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The Age of Reason

(Les Chemins de la Liberté #1)

3.98  ·  Rating details ·  10,716 ratings  ·  444 reviews
Set in France during the days immediately before World War II, this is the story of Mathieu, a French professor of philosophy obsessed with the idea of freedom. Translated from the French by Eric Sutton.
Paperback, 408 pages
Published July 7th 1992 by Vintage International (first published 1945)
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Sheila Redmond Depends of what you mean by "tough". The language itself is not necessarily difficult - as long as you have a good translation if you are not reading…moreDepends of what you mean by "tough". The language itself is not necessarily difficult - as long as you have a good translation if you are not reading them in French, However, there are times when some of the language will be rather specific when it gets into the philosophical material. The novels were meant to bring the ideas of Sartre's existentialism to a broader audience, so the philosophical material is explained (mostly). The novels have arguments between some of the main characters, so the ideas are fleshed out through discussion.

Then again see my short review - the books are rather outdated but still worth reading, I think(less)
Sheila Redmond They really are meant to be read in order. I don't think that there is a major issue if you start with #2. What you miss in the #1 is how is…moreThey really are meant to be read in order. I don't think that there is a major issue if you start with #2. What you miss in the #1 is how is depression develops in the earlier phase of his life before he goes off to be heroic or not!
The main issues of the journey to "freedom" are always evident - if you know nothing about Sartrean existentialism, it is probably better to start with the first one.(less)

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3.98  · 
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Mar 13, 2007 rated it really liked it
I had this job one summer at a Dillard's department store. I worked in the linens section. Nobody shops for sheets in the summer, I guess, because I spent a lot of time doing absolutely nothing. My boyfriend used to write me letters and send me to work with them so that I would have something to read. Well that got old so one day when I was poking around the props (you know - how they set up the entire fancy-pants mock bedrooms?) I found a copy of this book on a table. So I parked myself on a st ...more
This is an excellent novel about unpleasant people, with some unforgettable scenes. Here's one of the ones I liked most. Daniel, a strange character who has never managed to establish a normal connection with the world, has been hovering on the edge of suicide for some time. He's finally decided he's going to do it. But he can't just leave his three cats to starve to death, so he puts them in a wicker basket and takes them down to the river to drown them. The basket is too small, and he can hear ...more
May 19, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
‘Age of Reason’ is all about existentialism. Fiction and philosophy inextricably and ‘entertainingly’ combined almost rendering it a page-turner. I had never previously come across the guile and craft of Sartre, the artist and only knew Sartre, the philosopher whose authoritative philosophical monologues were curt and declarative, sans the resplendence of an artistic canvas. The vivacity and vividness with which Sartre paints each one of his characters amidst their existential exigencies leaves ...more
Nov 27, 2015 rated it really liked it
سن الرشد ..... جان بول سارتر

الكتب لم توضع كي نؤمن بما تقوله، ولكن كي نتحرى فيها، لا يجب أن نتساءل أمام كتاب ماذا يقول، ولكن ماذا يريد أن يقول.

هذه الرواية لم تُخلق ليُكتب عنها، بل وُجدت لتٌقرأ وتُقرأ فقط لنعيش في أجواءها.
ملحمة من العلاقات الإنسانية شديدة التعقيد والتداخل تدور أحداثها في فترة فوضوية انعكستفوضويتها على شخوصها.
هي رواية عن الحب والرغبة والجبن، رواية عن الإنسان في كافة مراحل حياته.

روايةتشعر أمامها انها تتحدث عنك انت، لا غيرك.

رواية صعب تكتب عنها، أو تتحدث حتى عنها لانها ببساطة هي من تت
Stephanie A. Higa
Mar 23, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: fans of dialogue
Shelves: france
This is basically a soap opera with brains and direction, which is my favorite kind of book ever. The character development is EXTRAORDINARY. I recommend this book on that facet alone. I didn't read this as an exemplification of Sartre's philosophy, but rather as a study of the philosophy of the characters in the story. None of these people are truly likable, but they are all the more human because of that. Even the most agreeable people think disagreeable thoughts. This is something most of us ...more

--The Age of Reason
Jan 03, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
بسیار جالب و خواندنی می یابم کتاب های سارتر را. هر داستانی بگوید در متن داستان نظر نویسنده را درک میکنی. سن عقل، مرگ زودرس. سن عقل برهه ای از زندگی است که دست نگه میداری و تازه می فهمی چه خبره یک کامل رو با فکر میگذرونی ودر آخر سعی میکنی بی حس بشی. هر چی عاقل تر بی حس تر. هر چی بی حس تر کثیف تر. درود بر مترجم با سواد و ماهر، حسین سلیمانی نژاد.
•مارسل: حسرت زندگی نداشته ام را میخورم.
•مارسل خم چنان میگه: بیشتر میل داشت ذوب شدن این روح سرکش و زمخت را مانند یک تکه زیر آفتاب، ببیند.
•این ه
Jan 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: cinq-étoiles
چند ماه پیش بود، هنوزمجذوب نشده بودم. اواسط داستان. اعتراف میکنم موضوع جالبی داشت ولی کند پیش میرفت. به خاطر همین، نیمه کاره رهاش کردم. تا اینکه چند روز قبل دوباره به خواندنش ادامه دادم. بهتر شده بود. ولی حالا مشکل دیگری وجود داشت. من ازداستان بدم آمده بود. از سارتر متنفر شده بودم. از اینکه چقدر به عمد، زنها، سیاهها و فقرا را تحقیر کرده و وحشیانه از آنها صحبت میکند. از اینکه چرا به بورژواها، روشنفکران و ثروتمندان بیش از حد بها داده، چهره های ارغوانی که هر کدام زندگی شخصی خودش را دارد. آنهایی که ...more
May 11, 2018 rated it really liked it
"او ميان سكوتي خوفناك تنها بود،آزاد و تنها،بدون كمك و بدون بهانه،محكوم به تصميم گيري بدون استمداد،محكوم به آزاد بودن تا ابد."

سن عقل اثر ژان پل سارتر يك رمان فلسفي با تم اگزيستانسياليستي هست،داستان حول محور مفهوم آزادي و وجود ميگرده،بر پايه اين مفاهيم نقل ميشه و با اضافه شدن كاركتر ها خواننده يك هستي مشخص مجزا از هركدوم از كاركتر ها رو درك ميكنه.كاركتر هاي داستان براي خودشون ماجرا هاي ناخوشايند و تا حدي غير اخلاقي دارن،هركدوم داراي ويژگي هاي منفي خودشون هستن.
شخصيت اصلي داستان "ماتيو" هست كه استاد
Soap opera with brains. Yes, I can agree with this. Caring about other people while watching their little lives and dramas is so much more fulfilling when they prove themselves to have complex despair behind their everyday actions. It never ends, really. The constant proving to oneself that this life is worthwhile, that the hopes of the past and the dreams of the future won't go to waste. Mathieu keeps to his belief of freedom, to be capable of anything, no matter what constraints have been laid ...more
“I have led a toothless life … a toothless life. I have never bitten into anything. I was waiting. I was reserving myself for later on – and I have just noticed that my teeth have gone.”

Reading The Age of Reason felt like navigating the dark recesses of my subconscious and coming face-to-face with my innermost anxieties. If that sounds awful, that’s because it kind of was. I don’t think I’ve ever finished a book on such a low note. I also don’t think I’ve ever finished a book feeling so understo
Dec 07, 2017 rated it really liked it
نظریات اگزیستانسیالیستی سارتر در قالب رمان.
شخصیت دانیل شباهت داشت به استاروگین داستایوسکی.
Keinwyn Shuttleworth
I found this book on a much neglected dusty shelf in a back-alley-esque section of my local library and decided to take it home with me. I had never read anything written by Jean-Paul Sartre before (purely due to Sartre's intimidating reputation) but something about The Age Of Reason demanded to be read. Needless to say, I soon found myself swimming in the erratic seas of Mathieu Delarue's chaotic existence, completely in awe of Sartre's understanding of human impetus.

We meet Mathieu, a philoso
Steven Godin
Over the course of two days in Paris during a hot summer in 1938, philosophy teacher Mathieu Delarue has a crisis on his hands, he needs to raise funds for an abortion so his life can retain the total freedom that he so dearly clings to, all the while there is a circulating tension with the threat of war looming. 'The Age of Reason' captures this period in time very well, but the overall narrative left me cold.

Expertly written?, yes, but drags along in places, Matthieu himself was a deeply studi
Jan 05, 2009 rated it really liked it
The first part of his Freedom series should be required reading for any existentialist approaching his mid-30s without any aspirations of marrying or falling in line. Mathieu, a French philosophy professor, spends most of the novel trying to borrow money so he can pay for his mistresses' abortion. His friends are a sorted bunch who attempt to take away his only goal: ultimate freedom.

Some literary experts say the protagonist must transform by the end. But what makes this book so great is that
Jan 19, 2014 marked it as to-read

Apparently the BBC aired this series of books back in the 70s but now there is a conspiracy of silence as to just why it is not available. source

All that I have found is a documentary here. Easy to see the free-press roots of Charlie Hebdo in this and aren't we all vehemently against terrorism in all its forms? Sartre in his later years endorsed attacks as 'the atomic bomb of the poor.'

Seems like a flip-flop to me. He was a man for and of a tiny window in on-going history.

Surbhi Verma
Jul 02, 2016 rated it really liked it
The Age of Reason constantly debates what the idea of freedom is for a man. Whether growing old means one should make every decision with reason or simply reconciliation. Set in the backdrop of Second World War, the characters seem completely oblivious, choosing to live their insular lives with their selfish ambitions - chasing their own version of freedom. Seen from an individual's perspective, freedom seems justified but not entirely when contrasted to humanity. Sartre's thinking makes for a t ...more
آلاء  بن سلمان
مرعبة ، عظيمة ، تقدّس سارتر.
Sean Wilson
Sep 19, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, favourites
Jean-Paul Sartre's The Age of Reason combines the author's existentialist investigations along with an analysis of human relations, continuing the philosophical intensity of Dostoevsky's complex melodramas. However, instead of an emphasis on religious morality and redemption, Sartre opts for a colder, more atheistic tone all under the threatening heat of the impending war. Sartre's tightly structured, dialogue-heavy novel works well in order to showcase his rather blunt but well observed viewpoi ...more
Jan 12, 2010 rated it really liked it
I wouldn't call this novel beautiful because the characters are so tedious, but the story is strangely captivating. It reminded me why we should all tame our runaway thoughts. If, as this book and existentialist theory would have us believe, the most profound philosophical condition revolves around individual thought, then our philosophical condition can be so silly. Superfluous even. Jean-Paul Sarte writes about really capable people who are fundamentally insecure, petulant, and selfish. They r ...more
Mar 11, 2015 rated it it was ok
A middle-classed white man finds life difficult, because annoying unattractive women either don't fall in love with him, or fall in love too easily, or just go and get pregnant as soon as you fuck them. Life is so damn unfair because one can't just do whatever one likes without consequences. Oh, and life beyond 30 is pointless.
Saman Fattahi
Sep 05, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
خمیازه کشید، روزش را به پایان رسانده بود. با جوانی اش خداحافظی کرده بود. از هم اکنون اصول اخلاقی آزمایش شده بآرامی خدمات خود را به او عرضه میکردند، در میان آنها، اصول بهره گیری صحیح از لذایذ زندگی ،اغماض توام با لبخند، طرز فکر جدی، مقاومت و پایداری در برابر شداید، همه چیزهایی که اجازه میدهد دقیقه به دقیقه بعنوان یک متخصص طعم یک زندگی ناموفق را چشید، وجود داشت، کتش را درآورد و شروع به باز کردن گره کرواتش نمود.در حالیکه خمیازه میکشید بخود
میگفت :"درست است ، واقعا درست است، من به سن عقل رسیده ام

Jun 27, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Özgürlük değerlidir, evet ama feda edilenlere değer mi? Mathieu'nun hayatın getirdiklerini omuzlarına yük etmeden, bağlanmadan yaşamak uğruna harcadıkları...
Varoluşçuluk türünün güzel örneklerinden. Peşinde olunan ise her şeye rağmen "özgürlük".
Özgürlük Yolları serisinin diğer 2 kitabı da okuma listemde.
Okuyun, tavsiye ederim.
Feb 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: philosophy, french
L’età della ragione del mio amato Sartre:
Un’ondata di esistenzialismo pervade le strade brulicanti della Parigi degli anni 30.
Ancora troppo giovani per preoccuparsi seriamente della guerra civile spagnola i giovani personaggi di Sartre animano i locali notturni parigini con la spensieratezza di volersi divertire tra alcol e feste.
Matteo, un giovane di 34 anni, nonché alter-ego di Sartre è però giunto in una fase cruciale della sua vita: si trova a dover gestire un aspetto inatteso dalla sua rel
Nov 05, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Mathieu the main character is not an appealing character he is a philosophy professor in Paris. Over the space of two days he must raise 4000 francs so his mistress can have an abortion. The other characters Daniel, Boris, Ivich, Marcelle and Lola are all unappealing. Mathieu goes to his brother and others for the money and struggles to get the money. Set in 1938 Satre explores existentialism and the individuals freedom or rather lack of it.

There are memorable scenes with Daniel’s dilemma to ge
Sara Abdulaziz
May 31, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
“إنهما يتشبثان بشبابهما كما يتشبّث محتضرٌ بالحياة”. | سارتر

التشبُّث بالشباب كان وظيفة كل شخصيات الجزء الأول من ثلاثية سارتر “سن الرشد”، إذ تمسّكت به مارسيل الفتاة العليلة حبيسة المنزل لأن الموت يترصدها خارجه عبر التمسك بحملها الذي لم يكن مخططًا له، ولا مرغوبًا من قِبل شريكها، بينما تمسكت به إيفيش عبر العبث والإهتمام المبالغ فيه بنفسها، أما لولا فقد كانت تحافظ على شبابها عبر حب شابٍ أصغر منها، لتثبت لنفسها في كل يومٍ لا يهجرها فيه بأنها ما تزال في شبابها. في حين تمسّك دانيال بشبابه عبر التلاعب بح
Alyssa Mitchell
One of my favorites. However, I only appreciated it once I reached a certain level of maturity. It dives into the deeper consciousness of each character underneath the basic thoughts. It makes you realize how insecure and all over the place all of humanity really is. The message I get from this book is "Miserable? You are not alone."
David Sarkies
Aug 22, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Existentialists & Modernists
Recommended to David by: A Baptist Church (Well, not really, but they called him a heretic, which made me want to read him)
Shelves: modernist
The Essence of Freedom
25 November 2013

This is probably one of the first Satre books that I have read, and while I am not tearing through the bookshops (and libraries) looking for more of his work, I must say that it was a interesting read. I guess there are a couple of reasons it took me so long to get to Satre and one of them would be that since a lot of my friends were either Christians (or basically didn't read) then all I would hear is how evil and bad Satre is, and that by reading Satre yo
Jul 23, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Son derece kuru ve tatsız buldum romanı. Sartre'ın çizdiği karakterler kartondan bile değil; yazarın Varoluşçuluk üzerine geliştirdiği fikirleri satır aralarında tekrar edip duruyorlar ve onları sadece bu bağlamda, hezeyanlar içinde görebiliyoruz. Ayrıca karakterleri ortaya çıkaran sosyal ve ekonomik koşullar da romanda yok.

Ne burjuva toplumu analizi ne de bir karakter derinliği var tek cümleyle özetleyecek olursam. Sartre'dan daha zekice bir şey bekliyor insan.
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Goodreads Librari...: Incorrect publisher 4 21 Jan 25, 2016 02:35PM  
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Jean-Paul Charles Aymard Sartre, normally known simply as Jean-Paul Sartre, was a French existentialist philosopher and pioneer, dramatist and screenwriter, novelist and critic. He was a leading figure in 20th century French philosophy.

He declined the award of the 1964 Nobel Prize in Literature "for his work which, rich in ideas and filled with the spirit of freedom and the quest for truth, has ex

Other books in the series

Les Chemins de la Liberté (3 books)
  • The Reprieve
  • Iron in the Soul
“She smiled and said with an ecstatic air: "It shines like a little diamond",
"What does?"
"This moment. It is round, it hangs in empty space like a little diamond; I am eternal.”
“The individual's duty is to do what he wants to do, to think whatever he likes, to be accountable to no one but himself, to challenge every idea and every person.” 94 likes
More quotes…