The Private Memoirs and Confessions of a Justified Sinner (Penguin Classics) Paperback – 25 May 2006
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"A Scottish classic, a world classic."
"A sinister, funny, moving tale of demonic possession, murder and religious fanaticism."
"A Scottish classic, a world classic."
'A Scottish classic, a world classic' Ian Rankin, Observer --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.See all Product description
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A gothic tale and an historical novel of sorts (as well as taking in other genres) Hogg actually makes very few mistakes in his history – unlike certain bestselling authors in the genre today. Told from two narrative perspectives so we have the beginning and the end by the editor, and the body filled out by the actual confessions of our anti-hero.
Set perfectly in its time and place so we see the effects of antinomianism and the religious and political situation of the period. Thus, we see here the deadly sin of pride, and the questions raised of whether we have free will, as well as whether being saved is just by faith, or by good acts as well.
Hogg really seems to get himself into the psychology of Robert, the sinner as well as other characters and whilst there is some humour provided at times with more conventional forms as well as satire, this is quite a detailed, thought provoking as well as a dark tale. With the Devil leading on Robert so we can see how those who do not know theology can easily be caught up and confused by conflicting messages. As a study of bigotry and religious ideas so this in ways reflects our current world, with the rise of Islamic fundamentalism and fascism being the most prominent to us today.
Always a very powerful and enjoyable read, if you have never read this before then you really are in for a treat.
The novel deals intelligently with the idea of pre-destination and. In parts it treads the same path as the classic fale of Faust selling his soul to the Devil, in other places it seems to be dealing with schizophrenia, a century before it was medically identified.
The introduction to this Wordsworth Classic edition from David Blair is excellent too. Although placed at the front of the book, it is written in two parts, the first part to be read before the novel, which sets the scene in terms of Scottish politics of the day in which the novel is set, the second part to be read afterwards and which discusses the themes and conclusion and in my case provoked some ideas and twists I hadn't thought of.
Definitely worth a read and far superior to many other 19th century novels that are today considered 'classics'.
As a literature student I would recommend this book for anyone who likes to read supernatural and Gothic novels. The writing style is captivating and easy to read and Hogg is very clever with his characters, settings, and narrative. A fantastic example of the Scottish Gothic genre.
After reading this book i was simply amazed as to how such a book has not managed to emerge on the public scene with the ferosity as some modern day novels. I read some of the reviews that suggested reading the book in various ways and provided some sort of descritpion as to the meaning etc etc.
JUST READ IT AS THE AUTHOR INTENDED and then take what you want from it. It is such an insightful book.
However, one note of warning, it is written in Old Scots, and as such some of the language may be difficult for some, yet there is a glossary at the end. As a relatively young scotsman, i had trouble with some words, as they are predominantly lothian and east coast. But dont let that put you off, it is well worth it.
did Hogg manage to produce such a piece when some of his other work is not
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