism concerns itself exclusively with the decade following his return from Milan to Paris in 1821. Stendhal appears as a cynical wit, adventurer, lover, brilliant conversationalist, and secret man of letters. We are privy to his encounters in the salons and boudoirs of the capital, with his attendant hopes (realized and disappointed), private foibles, and social miscalculations. Stendhal’s passionate and ceaseless pursuit of happiness is on display, intertwined, as always, with the undercutting wit and unsparing self-analysis that have transformed his name into an adjective for an entire point of view all as frankly conveyed and keenly observed as in any memoir before or since.
Genre: Non-Fiction > Biographies & Memoirs