The Autobiography of Jean-Jacques Rousseau
My name is Jean-Jacques Rousseau. On the day June 28, 1712 I was born in Geneva, and I died July 2, 1778, at 66 years old. My father and Aunt were the ones to raise me because 9 days after my birth my mother, Suzanne Bernard, had passed away. (4) I come from a middle class family. Isaac Rousseau, my father, was a watchmaker and he was the one who educated me until I became 10 years old. (3) I have had no formal type of education. I taught myself many of the things I know, and I kept journals with much information on many diverse fields. In order for my father to avoid being arrested and imprisoned he was exiled from the city. I was put into the care of a Pastor. By the time I was 16, I converted to Roman Catholicism because of a woman, Madame de Warens, who in later years, became one of the great loves of my life. (2). I have pursued many careers in my life including; being an itinerant musician, music copyist, a teacher, writer, and even a Catholic priest. (3) I am an important culture hero because I was one of the most influential thinkers during the Enlightenment in eighteenth century Europe and still to modern times. (4)
In 1740, I had multiple writing attempts but none had proved to be very successful until 1742, when I had suggested a new method of musical notation. (2) It was only a small recognition, but because of this I was introduced to several important figures. This was the event that first started all of my successes. The most important man that I met was Denis Diderot. While traveling to visit him, I came across an essay competition, which was one of my first great achievements. The Academy of Dijon wanted to know whether or not the advancement of science and art improved the moral state of mankind. In my essay, A Discourse on the Arts and Sciences, I argued saying it did not. On July 10, 1750, I was awarded first prize. Another one of my successes was the publication of A Discourse in Inequality....
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