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Male ConfessionsIntimate Revelations and the Religious Imagination$
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Bjorn Krondorfer

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780804768993

Published to Stanford Scholarship Online: June 2013

DOI: 10.11126/stanford/9780804768993.001.0001

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The Confines of Male Confessions

The Confines of Male Confessions

On Ancient Vainglory and the Postmodern Gaze

(p.34) Chapter 2 The Confines of Male Confessions
Male Confessions
Stanford University Press

A confession is an act of pouring out personal memories and thoughts, an interpretation of the past, a reenvisioning of one's life, a reinvention of oneself. This chapter explores male confessions by looking at the confessional texts of St. Augustine, Michel Leiris, and Jean-Jacques Rousseau. In particular, it examines perspectivity and redemption in St. Augustine's Confessions and Leiris's Manhood, as well as voyeurism, voyeuristic gazes, and male intimacies in the confessions of Leiris and Rousseau. The chapter also shows that Leiris's Manhood, Rousseau's Confessions, and the Dadaist manifesto “Men Before the Mirror” illustrate how important mirrors have become to male confessants in modernity, beginning with the Renaissance. Finally, it considers the danger and pleasure associated with confessional writings.

Keywords:   confessions, confessional writings, St. Augustine, Michel Leiris, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, mirrors, voyeurism, voyeuristic gazes, intimacies, redemption

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