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Jean-Paul Sartre

“I jump up: it would be much better if I could only stop thinking. Thoughts are the dullest things. Duller than flesh. They stretch out and there's no end to them and they leave a funny taste in the mouth. Then there are words, inside the thoughts, unfinished words, a sketchy sentence which constantly returns: "I have to fi. . . I ex. . . Dead . . . M. de Roll is dead . . . I am not ... I ex. . ." It goes, it goes . . . and there's no end to it. It's worse than the rest because I feel responsible and have complicity in it. For example, this sort of painful rumination: I exist, I am the one who keeps it up. I. The body lives by itself once it has begun. But though I am the one who continues it, unrolls it. I exist. How serpentine is this feeling of existing, I unwind it, slowly. ... If I could keep myself from thinking! I try, and succeed: my head seems to fill with smoke . . . and then it starts again: "Smoke . . . not to think . . . don't want to think ... I think I don't want to think. I mustn't think that I don't want to think. Because that's still a thought." Will there never be an end to it?
My thought is me: that's why I can't stop. I exist because I think . . . and I can't stop myself from thinking. At this very moment, it's frightful, if I exist, it is because I am horrified at existing. I am the one who pulls myself from the nothingness to which I aspire: the hatred, the disgust of existing, there are as many ways to make myself exist, to thrust myself into existence. Thoughts are born at the back of me, like sudden giddiness, I feel them being born behind my head ... if I yield, they're going to come round in front of me, between my eyes, and I always yield, the thought grows and grows and there it is, immense, filling me completely and renewing my existence.”


Jean-Paul Sartre, Nausea
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Nausea Nausea by Jean-Paul Sartre
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