Memoirs of a Revolutionst [Unduh pdf] - Peter Kropotkin

Ebook Title          : Memoirs of a Revolutionst
Ebook Thickness  : 291 Page
Language : English

The autobiographies which we owe to great minds have in former times generally been of one of three types: ‘So far I went astray, thus I found the true Path’ (St Augustine); or, ‘So bad was I, but who dares to consider himself better!” (Rousseau); or, ‘This is the way a genius has slowly been evolved from within and by favourable surroundings’(Goethe). In these forms of self-representation the author is thus mainly preoccupied with himself.

In the nineteenth century the a autobiographies of men of mark are more often shaped on lines such as these: ‘So full of talent and attractive was I; such appreciation and admiration I won!’ (Johanne Louise Heiberg, ‘A Life lived once more in Reminiscence’); or, ‘I was full of talent and worthy of being loved, but yet I was unappreciated, and these were the hard struggles I went through before I won the crown of fame’ (Hans Christian Andersen, ‘The Tale of a Life’). The main Preoccupation of the writer, in these two classes of life-records, is consequently with what his fellow-men have thought of him and said about him.

The author of the autobiography before us is not preoccupied with his own capacities, and consequently describes no struggle to gain recognition. Still less does he care for the opinions of his fellow-men about himself; what others have thought of him, he dismisses with a single word.

There is in this work no gazing upon one’s own image. The author is not one of those who willingly speak of themselves; when he does so, it is reluctantly and with a certain shyness. There is here no confession that divulges the inner self, no sentimentality, and no cynicism. The author speaks neither of his sins nor of his virtues; he enters into no vulgar intimacy with his reader. He does not say when he fell in love, and he touches so little upon his relations with the other sex, that he even omits to mention his marriage, and it is only incidentally we learn that he is married at all. That he is a father, and a very loving one, he finds time to mention just once in the rapid review of the last sixteen years of his life.

He is more anxious to give the psychology of his contemporaries than of himself; and one finds in his book the psychology of Russia: the official Russia and the masses underneath—Russia struggling forward and Russia stagnant. He strives to tell the story of his contemporaries rather than his own; and consequently, the record of his life contains the history of Russia during his lifetime, as well as that of the labour movement in Europe during the last half-century. When he plunges into his own inner world, we see the outer world reflected in it.

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