kindle The Private Memoirs and Confessions of a Justified Sinner –

Set In Early Eighteenth Century Scotland, The Novel Recounts The Corruption Of A Boy Of Strict Calvinist Parentage By A Mysterious Stranger Under Whose Influence He Commits A Series Of Murders The Stranger Assures The Boy That No Sin Can Affect The Salvation Of An Elect Person The Reader, While Recognizing The Stranger As Satan, Is Prevented By The Subtlety Of The Novel S Structure From Finally Deciding Whether, For All His Vividness And Wit, He Is Than A Figment Of The Boy S Imagination This Edition Reprints The Text Of The Unexpurgated First Edition Of , Later Corrected In An Attempt To Placate The Calvinists Who is he that causeth the mole, from his secret path of darkness, to throw up the gem, the gold, and the precious ore Hogg should be better remembered Justified Sinner is a dark revelation, one less gothic than psychological The novel is a headbirth which ignores Lewis Walpole Radcliff and instead Babadooks from a nascent emotional realism, one like Fyodor s magic door where everything is tinged yellow and seizures lead to murder Speaking of crows, I heartily endorse the subtext as being an opposition to fanaticism or any dogmatic approach to life or social order Please leave the room, Rick Santorum The novel is two tiered, a found editor s investigation and a journal form the eponymous the latter is vain, contradictory and doomed Sorry for the spoiler what else could you expect from an early novel where Old Scratch is the wingman There are veiled thoughts on marriage and inheritance at play, poky pines towards Church imposition That said, this proved an enjoyable bout with the sinister angels of our nature. I have no idea what this book is about Nobody does The narrative is so dense that it is impossible to make a solid interpretation of the events, but I shall try I shall try to tell you why this book is so utterly excellent Perhaps the most obvious interpretation to start with is the religious angle Robert, our sinner, has been claimed by Satan The prince of destruction dominates his mind and controls his actions The novel can be read as a didactical message about the dangers of a sinful mind That s all there in the text, but it is only the beginning Robert opened the doors when he accepted the Calvinist principle of predestination he believes himself to be one of God s elect He already has a free ticket into to heaven, so whatever he does on earth doesn t matter History has already been written his soul has already been saved Now this is a terribly dangerous mind set It means that Robert has absolutely no one to answer to on this earth It can be his playground Mortal consequences are trivial when compared to the immortal salvation his soul will receive So why not have some fun You might be punished, but that doesn t matter God has already saved you since the start of time You can manipulate, murder and steal, and it just doesn t matter Again, perhaps Hogg is demonstrating the dangers of such a situation We all need someone, or some authority, to answer to and to guide us otherwise, we can create our own sense of twisted rules and live in the darkness Then there are the elements of the double to consider Gill Martin, our Satan, may just be an element of Robert s mind he may represent the division within his tormented soul, a soul torn by religious doctrine and his carnal nature His predestination allows him to let loose His dark impulses take over in the form of his double mind set Sure, there is plenty to suggest that he has a physical presence within the novel, but there is also the fact that this text was written by an unreliable narrator Robert is the author of his confessions, so there is a degree of bias in everything he says He often represents things in the way that Gill Martin, Satan or the dark element of split consciousness, tells him to How far can we give his narrative any credence Satan, the double, the mysterious Gill, can also been seen as a physical representation of sin and temptation The figure is also a shapeshifter if it wasn t already complicated enough and in his earliest form he captures Robert s ambition This is the form of McGill his nemesis at school I d argue that Robert has been persecuted by this figure, whatever he actually is, all his life He tempts Robert into self improvement, and coerces him into adapting any means at his disposal to remain top of the class The young Robert lies, cheats and steals to watch his rival fall This is the beginning of his enthrallment Later when this figure appears, he becomes an object of lust As I thus wended my way, I beheld a young man of a mysterious appearance coming towards me I tried to shun him, being bent on my own contemplations but he cast himself in my way, so that I could not well avoid him and, than that, I felt a sort of invisible power that drew me towards him, something like the force of enchantment, which I could not resist.He is stunned by this man, by this otherworldly creature The homoerotic language suggests than a simple admiration He becomes this creature s creature Robert also makes it very clear early in the narrative that he doesn t like women He has no time for them because, ironically, according to him, they turn men into sinners He prefers this princely being When Robert first sees the figure of Gil Martin he remarks he was held by the force of enchantment in which he cannot resist the power of this mysterious man He becomes enamoured by this being, which completely transfixes him He is frequently referred to as an object of fascination and his words are enthralling and persuasive to Robert He begins take on the traits of this character, that much so that his mother remarks that his countenance has changed after their meetings he has been dominated As we approached each other, our eyes met and I can never describe the strange sensations that thrilled through my whole frame at that impressive moment a moment to me fraught with the most tremendous consequences the beginning of a series of adventures which has puzzled myself, and will puzzle the world when I am no in it.The homoerotic language used to describe Gil Martin is suggestive of an idealised man The double takes on Robert s own form, and can be read as an unconscious projection of what he would like to be This man eventually comes to absorb his personality, and removes any sense of morale awareness Robert had Robert s double is an object of desire, which suggest an unconscious drive to engage in the acts of depravity they carry out This can be read as a man who is haunted by homosexual lust, or the idea of betterment, as his double takes on the form of his secret desire Incidentally,The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hydedrew heavily on this, and it can also be read in a very similar wayWe are all subjected to two distinct natures in the same person I myself have suffered grievously in that way There s just no definitive way to read this Every interpretation has its own set of problems and leads to another interpretation Eventually, Robert comes to believe in the evil of Gil Martin and sets about printing the Private Memoirs Gil Martin, however, pursues and torments Robert, and eventually, Robert allegedly takes his own life But how much of this can we trust What happened in the end Is it all one man s imagination Or is it something I ll never know A good book stays with you it becomes part of you as you perpetually ponder its mysteries whilst it lingers on your mind This book will always haunt me because I will never have a conclusive answer as to what it is actually about Hogg has created a story that is bizarre, intriguing and rather mystifying As a result, it is completely excellent. A post modernist early 19th century Scottish novel featuring multiple narratives and at least one possibly three unreliable narrators, Sinner is a curious congeries of doppleganger tale, abnormal psychology, moral fable, anti Calvinist satire, and historical fiction with a little comic relief thrown in Part of its attraction may come from its very strangeness, which in turn may be a result of the fact that Hogg is not completely in control of his material, but that in no way diminishes the novel s fascination or its continual power to puzzle and surprise. The 1001 books list says that this is at once gothic comedy, religious horror story, mystery thriller and psychological study Way to go James Hogg Either this book is so deep and complex that no one can actually fathom enough of it to pigeon hole it in a convincing manner, or it is in fact, everything it says on the tin Personally I saw this book as a good example of what might happen when you tell a lot of people that they have an unlimited get out of hell free card The deal is this you are one of God s chosen few and no matter what you do, you will be undoubtedly ascending the golden stair case to the pearly gates of heaven Cherubim will nudge you gently through the gates while choirs of heavenly angels sing, play their trumpets, herald in tidings of joy and generally get down with all their usual angelic business So, bearing this crucial knowledge in mind, do you go ahead and live an orderly, polite and most importantly morally correct life or do you decide to see how far you can stretch the whole definitely not going to hell type deal Protagonist Robert opts for the latter choice and with a life sized devil at his elbow rather than a cute little one perched on his shoulder, heads out onto the highways and byways of Scotland to mock, molest and murder various people who may or may not have wronged him But its ok, remember, he s still holding that all important pass to heaven As time goes by, and the body count starts to escalate, Robert begins to doubt the infallibility of the heavenly bus pass and the wisdom of some of his recent behaviour But, once you ve welcomed the devil into your life, he s not an easy person to shake like the last person to leave a party, Gil Martin is in for the long haul Now witness Roberts slow descent into madness and he maybe, possibly kills a whole bunch of other people, loses track of time and generally becomes detached from reality or is he in denial Towards the end the whole thing gets a bit inexplicable Is it a morality tale, a Gothic murder mystery, a damning indightment against doctrines of predestination or an early example of a story featuring someone with dissociative identity disorder Maybe it is all of these things Basically you re left to make up your own mind Before you judge Hogg and consider this to be a plot cop out, consider that this book, although basically ignored for ages, was totally ground breaking and introduced the world to a whole new selection of literary tools and devices Wordsworth noted that although Hogg was a genius he was also a man of coarse manners and low and offensive opinions James, if you were alive today, I d definitely be trying to befriend you on Goodreads