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Julie; or, The New Heloise

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Wikipedia article

'Julie; or, The New Heloise' , originally entitled 'Lettres de Deux Amans, Habitans d'une petite Ville au pied des Alpes' ("Letters from two lovers, living in a small town at the foot of the Alps"), is an epistolary novel by Jean-Jacques Rousseau, published in 1761 by Marc-Michel Rey in Amsterdam.

The novel's subtitle points to the history of Hlose d'Argenteuil and Peter Abelard, a medieval story of passion and Christian renunciation. The novel was put on the Index Librorum Prohibitorum.


Although Rousseau wrote the work as a novel, a philosophical theory about authenticity permeates through it, as he explores autonomy and authenticity as moral values. A common interpretation is that Rousseau valued the ethics of authenticity over rational moral principles, as he illustrates the principle that one should do what is imposed upon him by society only insofar as it would seem congruent with one's "secret principles" and feelings, being constituent of one's core identity. Thus inauthentic behavior would pave the way to self-destruction.

Arthur Schopenhauer cited 'Julie' as one of the four greatest novels ever written, along with 'Tristram Shandy', 'Wilhelm Meister's Apprenticeship' and 'Don Quixote'. It is thought that the virtuous atheist Wolmar is based on Baron d'Holbach, given his friendship and generous sponsorship of Rousseau.Michael LeBuffe, [http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/holbach/ "Paul-Henri Thiry (Baron) d'Holbach"], 'The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy' (Summer 2006 Edition), Edward N. Zalta (ed.).


Historian Robert Darnton has argued that 'Julie' "was perhaps the biggest best-seller of the century".Darnton, Robert. 'The Great Cat Massacre and Other Episodes in French Cultural History'. New York: Viking (1984), 242. Publishers could not print copies fast enough so they rented the book out by the day and even by the hour. According to Darnton, there were at least 70 editions in print before 1800, "probably more than for any other novel in the previous history of publishing."Darnton, 242.

Readers were so overcome that they wrote to Rousseau in droves, creating the first celebrity author.Darnton, 24344. One reader claimed that the novel nearly drove him mad from excess of feeling while another claimed that the violent sobbing he underwent cured his cold. Reader after reader describes their "tears", "sighs", "torments" and "ecstasies" to Rousseau.Darnton, 24243. One wrote in a letter to Rousseau after finishing the novel:

I dare not tell you the effect it made on me. No, I was past weeping. A sharp pain convulsed me. My heart was crushed. Julie dying was no longer an unknown person. I believed I was her sister, her friend, her Claire. My seizure became so strong that if I had not put the book away I would have been as ill as all those who attended that virtuous woman in her last moments.Qtd. in Darnton, 243.

Some readers simply could not accept that the book was fiction. One woman wrote to Rousseau asking:

Many people who have read your book and discussed it with me assert that it is only a clever fabrication on your part. I can't believe that. If so, how could a mistaken reading have produced sensations like the ones I felt when I read the book? I implore you, Monsieur, tell me: did Julie really live? Is Saint-Preux still alive? What country on this earth does he inhabit? Claire, sweet Claire, did she follow her dear friend to the grave? M. de Wolmar, milord douard, all those persons, are they only imaginary as some want to convince me? If that be the case, what kind of a world do we inhabit, in which virtue is but an idea?Qtd. in Darnton, 245.

Other readers identified less with the individual characters and more with their general struggles. They saw in 'Julie' a story of temptation, sin and redemption that resembled their own lives.Darnton, 24647.

The success of 'Julie' delighted Rousseau; he took pleasure in narrating a story about how a lady ordered a horse carriage to go to an Opera, and then picked up Julie only to continue reading the book till the next morning. So many women wrote to him offering their love that he speculated there was not a single high society woman with whom he would not have succeeded if he wanted to.

See also

* Public opinion




* Santo L. Aric, 'Rousseau's Art of persuasion in La nouvelle Hlose', University Press of America, Lanham, 1994

* Nouchine Behbahani, 'Paysages rvs, paysages vcus dans La Nouvelle Hlose de J.-J. Rousseau', Voltaire Foundation at the Taylor Institution, Oxford, 1989

* 'L'Amour dans la nouvelle Hlose : texte et intertexte : actes du colloque de Genve, 10-11-12 juin 1999', d. Jacques Berchtold, Franois Rosset, Droz, Genve, 2002

* Jean-Marie Carzou, 'La Conception de la nature humaine dans la Nouvelle Hlose', Sauret, Paris, 1966

* Charles Ddyan, 'Jean-Jacques Rousseau : la Nouvelle Hlose, ou, l'ternel retour', Nizet, Saint-Genouph, 2002

* Charles Ddyan, 'La Nouvelle Hlose de Jean-Jacques Rousseau : tude d'ensemble', SEDES-CDU, Paris, 1990

* Maurice R Funke, 'From saint to psychotic: the crisis of human identity in the late 18th century : a comparative study of Clarissa, La Nouvelle Hloise, Die Leiden des jungen Werthers', P. Lang, New York, 1983

* James Fleming Jones, 'La Nouvelle Hlose, Rousseau and utopia', Droz, Genve, 1977

* Peggy Kamuf, 'Fictions of Feminine Desire: Disclosures of Hlose', U of Nebraska Press, Lincoln, 1982

* Franois van Laere, 'Une Lecture du temps dans la Nouvelle Hlose', La Baconnire, Neuchtel, 1968

* Laurence Mall, 'Origines et retraites dans La nouvelle Hlose', P. Lang, New York, 1997

* William Mead, 'Jean-Jacques Rousseau, ou le Romancier enchan ; tude de la nouvelle Hlose', Presses universitaires de France, Paris, 1966

* Daniel Mornet, 'La Nouvelle Hlose de J.-J. Rousseau ; tude et analyse', Mellotte Paris, 1929

* Perry Reisewitz, 'L'Illusion salutaire : Jean-Jacques Rousseaus Nouvelle Hlose als sthetische Fortschreibung der philosophischen Anthropologie der Discours', Romanistischer Verlag, Bonn, 2000

* Yannick Sit, 'Du Livre au lire : La nouvelle Hlose, roman des lumires', Champion, Paris, 2002

* tienne Servais, 'Le Genre romanesque en France depuis l'apparition de la Nouvelle Hlose jusqu'aux approches de la Rvolution', M. Lamertin, Bruxelles, 1922

* Anne Tilleul, 'La Vertu du beau : essai sur La nouvelle Hlose', Humanitas nouvelle optique, Montral, 1989


* Nouchine Behbahani, 'Paysages rvs, paysages vcus dans 'La Nouvelle Hlose' de J. J. Rousseau', Voltaire Foundation at the Taylor Institution, Oxford, 1989,

* Jacques Berchtold, "L'Impossible Virginit du jardin verbal : les Leons de la nature selon la Lettre IV, 11 de 'La Nouvelle Hlose'", d. et prf. Jrgen Sring, Peter Gasser, 'Rousseauismus: Naturevangelium und Literatur', Frankfurt, Peter Lang, 1999, pp. 5383

* Nadine Brenguier, "[http://muse.jhu.edu/journals/eighteenth_century_fiction/summary/v009/9.4.berenguier.html Le 'Dangereux Dpt': Virginit et contrat dans 'Julie ou La Nouvelle Hlose ']", 'Eighteenth-Century Fiction', July 1997, n 9 (4), pp. 44763

* Andr Blanc, "Le Jardin de Julie", 'Dix-huitime Sicle', 1982, n 14, pp. 35776

* Luciano Bulber, "Jean-Jacques Rousseau, peintre de la nature-tat d'me dans 'La Nouvelle Hlose'", 'Kwartalnik Neofilologiczny', 1988, n 35 (4), pp. 41529

* Henri Coulet, "Couples dans 'La Nouvelle Hlose'", 'Littratures', Fall 1989, n 21, pp. 6981

* Catherine Cusset, "Cythre et Elyse: Jardin et plaisir de Watteau Rousseau", 'Dalhousie French Studies', Winter 1994, n 29, pp. 6584

* Claude Labrosse, d. K. Kupisz, G.-A. Prouse, J.-Y. Debreuille, "La Figure de Julie dans 'La Nouvelle Hlose'", 'Le Portrait littraire', Lyon, PU de Lyon, 1988, pp. 15358

* Michel Delon, "'La Nouvelle Hlose' et le got du rve", 'Magazine Littraire', Sept 1997, n 357, pp. 3638

* Arbi Dhifaoui, "L'pistolaire et/ou la violence dans 'La Nouvelle Hlose' de Rousseau", d. et intro. Martine Debaisieux, Gabrielle Verdier, 'Violence et fiction jusqu' la Rvolution', Tbingen, Narr, 1998, pp. 35766

* Jean Ehrard, "Le Corps de Julie", d. Raymond Trousson, Michle Biblio. Mat-Hasquin, Jacques Lemaire, Ralph Heyndels, 'Thmes et figures du sicle des Lumires : mlanges offerts Roland Mortier', Genve, Droz, 1980, pp. 95106

* Anne Srabian de Fabry, "L'Architecture secrte de 'La Nouvelle Hlose'", 'Australian Journal of French Studies', 1982 Jan.Apr., n 19 (1), pp. 310

* Anne Srabian de Fabry, "Quelques observations sur le dnouement de 'La Nouvelle Hlose'", 'French Review', Oct 1972, n 46 (1), pp. 28

* R. J. Howells, "Dsir et distance dans 'La Nouvelle Hlose'", 'Studies on Voltaire and the Eighteenth Century', 1985, n 230, pp. 22332

* R. J. Howells, "Deux histoires, un discours : 'La Nouvelle Hlose' et le rcit des amours d'mile et Sophie dans l'mile", 'Studies on Voltaire and the Eighteenth Century', 1987, n 249, pp. 26794

* Franois Jost, "La Nouvelle Hlose, Roman Suisse", 'Revue de Littrature Compare', 1962, n 35, pp. 53865

* Tanguy L'Aminot, "L'Amour courtois dans 'La Nouvelle Hlose'", Piau-Gillot, Colette d. Desn, Roland d. L'Aminot, Tanguy d. Modernit et prennit de Jean-Jacques Rousseau. Champion, Paris, 2002, pp. 24157

* Claude Labrosse, "[http://muse.jhu.edu/journals/eighteenth_century_fiction/summary/v013/13.2-3.labrosse.html Nouveaut de 'La Nouvelle Hlose']," 'Eighteenth-Century Fiction', JanApr 2001, n 13 (23), pp. 23546

* J.-L. Lecercle, "L'Inconscient et cration littraire : sur 'La Nouvelle Hlose'", 'tudes Littraires', 1969, n 1, pp. 197204

* Annie Leclerc, "Jean-Jacques Rousseau : l'Amour au pays des chimres", 'Magazine Littraire', Par 1995, n 331, pp. 3134

* Pierre Rtat, Litteratures, "L'conomie rustique de Clarens", 1989 Fall; 21: 5968

* Laurence Mall, "Les Aberrations de l'errance : le Voyage dans 'La Nouvelle Hlose'", 'Australian Journal of French Studies', 1994, n 31 (2), pp. 17587

* Francine Markovits, "Rousseau et l'thique de Clarens : une conomie des relations humaines", 'Stanford French Review', 1991, n 15 (3), pp. 32348

* Ourida Mostefai, 'Lectures de La Nouvelle Hlose', N. Amer. Assn. for the Study of Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Ottawa, 1993

** Philip Knee, "Wolmar comme mdiateur politique", pp. 11727

** Guy Lafrance, "L'thique de 'La Nouvelle Hlose' et du 'Vicaire Savoyard'", pp. 14150

** Jim MacAdam, "Reading Julie Amour-propre-ly", pp. 10716

** Laurence Mall, pp. 16373", "L'Intrieur et l'extrieur : tude des lettres parisiennes dans 'La Nouvelle Hlose'", pp. 16373

** Jean Roussel, pp. 6172", "'La Nouvelle Hlose' et la politique : de l'cart l'emblme", pp. 6172

** Teresa Sousa de Almeida, "La Circulation des lettres dans le roman ou le Partage des pouvoirs", pp. 17584

** Jean Terrasse, pp. 12939", "Jean-Jacques, Saint-Preux et Wolmar : aspects de la relation pdagogique", pp. 12939

** Loc Thommeret, "De 'La Nouvelle Hlose' aux 'Confessions', une triade infernale", pp. 21321

** Mara Jos Villaverde, "L'galit dans 'La Nouvelle Hlose'", pp. 7384

* Ruth Ohayon, "Rousseau's Julie; Or, the Maternal Odyssey", 'College Language Association Journal', Sept. 1986, n 30 (1), pp. 6982

* Robert Osmont, "Exprience vcue et cration romanesque : le sentiment de l'phmre dans 'La Nouvelle Hlose'", 'Dix-huitime Sicle', 1975, n 7, pp. 22542

* Paul Pelckmans, "Le Rve du voile dans 'La Nouvelle Hlose'", 'Revue Romane', 1982, n 17 (1), pp. 8697

* Ren Pomeau, "Le Paysage de 'La Nouvelle Hlose' : l'Asile, l'espace", 'The Feeling for Nature and the Landscape of Man', d. Paul Hallberg, Gothenburg, Kungl. Vetenskaps & Vitterhets-Samhllet, 1980, pp. 13242

* Jean Roussel, "La Douleur de Saint-Preux", d. Carminella Biondi, Carmelina Imbroscio, Marie-Jose Latil, Nadia Minerva, Carla Pellandra, Adriana Sfragaro, Brigitte Soubeyran, Paola Vecchi, 'La Qute du bonheur et l'expression de la douleur dans la littrature et la pense franaises'. Genve, Droz, 1995, pp. 37179

* Jean Roussel, "La Faute, le rachat et le romanesque dans 'La Nouvelle Hlose'", 'Travaux de Littrature', 1995; 8: 20920

* Timothy Scanlan, "Perspectives on the Nuits d'amour in Rousseau's 'La Nouvelle Hlose'", 'AUMLA', Nov 1993, n 80, pp. 9379

* Norbert Sclippa, "L'Idal politique et l'ide de Nation dans 'La Nouvelle Hlose'", 'Jean-Jacques Rousseau, politique et nation', Intro. Robert Thiry, Paris, Champion, 2001, XXIV, pp. 10108

* Norbert Sclippa, "'La Nouvelle Hlose' et l'aristocratie", 'Studies on Voltaire and the Eighteenth Century', 1991, n 284, pp. 171

* Norbert Sclippa, "La Nouvelle Hlose, la noblesse et la bourgeoisie", 'Studies on Voltaire and the Eighteenth Century', 1989, n 265, pp. 161719

* Jean-Paul Sermain, "'La Nouvelle Hlose' ou l'invention du roman-pome"", d. Colette Piau-Gillot, Roland Desn, Tanguy L'Aminot, 'Modernit et prennit de Jean-Jacques Rousseau', Paris, Champion, 2002, pp. 22740

* Jean Sgard, "De Cungonde Julie", 'Recherches et Travaux', 1996, n 51, pp. 12130

* Lieve Spaas, "D'un Clarens l'autre : structures du dsir sexuel dans 'La Nouvelle Hlose'", 'Studies on Voltaire and the Eighteenth Century, 1991, n 284, pp. 7382

* Jean Starobinski, "Jean-Jacques Rousseau : Jours uniques, plaisirs redoubls", 'Thmes et figures du sicle des Lumires : mlanges offerts Roland Mortier', d. Raymond Trousson Michle Mat-Hasquin, Jacques Lemaire, Ralph Heyndels, Genve, Droz, 1980, pp. 28597

* Raymond Trousson, "De Jacques Jean-Jacques ou du bon usage de 'La Nouvelle Hlose'", d. Elio Mosele, Intro. Pierre Brunel, 'George Sand et son temps', IIII. Slatkine, Genve, 1994, pp. 74966

* Raymond Trousson, "Le Rle de Wolmar dans 'La Nouvelle Hlose'", d. Raymond Trousson, Michle Mat-Hasquin, Jacques Lemaire, Ralph Heyndels, 'Thmes et figures du sicle des Lumires : mlanges offerts Roland Mortier', Genve, Droz, 1980, pp. 299306

* Joseph Waldauer, "La Solitude et la communaut dans 'La Nouvelle Hlose'", 'Studies on Voltaire and the Eighteenth Century', 1989, n 265, pp. 127174

* Hans Wolpe, "Psychological Ambiguity in 'La Nouvelle Hloise'", University of Toronto Quarterly, 1959, n 28, pp. 27990

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