Author: Jean-Paul Sartre
First published January 1, 1938
178 pages, Hardcover
ISBN: 9780811201889 (ISBN10: 0811201880)
“Lost in Existence” tells the story of Antoine Roquentin, a French writer who is grappling with the very essence of his being. Through personal diary entries, Roquentin shares his innermost thoughts and emotions about the world and people around him.
As he delves deeper into his own psyche, he becomes consumed by an overwhelming sense of despair and confusion, a nauseating feeling that seems to seep into every aspect of his life. In this classic work of Existentialist philosophy, Jean-Paul Sartre explores the complexities of the human experience, challenging readers to question their own existence and purpose in the world.
With an insightful introduction by Hayden Carruth, this edition provides a comprehensive analysis of Sartre’s life and major works, as well as an in-depth examination of the central themes of Existentialism.
About the Author
Jean-Paul Charles Aymard Sartre, a prominent French philosopher, writer, and critic of the 20th century, is widely known as Jean-Paul Sartre. His works explored existentialist themes and focused on the pursuit of truth and freedom.
Despite being offered the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1964, he declined the award, citing his belief that his work spoke for itself.
However, after his death, the popularity of existentialism in French philosophy waned significantly. Structuralism, represented by Levi-Strauss and Michel Foucault, one of Sartre’s critics, became the prevailing philosophical movement in the years following his passing.
Book Review: Nausea by Jean-Paul Sartre
Jean-Paul Sartre’s classic existential masterpiece Nausea was first published in 1938 and has remained a seminal work in the genre ever since. The French philosopher, playwright, and novelist is known for his intellectual contributions to the fields of existentialism and Marxism, and Nausea is a prime example of his literary expertise.
The novel opens with Antoine Roquentin, the protagonist and the narrator of the story, experiencing a sudden sense of nausea that he cannot explain. Roquentin is a former historian and is now living in Bouville, France, working on a series of books about an obscure diplomat named Marquis de Rollebon.
As he struggles to make sense of his feelings, he becomes aware of the absurdity of his existence and starts to feel a deep sense of isolation and anguish. Throughout the novel, Roquentin grapples with his own failures and the meaninglessness of his life.
He struggles with his existential anguish and comes to the realization that life has no inherent meaning. His philosophical musings culminate in various dilemmas about human existence, free will, and the role of consciousness in the world.
Sartre’s writing is deeply philosophical and can be challenging to read at times due to his use of complex concepts and abstract ideas. However, the author’s unique storytelling style is masterful, taking the reader on a cerebral and emotional journey through Roquentin’s existential crisis.
The novel’s themes of alienation, isolation, and existential angst remain relevant in contemporary society. Nausea’s relevance continues to inspire artists, thinkers, and political activists alike, with its ideas about human consciousness, individuality, and the role of society in shaping our experiences.
Sartre’s character development is exceptional, especially the protagonist Antoine Roquentin, whose existential crisis and journey serve as the driving force of the novel. The pacing of the novel is slow and introspective, carrying the reader through Roquentin’s internal struggles and musings.
The only notable weakness of Nausea is its complexity, which might make it difficult for readers who are not familiar with philosophical ideas or existentialism to fully appreciate it. Overall, Nausea is a must-read for anyone interested in exploring the philosophical underpinnings of existentialism.
Its relevance to contemporary society is undeniable, and Sartre’s masterful storytelling is a testament to his literary prowess. Nausea would be highly recommended to readers who seek a thought-provoking and transformative reading experience.