Read The Notebooks of Joseph Joubert by Joseph Joubert Online


The elusive French luminary Joseph Joubert is a great explorer of the mind's open spaces. Edited and translated by Paul Auster, this selection from Joubert's notebooks introduces a master of the enigmatic who seeks "to call everything by its true name" while asking us to "remember everything is double." "Joubert speaks in whispers," Auster writes. "One must draw very closeThe elusive French luminary Joseph Joubert is a great explorer of the mind's open spaces. Edited and translated by Paul Auster, this selection from Joubert's notebooks introduces a master of the enigmatic who seeks "to call everything by its true name" while asking us to "remember everything is double." "Joubert speaks in whispers," Auster writes. "One must draw very close to hear what he is saying."...

Title : The Notebooks of Joseph Joubert
Author :
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ISBN : 9781590171486
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 184 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

The Notebooks of Joseph Joubert Reviews

  • Jeff Jackson
    2018-11-17 04:54

    Maurice Blanchot sums up this remarkable collection better than I ever could: “Joubert had his gift. He never wrote a book. He only prepared to write one, resolutely seeking the exact conditions that would allow him to write it. Then he forgot even this plan. More precisely, what he was seeking—this source of writing, this space in which to write, this light to circumscribe in space—demanded of him, affirmed in him inclinations that made him unfit for all ordinary literary work, or made him turn away from it. In this he was one of the first completely modern writers, preferring the center to the sphere, sacrificing results to the discovery of their conditions, and writing not in order to add one book to another but to take command of the point from which it seemed to him all books issued, the point which, once it was found, would relieve him of the need to write any books.”

  • jeremy
    2018-12-15 11:07

    "truth. to surround it with figures and colors, so that it can be seen." this is exquisite and enchanting. a single page from these notebooks is more thought-provoking than the entirety of most novels being published today.

  • Varapanyo Bhikkhu
    2018-11-19 10:44

    A few quotes:Having found nothing worth more then emptiness he leaves space vacant.*Nothing corrects a badly made mind. A sad and irritating truth that we learn late and after so many wasted efforts!*Silence. - Joys of silence. - Thoughts must be born from the soul and words from silence. - An attentive silence.*... burdened with the unbearable weight of ourself.*Beyond the brain, there is something that observes the brain itself.*To live without a body!*It is not mental repose they seek, but mental laziness.*To know what one must forbid oneself.*The phrase: "One dies because one has lived".*Lost spirit. Judges without justice, priest without religion.*Fear feeds the imagination.*The sign that makes us forget the thing signified.*Are you listening to the ones who keep quiet?*

  • Rick
    2018-12-06 07:03

    For years I have been encountering aphorisms and comments by Joubert in books of quotations. Then I discovered this slim volume, which represents the full range of his published work, in Penn Books (one of the great book-shopping treasures of NYC, a small bookstore in Penn Station, in the LIRR concourse, that has a surprisingly robust selection of books, all the usual disposable commute and travel bestsellers but wonders like this.) “Are you listening to the ones who keep quiet?” ‘The heart must walk ahead of the mind, and indulgence ahead of the truth.” “Let’s go; and follow your mistake.” “Silence. –Joys of silence.—Thoughts must be born from the soul and words from silence. –An attentive silence.” Great job translating and introducing the text by Paul Auster.

  • Anna
    2018-12-16 08:45

    Read this in less than six hours and it was amazing. I felt like I was reading a book of wisdoms by a prophet or a founder of a religion, but it's even better because it isn't! And how tragic is it to think that Joubert never got to writing his great novel. His notebooks give a taste of what the world could have gained from his writing, and it's a bitter feeling knowing I'll never read what he had intended to write.Joubert's notebooks are full of love, illusion, and wisdom. A must read for anyone who wants to write anything! (I'd put this hand in hand with Elements of Style)

  • Sandra
    2018-12-12 07:09

    Glorioso. Para aprendérselo de memoria, para vivir dentro de este librito recopilatorio de los apuntes vitales de este escritor que nunca publicó nada pero que sabía de todo y a todos influyó. Es irónico, inteligente. Son cientos de reflexiones sobre la vida, sobre escribir, pensamientos. Habla de sus ilustres amigos, de la sociedad que le rodea. es como un manual de filosofía.

  • Will
    2018-12-09 04:01

    “Those for whom the world is not enough: saints, conquerors, poets, and all lovers of books” (126), or maybe some combination of the above, but let’s just assume it’s the last that’s brought us here. The Notebooks of Joseph Joubert is a selection of entries from Joseph Joubert’s journals, only published after his death. The translator, Paul Auster, sums up Joubert’s plight in a single sentence: “He was something far more oblique and challenging, a writer who spent his whole life preparing himself for a work that never came to be written, a writer of the highest rank who paradoxically never produced a book” (ix). I went in hoping for something in line with the melancholy and wanderings of Pessoa’s The Book of Disquiet but Notebooks is a different animal. It’s a book that has me puzzled, wondering as to where the rest of the book went, and what I was missing.Notebooks has that very definite sense of personality, a human imprint in its pages. It has it’s insights, and small moments of beauty. And although its resistance to ever being realized as a cohesive text has a mystique and appeal, it was a bit diffuse for my tastes. One of the entries simply reads “Memory and rhythm” (98). There is nothing to ‘get’ here, but why even include something like this? Notebooks has quite a few of these lines that dead end at either a simple emotional gauge, or before becoming something more significant than a broad point of meditation. And all this lead me to feel as though Joubert’s work is perilously caught between a few things. On the one hand you have his depth, subtly, imagination, and on the other you have this lack of context to contend with, tempered by (maybe just my own) skepticism for all things that aspire for profundity, and their reappropriation as motivational. The internet has made it difficult to distinguish between depth of character, and the desire to be seen as such, not to mention anyone questioning said depth of character, thereby promulgating their own. (See? Am I doing it now?! (For reference, see: Jaden Smith’s twitter feed, the comment section of any Humans of New York post, and probably our own facebook feeds)) This is all to say it would be easy to poke fun at Notebooks if read while wearing our hip modern glasses of cynicism, but it, the book, is not without value.Were I entirely honest here I’d probably give Joubert’s Notebooks 3 stars, but I’m adding an extra star for this being a quiet, personable volume, that’s still warm, 191+ years on. It’s a book I want to like. Joubert was a writer that merely cracked doors for us to peak out through, leaving us to guess as to what special thing he was seeing. My prescription: Read a handful of pages daily, and pair it with a more substantial text. Apply when you want something light, but also worth thinking on.

  • Vincent Scarpa
    2018-12-16 10:04

    Even if half of Joubert's axiomatic ricocheting comes up short or even falls flat, those moments where he fixes beauty and knowledge together are wonderful, and they are unforgettable. Plus, it's important, I think, in a book of aphoristic nature, to be infuriated at least once every few pages; to be consistently disagreeing with the writer, troubling the writer's constructions. That's the point. [Except for the "where there is no God, nothing is sacred" stuff, which was a yawn, but, y'know, product of his time, etc.]

  • Jim
    2018-11-29 06:53

    "To survive one's passion and not one's strengths. Happy."I mean, it's epigrams, so some are better than others, but I really took to many of them. I'd be interested in reading a biography of the author, and may revisit Chateaubriand. Because these notebooks would be worth revisiting, I think I may break down and buy them (it?).

  • Andrew
    2018-12-09 02:46

    I love the big book of French literature translated by Auster back in the early 80s or so, and this was previously included in another book with three translations by as many authors. Now on its own in this NYRB edition, these aphorisms and "deep thoughts" have a fascinating back story and can be read really fast. Perfect.

  • l.
    2018-11-26 06:49

    "We must treat our lives as we treat our writings, put them in accord, give harmony to the middle, the end, and the beginning. In order to do this, we must make many erasures." -- 1798charming. some banalities but a short and good read.

  • Jordan Adams
    2018-11-23 05:02

    More reason to write down each day the thoughts great and little that pass through (but often over) our little heads.

  • ian mar
    2018-11-18 07:59

    like a 19th century celebrity twitter feed

  • Matt Walker
    2018-12-12 11:08

    I might just break down and buy this one full price.

  • Matt
    2018-12-08 09:01

    Why such a scant selection? Otherwise great.

  • Lori
    2018-12-03 06:50

    For any aspiring aphorist