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"The Puzzle of the Last Four Books of Augustine's Confessions": An Illegitimate Issue?

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The most important point this article wants to make is that the expectations of the ancient reader, Augustine's contemporary, of a work like the Confessions may have been diametrically opposite to the expectations with which the work has been read for the past number of centuries. I contend that, even though they too would no doubt have recognized the novel and creative devices that characterize the work, ancient readers would not have been perplexed by the presence of the last four books of the Confessions. The whole issue surrounding the presence of these books is a problem created by the illegitimate assumptions later readers carried into their reading.


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