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Written around 397, Confessions is one of the most referenced works in the Western literary tradition. The initial nine of 13 books draw a compelling narrative of the first 43 years of Augustine's life. The tenth book uses these experiences as a meditation on the nature of memory, and the final three contemplate the Bible's Book of Genesis. Augustine argues that God is reflected in individual experiences, and He shapes people's lives to guide them to Him. Confessions is an intricate work of literature, long recognized for its poetic prose and penetrating psychological insight into the trials and satisfactions of the act of confession.