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The Uses of First Person Writings / Les usages des écrits du for privé

Africa, America, Asia, Europe / Afrique, Amérique, Asie, Europe


Edited By François-Joseph Ruggiu

This book considers first-person writing and the related questions of the formation of the self, the rise of the individual and the private/public debate, and places these considerations within a multicultural perspective. It compares the characteristics of European or Occidental personal writings (such as diaries, memoirs and autobiographies) with the written forms of personal, intimate and autobiographical self which have existed and continue to exist within various Asian, African or Near Eastern cultures. The book constitutes a call for a global history of personal writing.
Ce livre s’intéresse, dans une perspective multiculturelle, à l’écriture de soi, et aux questions connexes de la formation même du soi, de l’émergence de l’individu ou encore du débat sur l’apparition des sphères privées et publiques. Il compare les caractéristiques de l’écrit personnel tel qu’il a eu cours en Europe ou dans les pays occidentaux (comme les journaux intimes, les mémoires, les autobiographies, entre autres) avec les formes écrites du soi personnel, intime ou autobiographique telles qu’elles ont pu exister, et existent, dans différentes cultures asiatiques, africaines ou proches-orientales. Ce livre lance également un appel pour une histoire globale des écrits personnels.


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The Uses of First Person Writings on the “Longue Durée” (Africa, America, Asia, Europe) - François-Joseph Ruggiu


9The Uses of First Person Writings on the “Longue Durée” (Africa, America, Asia, Europe)1 François-Joseph RUGGIU University of Paris-Sorbonne2 Genesis of a research This book is the last production of a research program begun in 2003, when the French National Center for Scientific Research accepted the proposition written by Jean-Pierre Bardet and François-Joseph Ruggiu to create a group dedicated to the “écrits du for privé”3. Its ambitions were initially circumscribed. Historians and archivists that inspired this project, were interested in texts written in the first person. They wished to have a census of all these types of texts held in French public archives. Even if it was not exhaustive, such a census would be at least better than those that they were separately making by browsing through library catalogs or inventories of manuscripts. This task has been carried on, and around two thousands texts, found in archives 1 The manuscript of this paper has been revised by Alexandre Cayrouse who I thank heartily. 2 This book derives from a three days seminar held at the University of Paris-Sorbonne (30 June-2 July 2011). I would like to thank here all the institutions which supported this event and its publication: Ecole Doctorale II (University of Paris-Sorbonne); Centre Roland Mousnier (UMR 8596, CNRS-University of Paris-Sorbonne); and Ecole nationale des Chartes. Elisabeth Arnoul and Raphaëlle Renard-Foultier have superbly managed the organization of the seminar and I would like to warmly show them my gratitude here. Besides the participants...

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