The Private Memoirs and Confessions of a Justified Sinner (English Library)

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9780140431988: The Private Memoirs and Confessions of a Justified Sinner (English Library)

Robert Colwan, a clergyman's son, is so confident of his salvation as one of the Lord's elect that he comes to look on himself as a man apart, unhindered by considerations of mere earthly law. Through Robert's own unforgettable account, we follow the strange and sinful life into which he is led by a devilish doppelgänger - a life that will finally lead him to murder. Steeped in the folkloric superstitions and theological traditions of eighteenth-century Scotland, this macabre and haunting novel is a devastating portrayal of the stages by which the human spirit can descend into darkness.

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Review:

... A work so moving, so funny, so impassioned, so exact and so mysterious that its emergence from a long history of neglect came as a surprise which has yet to lose its resonance ... The sinner says that his adventures will 'puzzle the world' and this is what they have done...but the heart of the matter is the energy, pathos and delusion of the human struggle, together with the ability to feel that those who are not with us, or like us, are against us... The Confessions is a postmodern work which is also a pre-modern work ... Hogg's novel is as complex as it is lucid and direct. This is the most reliable text we have, and until the manuscript is found it is the best text we shall ever have ! Peter Garside's annotation is magnificent: it is full, it helps the reader, and it illuminates the text !This truly is a great novel, and at last we have an edition worthy of it. -- David Hewit These attractive editions of Hogg's work are set directly from the original texts, and in the case of the Perils of Woman and The Shepherd's Calendar, actually represent the first ever republications of the originals ! Peter Garside's necessarily extensive and user-friendly introduction locates the novel firmly in its historical and geographical (Edinburgh and Ettrick) milieu, and relates the evolution of its reception and criticism from Enlightenment Scotland onwards ! He discusses the Justified Sinner alongside much of Hogg's other work, simultaneously helping to recontextualise the novel and reinvigorate perspectives on the less critically conspicuous texts. This new paperback edition provides everything that is in the hardback for just over a quarter of its price. Indeed, the non-specialist may regard the paperback edition as having the edge on more than price grounds, since in addition to reproducing the original text, notes, and introductions, it also includes Gillian Hughes's Chronology of James Hogg, which crams a lot of fact into its few pages, and a short but well-judged Select Bibliography. It is unquestionably the edition to have, in whatever format. This new edition of the Ettrick Shepherd's great work is an attempt to restore the original 1824 text to as close to its original format and content as possible. This has been admirably achieved and the prodigious text is accompanied by well researched and incisive notes which help to flesh it out...This Stirling/South Carolina Research Edition of Confessions is edited by Peter Garside, who provides a superb in-depth introduction to the text which includes a detailed historical background to the novel and the author himself...this edition goes a long way to peeling away the narrative layers to illuminate Hogg's genius for subversion and innovation. Garside and Campbell, together with the notes on the text, aid the resurrection of Confessions as a landmark in Scottish and world literature, a process which this series hopes to achieve for all Hogg's work. Hogg is finally assuming his rightful place alongside Burns and Scott as one of Scotland's greatest literary sons. ... A work so moving, so funny, so impassioned, so exact and so mysterious that its emergence from a long history of neglect came as a surprise which has yet to lose its resonance ... The sinner says that his adventures will 'puzzle the world' and this is what they have done...but the heart of the matter is the energy, pathos and delusion of the human struggle, together with the ability to feel that those who are not with us, or like us, are against us... The Confessions is a postmodern work which is also a pre-modern work ... Hogg's novel is as complex as it is lucid and direct. This is the most reliable text we have, and until the manuscript is found it is the best text we shall ever have ! Peter Garside's annotation is magnificent: it is full, it helps the reader, and it illuminates the text !This truly is a great novel, and at last we have an edition worthy of it. These attractive editions of Hogg's work are set directly from the original texts, and in the case of the Perils of Woman and The Shepherd's Calendar, actually represent the first ever republications of the originals ! Peter Garside's necessarily extensive and user-friendly introduction locates the novel firmly in its historical and geographical (Edinburgh and Ettrick) milieu, and relates the evolution of its reception and criticism from Enlightenment Scotland onwards ! He discusses the Justified Sinner alongside much of Hogg's other work, simultaneously helping to recontextualise the novel and reinvigorate perspectives on the less critically conspicuous texts. This new paperback edition provides everything that is in the hardback for just over a quarter of its price. Indeed, the non-specialist may regard the paperback edition as having the edge on more than price grounds, since in addition to reproducing the original text, notes, and introductions, it also includes Gillian Hughes's Chronology of James Hogg, which crams a lot of fact into its few pages, and a short but well-judged Select Bibliography. It is unquestionably the edition to have, in whatever format. This new edition of the Ettrick Shepherd's great work is an attempt to restore the original 1824 text to as close to its original format and content as possible. This has been admirably achieved and the prodigious text is accompanied by well researched and incisive notes which help to flesh it out...This Stirling/South Carolina Research Edition of Confessions is edited by Peter Garside, who provides a superb in-depth introduction to the text which includes a detailed historical background to the novel and the author himself...this edition goes a long way to peeling away the narrative layers to illuminate Hogg's genius for subversion and innovation. Garside and Campbell, together with the notes on the text, aid the resurrection of Confessions as a landmark in Scottish and world literature, a process which this series hopes to achieve for all Hogg's work. Hogg is finally assuming his rightful place alongside Burns and Scott as one of Scotland's greatest literary sons.

From the Publisher:

The Broadview Editions series is an effort to represent the ever-changing canon of literature in English by bringing together texts long regarded as classics with valuable, lesser-known literature. Newly type-set and produced on high-quality paper in trade paperback format, the Broadview Editions series is a delight to handle as well as to read.

Each volume includes a full introduction, chronology, bibliography, and explanatory notes along with a variety of documents from the period, giving readers a rich sense of the world from which the work emerged.

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