I thought a lot while I was reading this. I thought about birth and death, the body and ageing, fathers and sons, mothers and nature, duty and freedom. I believe that a book that makes me think is a great book. Full stop.
Some interesting quotes:
pinpointing one of the interesting dilemmas about writing autobiography: "...that must again be unknown to me which is no longer so and that again fondly believed, which then I fondly believed, at my setting out. And if I occasionally break this rule, it is only over details of little importance. And in the main I observe it. And with such zeal that I am far more he who finds than he who tells what he has found, now as then, most of the time I do not exaggerate."
on women: "Question, Have women a soul? Answer, Yes. Question, Why? Answer, In order that they may be damned."
on time: "But from time to time. From time to time. What tenderness in these little words, what savagery."
on death: "For death is a condition I have never been able to conceive to my satisfaction and which therefore cannot go down in the ledger of weal and woe. (...) Yes, the confusion of my ideas on the subject of death was such that I sometimes wondered, believe it or not, if it wasn't a state of being worse than life. So I found it natural not to rush into it and, when I forgot myself to the point of trying, to stop in time. It's my only excuse."