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Introducing Existentialism (Introducing Series)
Richard Appignanesi goes in 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?
Paperback, Third Edition, 176 pages
Published January 26th 2002 by Icon Books
(first published February 19th 1998)
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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
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.
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.
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.
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
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!
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.
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.
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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