James Hogg: The Private Memoirs and Confessions of a Justified Sinner

(2055 words)
  • Gillian Hughes

The Private Memoirs and Confessions of a Justified Sinner (1824) is a deeply disturbing book: it is also, in the words of Iain Crichton Smith “a towering Scottish novel, one of the very greatest of all Scottish books”, and a major text in European Romanticism. It has been variously interpreted as a set of narrative games, a Gothic novel, a psychological case-study, a satire of extremist theology and by extension of all forms of totalitarian thought, and an analysis of the Scottish national psyche, but any one explanation of its power seems inadequate. It is clear, however, that the novel is firmly rooted in the entire output of its author, James Hogg, the Ettrick Shepherd (1770-1835), particularly in his other novels of …

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Hughes, Gillian. "The Private Memoirs and Confessions of a Justified Sinner". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 24 November 2001; last revised 30 November -1.
[http://www.litencyc.com/php/sworks.php?rec=true&UID=7463, accessed 18 April 2015.]

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