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Pascal : The Man and His Two Loves - John R. Cole

Pascal

The Man and His Two Loves

By: John R. Cole (Editor), Herrick Chapman (Editor)

Hardcover Published: 1st October 1995
ISBN: 9780814715109
Number Of Pages: 362

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Ever since the edifying life written by his sister in the months after his death, canonical representations of Blaise Pascal (1623-1662) have revered him for the scientific genius of his youth, the religious conversions of his mid-life, and the great books and greater saintliness of his last years. All this monumentalizes the hero, but it also reduces the man to a mind and spirit and it divides his life and work into unrelated halves. The preeminent specialist, Jean Mesnard, still picks up the subject where Gilberte Pascal left it in 1662. No historian in our language has even attempted to put the halves together again.

In Pascal: The Man and His Two Loves, John R. Cole reintegrates a life that began with familial attachments and achieved youthful marvels of invention and experiment with an Arithmetic Machine and Vacuum Experiments; Cole argues that love for his father spun the wheels and filled the void. Pascal then converted, having suffered particularly painful separations and losses; Cole's central chapters adapt Freudian methods to relate his newly ardent love of God to his prior love of parents. Finally, the convert wrote contrasting classics, the Provincial Letters and the Penses, before years of sanctified suffering terminated his work; Cole suggests that disciplined study of his affective life makes possible new readings of these great books.

Industry Reviews

"John R. Cole's Pascal is a work of love as well as of scholarly devotion. It brings alive a fascinating man and it makes fascinating reading--not only from beginning to end, but long afterwards, as we absorb all we have learned and are stimulated to think further. This book will be enjoyed by many, far beyond the fields of history and philosophy and regardless of prior knowledge of Pascal. I recommend it especially to everyone interested in the nature and development of human beings."

-Erna Furman, author of A Child's Parent Dies

Acknowledgments
Introduction: Two Conceptions of One Lifep. 1
Attachmentsp. 13
The Ghostly Motherp. 15
The Widowed Fatherp. 27
The Precocious Sonp. 38
Separations and Lossesp. 51
The Crisis of 1638-39p. 53
The Crisis of 1646-48p. 62
The Crisis of 1651-53p. 76
The Heart of the Matterp. 91
Jacqueline de Sainte-Euphemie and the Second Conversionp. 93
The Memorial I: Remembering and "Forgetting"p. 104
The Memorial II: What Does It Mean?p. 125
Exaltationp. 143
The Entretien de M. Pascal et de M. de Sacy: The Illustrious Penitent and His Forgotten Directorp. 145
The Provinciales Ip. 158
The Provinciales IIp. 172
Miseryp. 189
The Pensees I: The Misery of Manp. 192
The Pensees II: The Misery of This Manp. 211
Other Depressive Traits in Pascal's Last Yearsp. 231
Conclusion: The Good Uses of This Illnessp. 252
App. 1. Parental Loss and Attachment Theoryp. 261
App. 2. Affective Disorders and Diagnostic Criteriap. 266
App. 3. Affective Disorders and Exceptional Creativityp. 272
Notesp. 277
Bibliography of Primary Sourcesp. 335
General Indexp. 341
Index of Passages Citedp. 347
Table of Contents provided by Blackwell. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780814715109
ISBN-10: 0814715109
Audience: General
Format: Hardcover
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 362
Published: 1st October 1995
Publisher: New York University Press
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 23.5 x 16.15  x 2.82
Weight (kg): 0.64

Earn 230 Qantas Points
on this Book