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Introducing Existentialism (Introducing...)

3.07  ·  Rating Details ·  143 Ratings  ·  21 Reviews
Richard Appignanesi goes on a personal quest of Existentialism in its original state. He begins with Camus' question of suicide: 'Must life have a meaning to be lived?' Is absurdity at the heart of Existentialism? Or is Sartre right: is Existentialism 'the least scandalous, most technically austere' of all teachings? This brilliant Graphic Guide explores Existentialism in ...more
Paperback, Third Edition, 176 pages
Published January 26th 2002 by Icon Books (first published February 19th 1998)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 301)
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Aug 25, 2015 Dai-wei rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Pretty darn disappointing and unlike most of the other "A Graphic Guide" books, the illustrations (and occasional photo of the author standing around just looking at things) have barely no merit as graphics that assist the learning process.

The title is deceiving, having the word "Introducing" in it; with many soon-to-be-readers assuming it is a good guide on the subject matter for newcomers.
The extent of introduction is limited to the experience of the author. Seriously. It is HIS experienc
Tim Pendry

This is surprisingly good, surprisingly so because it is a short graphic rather than lengthy text-based description of one of the most difficult 'schools' of Western philosophy which I am reluctant to label 'existentialism' following Appignanesi's own scepticism about the term.

Let's start by saying that it is not really introductory at all. If you want a cogent introduction I would start with one of the many other general textual introductions - I began with Mary Warnock's many years ago but App
Sarika Patkotwar
I had first developed an interest in existentialism when we studied- and no one is going to be surprised by this- Albert Camus' The Stranger in our twentieth century French literature class. At that time, I just put the word "existential" in the dictionary, hoping it would suffice. No prizes for guessing that it didn't. It was only a little later that I actually bothered looking it up online. During my state (pun intended) of finding out more about the concept and the theory, I came across Intro ...more
Mar 19, 2012 Lorraine rated it liked it
Shelves: philosophy
This was a good read, but isn't exactly an introduction to existentialism. The graphics were super fun and amusing. I'd say it's important to have a quazi-handle on Husserl, Heidegger, and Sartre as a minimum before cracking the cover. Otherwise, keep your internet on and plan on some between the lines research. In summary, it's not tightly wound but is still enjoyable.
Oct 28, 2009 Amy rated it did not like it
Two in a week that I put down without finishing. I've liked some of the other books in the "Introducing" series but this one makes no sense. Trying to read it was an existential experience in itself, so that's worth something I guess.
May 05, 2009 Em rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
stupid book. didn't finish it.
Aug 26, 2016 Hina rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: to-re-read
I've read several books from the Introducing series and have thoroughly enjoyed them all, except for this one. This book is not at all an introduction to existentialism. It's more a review for people who are intimately familiar with the works of famous existentialists, such as Camus and Sartre.

I bought this book to just get a taste of the ideas put forth by those thinkers and see which ones I would have liked to read in more detail. Instead, I felt like I was reading Ph.D. level dissertations o
Jonathan Nash
All over the place (but that was the intention, I figure). Personally, I was looking for something with clean, easy-to-digest syntax and vocabulary to compliment my reading experience of "Being and Nothingness". Gary Cox's "Sarte, A guide for the perplexed" does a much better job of introducing and clarifying existentialism (surprisingly without sacrificing the potency and complexity of Sarte's work). Bleh at best.
Josh Casto
Sep 16, 2011 Josh Casto rated it liked it
This "Introducing" series is alright. The Introducing Heidegger book was definitely a concise overview of his philosophy. Introducing Existentialism was more complex. Appignanesi discussed Husserl, Heidgger and Sartre in bits and pieces, stitching convergent threads of their philosophies to create "a nameless philosophy." His summary of the "unidentified convergence in [the] trio's antagonism" - he suggests "existential phenomenology" - in the last two pages is really what you should read first. ...more
Prema Arasu
May 19, 2016 Prema Arasu rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: academia
I would review this but what's the point
Jun 02, 2011 Tine! rated it it was ok
Can we put 'introducing' in all caps 'INTRODUCING'....oh, wait, it is in all caps. Good. This book has the right intentions, but executes them in a too-tight amalgamation of nearly every major philosopher even cursorily related to the idea of existentialism, and, suffice to say, it ends up meandering amuck in its own 'intentions'. Having said that, it does lay down some nice, bold-lettered words and philosophers for you to expound upon in your personal research! How nice!
Aug 09, 2016 John rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Idiosyncratic take on existentialism but very entertaining and great graphics. I love the roasting they rightly give Martin Heidegger in this.
Margarita Ri
Dec 07, 2015 Margarita Ri rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This is NOT an introductory book. This is a book for someone who knows a lot about existentialism and wants to refresh his memory with some fun and lite reading. I think the 'introducing' in the title is misleading , which is a pity because I can see that the author makes a great effort.
Mar 30, 2013 Folmus rated it liked it
Even though its part of the "introducing" collection this is no light read. The illustrations do help the reader understand and approach complex themes such as existentialism. The question what is existentialism isn't answered in a direct or straightforward manner.
Spicy T AKA Mr. Tea
it read like poetry at times---non-discernible poetry. other times it was super theory rich. pretty hard to get through--wish the transitions were easier and it was better explained. but maybe not? im not even sure anymore.
Brad Kittle
Mar 17, 2012 Brad Kittle rated it it was ok
Shelves: non-fiction
thought the book started without much introduction and used undefined terms with twist and starts and meanderings. Not a very good introductionary book.
Vikas Datta
Jul 04, 2014 Vikas Datta rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Quite a comprehensive and illuminating guide to a crucial method of investigating the human condition....
Jono Balliett
Sep 27, 2008 Jono Balliett rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book helped me understand existentialism and broke me of my adoration for it.
Feb 20, 2016 Lauren rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Difficult, nonlinear, and not as accessible as I hoped
Hard to understand and follow!
Jan 28, 2010 Eric rated it liked it
Ah. Comic Books.
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Richard Appignanesi is a published adapter and an author of young adult books. Published credits of Richard Appignanesi include Manga Shakespeare: Julius Caesar (Manga Shakespeare), Manga Shakespeare: Macbeth (Manga Shakespeare), Manga Shakespeare: Hamlet (Manga Shakespeare), and Manga Shakespeare: Romeo and Juliet (Manga Shakespeare).
More about Richard Appignanesi...

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