This study of the thought and art of Joseph Joubert is directed specifically at the enigma posed by the workings of his mind. It is concerned with what he read, how he read, how this reading influenced his attitude to life and art, and how his reading frequently became matter for transformation into the expression of his own thought. It attempts to draw a portrait of a late-eighteenth- and early nineteenth-century French intellectual who at once is representative of his period and contributes something new to it. To do this the original manuscripts have been consulted and a number of significant Carnet entries, omitted by André Beaunier, restored. Book lists and sheets of quotations compiled by Joubert have also been of considerable help. The chapter concentrates, particularly, on evidence from the period of his life ranging from 1780 to 1814.
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