If you think that the best response to religious extremism is to laugh at it, then James Hogg’s most famous work, published in , demands. Citation for published version: Fielding, P , ‘The Private Memoirs and Confessions of a Justified Sinner’. in The Edinburgh Companion to James Hogg. Private Memoirs and Confessions of a Justified Sinner study guide contains a biography of James Hogg, literature essays, quiz questions.
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The Private Memoirs and Confessions of a Justified Sinner by James Hogg – Free Ebook
Want to Read saving…. Want to Read Currently Reading Read. Refresh and try again. Open Preview See a Problem? Thanks for telling us about the problem. Return to Book Page. Set in early eighteenth-century Scotland, the novel recounts the corruption of a boy of strict Calvinist parentage by a mysterious stranger under whose influence he commits a series of murders.
The stranger assures the boy that no sin can affect the salvation of an hohg person. The reader, while recognizing the stranger as Satan, is prevented by the subtlety of the novel’ Set in early eighteenth-century Conefssions, the novel recounts the corruption of a boy of strict Calvinist parentage by a mysterious stranger under whose influence he commits a series of murders.
The reader, while recognizing the stranger as Satan, is prevented by the subtlety of the novel’s structure from finally deciding whether, for all his vividness and wit, he is more than a figment of the boy’s imagination.
This edition reprints the text of the unexpurgated first justiied oflater ‘corrected’ in an attempt to placate the Calvinists. PaperbackOxford World’s Classicspages. Published October 7th by Oxford University Press first published To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. Which edition happens to include the best critical apparatus such as endnotes?
I don’t believe that the NYRB edition includes endnotes. Does anyone own both and therefore able to offer a comparison? Thank you in advance There are “secrets” hidden in the form of the original book—which EVERY subsequent, and so-called juetified edition has obliterated by not maintaing the form of the original.
For example, consider the word “seventeen”: Read the original, otherwise you’re missing more than half the book—and all of sinnr significance. Anybody ever wonder why the word “seventeen” is only used once in the original book—precisely on page 17, in the phrase “nearly seventeen” precisely at the end of line 16? And why this edition sonner so many others xinner respect the form of the original book?
Are you taking the piss? Is this a kind of joke hermeneutics? Lists with This Book.
The Private Memoirs and Confessions of a Justified Sinner – Wikipedia
I have no idea what this book is about. The narrative is so dense that it is impossible to make a solid interpretation of the events, but I shall try.
I shall try to tell you why this book is so utterly excellent. Perhaps the most obvious interpretation to start with is the religious angle.
Robert, our sinner, has been claimed by Satan. The prince of destruction dominates his mind and controls his actions.
The novel can be read as a didactical message about the dangers of a sinful m I have no idea what this book is about.
The novel can be read as a didactical message about the dangers of a sinful mind. History has already been written: Now this is a terribly dangerous mind-set. It means that Robert has absolutely no one to answer to on this earth. It can be his playground. Mortal consequences are trivial when compared to the immortal salvation his soul will receive. So why not have some fun? God has already saved you since the start of time.
Again, perhaps Hogg is demonstrating the dangers of such a situation. We all need someone, or some authority, to answer to and to guide us; otherwise, we can create our own sense of twisted rules and live in the darkness. Then there are the elements of the double to consider.
His predestination allows him to let loose. His dark impulses take over in the form of his double mind-set. Sure, there is plenty to suggest that he has a physical presence within the novel, but there is also the fact that this text was written by an unreliable narrator. Robert is the author of his confessions, so there is a degree of bias in everything he says. He often represents things in the way that Gill-Martin, Satan or the dark element of split consciousness, tells him to. How far can we give his narrative any credence?
Satan, the double, the mysterious Gill, can also been seen as a physical representation of sin and temptation.
This is the form of McGill his nemesis at school. He tempts Robert into self-improvement, and jusgified him into adapting any means at his disposal to remain top of the class. The young Robert lies, cheats and steals to watch his rival fall. This is the beginning of his enthrallment.
Later when this figure appears, he becomes an object of lust: As I thus wended my way, I beheld a young man of a mysterious appearance coming towards me.
The Private Memoirs and Confessions of a Justified Sinner by James Hogg
I tried to shun him, being bent on my own contemplations; but he cast himself in my way, so that I could not well avoid him; and, more than that, I felt a sort of invisible power that drew me towards jaems, something like the force of enchantment, which I could not resist.
He is stunned by this man, by this otherworldly creature. The homoerotic language suggests more than a simple admiration. He has no time for them because, ironically, according to him, they turn men into sinners.
He prefers this princely being. He becomes enamoured by this being, which completely transfixes him. He is frequently referred to as an object of fascination and his words are enthralling and persuasive to Robert.
He begins take on the traits of this character, that much so that his mother remarks that his countenance has changed after their meetings: As we approached each other, our eyes met and I can never describe the strange sensations that thrilled through my whole frame at that impressive moment; a moment to me fraught with the most tremendous consequences; the beginning of a series of adventures which has puzzled myself, and will puzzle the world when I am no more in it.
The homoerotic language used to describe Gil-Martin is suggestive of an idealised man. This man eventually comes to absorb his personality, and removes any sense of morale awareness Robert had.
This can be read as a man who is haunted by homosexual lust, or the idea of betterment, as his double takes on the form of his secret desire. I myself have suffered grievously in that way. Every interpretation has its own set of problems and leads to another interpretation.
But how much of this can we trust? What happened in the end? Or is it something more? A good book stays with you; it becomes part of you as you perpetually ponder its mysteries whilst it lingers on your mind.
This book will always haunt me because I will never have a conclusive answer as to what it is actually about. Hogg has created a story that is bizarre, intriguing and rather mystifying. As a result, it is completely excellent.
View all 11 comments. Mar 07, Bill Kerwin rated it really liked it Shelves: Snner “post-modernist” early 19th century Scottish novel featuring multiple narratives and at least one–possibly three–unreliable narrators, “Sinner” is a curious congeries of doppleganger tale, abnormal psychology, moral fable, anti-Calvinist satire, and historical fiction with a little comic relief thrown in.
Part of its attraction may come from its very strangeness, which in turn may be a result of the fact that Hogg is not completely gogg control of his material, but that in no way diminishes th A “post-modernist” early 19th century Scottish novel featuring multiple narratives and janes least one–possibly three–unreliable narrators, “Sinner” is a curious congeries of doppleganger tale, abnormal psychology, moral fable, anti-Calvinist satire, and historical fiction with a little comic relief thrown in.
The Private Memoirs and Confessions of a Justified Sinner
Part of its attraction may come from its very strangeness, which in turn may be a result of the fact that Hogg is not completely in control of his material, but that in no way diminishes the novel’s fascination–or its continual power to puzzle and surprise. View all 3 comments. Jun 26, Shovelmonkey1 rated it liked it Recommends it for: The books list says that this is “at once gothic comedy, religious horror story, mystery thriller and psychological study.
Either this book is so deep and complex that no one can actually fathom enough of it to pigeon-hole it in a convincing manner, or it is in fact, everything it says on the tin.
Personally I saw this book as a good example of what might happen when you tell a lot of people that they have an unlimited get-out-of-hell-free card.
The deal is this: Cherubim will nudge you gently through the gates while choirs of heavenly angels sing, play their trumpets, herald in tidings of joy and generally get down with all their usual angelic business.
So, bearing this crucial knowledge confessiobs mind, do you go ahead and live an orderly, polite and most importantly morally correct life or do you decide to see how far you can stretch the whole definitely not going to hell type deal? Protagonist Robert opts for the latter choice and with a life sized devil at his elbow rather than a cute confewsions one perched on his shoulder, heads out onto the highways and byways of Scotland to mock, molest and murder various people who may or may not have wronged him.
But its ok, remember, he’s still holding that all important pass to heaven.
As time jamee by, and the body count starts to escalate, Robert begins to doubt the infallibility of the heavenly siinner pass and the wisdom of some of his recent behaviour. But, once jsutified welcomed the devil into your life, he’s not an easy person to shake – like the last person to leave a party, Gil-Martin is in for the long haul. Now witness Roberts’ slow descent into madness and he maybe, possibly kills a whole bunch of other people, loses track of time and generally becomes detached from reality Towards the end the whole thing gets a bit inexplicable.
Is it a morality tale, a Gothic murder mystery, a damning indightment against doctrines of predestination or an early example of a story featuring someone with dissociative identity disorder?