Saint Augustine's Childhood: CONFESSIONES BOOK ONE

Saint Augustine's Childhood: CONFESSIONES BOOK ONE

by Saint Augustine
     
 

In Garry Wills's biography of Saint Augustine for the Penguin Lives series, the Pulitzer Prize-winning author brilliantly documented the life of the great Christian thinker. His translations of passages of Saint Augustine's influential Confessiones were hailed as "sizzling" (Peter Brown, New York Review of Books). James Wood, writing for theSee more details below

Overview

In Garry Wills's biography of Saint Augustine for the Penguin Lives series, the Pulitzer Prize-winning author brilliantly documented the life of the great Christian thinker. His translations of passages of Saint Augustine's influential Confessiones were hailed as "sizzling" (Peter Brown, New York Review of Books). James Wood, writing for the London Review of Books declared, "Augustine flourishes in Wills's hand." Now, Wills has taken on a translation of the first of four books of the Confessiones, "Childhood."

Wills's broad-ranging and incisive discussion of the style, structure, and themes of "Childhood" brings a fresh perspective to this classic work, including the juxtaposition of Augustine's concept of childhood and the learning of language with the ideas of Noam Chomsky and current research. Beautifully designed and translated by "America's greatest living intellectual" (The American Prospect), "Childhood" will be sought after by academics, Christians, and the general reader.

Translated by Garry Wills, author of the bestselling Penguin Lives biography of Saint Augustine.

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
Biographer and intellectual Wills is far from the first to have been snared by St. Augustine's complexity of mind and the tremendous rhythms of his prose. This short volume is simultaneously a successor to Wills's short biography of Augustine for Penguin and the first in a series of annotated translations from Augustine's Confessions. Wills's able translation does not disguise Augustine's breathtaking writing, and his commentary rightly brings Augustine into the company of Wittgenstein and Chomsky. This translation is highly recommended for most libraries. Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
An exacting-and exciting-new translation and discussion of the first book of Augustine's Confessiones by an accomplished and prolific stylist and classicist (Venice: Lion City, below, etc.). It's hard to claim too much for Augustine's Confessiones, the first great work of spiritual introspection. At once the crown of antiquity and the foundation of the Middle Ages, Augustine and his "Testimony" (as Wills prefers to translate it) have profoundly shaped the way we understand ourselves, whether or not we live inside the Christian story from which his self-understanding grew. Wills, whose brief biography of Saint Augustine (not reviewed) was published by Viking in 1999, has provided a translation of the first book of the Confessiones, to be followed by translations of three more of the thirteen total. The themes of this deceptively slender volume are various and fascinating: the dialectic of grace and sin in the growing soul; the stages of development from infancy to childhood; the acquisition of speech; the nature of language; the philosophy of education. It's a rich repast, and, with the guidance Wills supplies through a rhythmically vibrant translation, always sensitive to the nuances of the original Latin, notes on important passages, and a full commentary that grapples with everything from Latin rhetoric and Trinitarian theology to Chomskyan linguistics and Wittgensteinian philosophy, a nourishing one. As an added treat, Wills appends a translation of Augustine's charming and epistemologically significant dialogue "De Magistro" ("The Teacher"). Wills brings new light to the Latinless and conveys the structural beauty of Augustine's long sentences (often broken up bytranslators) as never before. If there is sometimes a price to pay (in the famous first chapter of Book I, for example, where the traditional rendering, "our hearts are restless till they find rest in Thee" becomes "our heart is unstable until stabilized in you"), the gains far outweigh the losses. One can only hope that Wills will expand his project and give us the Testimony whole.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780670030019
Publisher:
Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date:
10/28/2001
Pages:
208
Product dimensions:
5.48(w) x 7.82(h) x 0.83(d)
Age Range:
18 Years

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