Mark Walker
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Kent Manthie I guess many intellectuals manqués feign an understanding or familiarity with NAUSEA; who knows for what reason that may be: perhaps someone within their circle of friends read it and has been making references to it, attempting to discuss it in, what may be a sincere manner, although, as sincere as he may be, he may or may not truly understand the existential preludes, between the lines, so to speak, describing certain "scenes"/dialogue from the book, attempting to deconstruct NAUSEA; noting that the description of this or that incident or pontificating on possible metaphors, claiming to "know" what this or that might symbolize, etc. (though the "deconstruction" or the "knowing" that this or that is symbolic of "A" or "Z" is almost always THEIR interpretations of whatever work about which they happen to be expostulating; even in cases where (and here I'm speaking about certain books in general, not specifically NAUSEA) the text that the author wrote had no such symbology or undertones of "x" or "y"; what's truly ironic is when someone looks really deeply into a work & "discovers" that 'a'='b', or that δ is symbolic of ψ, when in reality the author had no such idea when writing it or was even trying to be allegorical or metaphorical. This type of "psychoanalysis" of books, essays, monographs, etc. a fervent reader may attribute to such a work is, more - or even mostly - off-the-mark, thus it becomes mostly a projection of one's own psychology & any baggage that might carry. As for the work in question, NAUSEA, it can be seen as a great" application of Sartre's brand of (as he called it) "French, atheistic existentialism". As wonderful a story as it is (I've read it, at this point, about 4 times or so & plan on reading it many more times), e.g., Sartre's novel which is a kind of practical application of his brand of existentialism: the more one reads it, the closer one reads it, one becomes more and more absorbed into Sartre's concepts of life, the oppressiveness of life, the ennui which is anyone's typical day-to-day routine(s), as well as Sartre's vehement insistence that the lone, mind-as-being, his exultation of the individual as against the madding crowd, the sycophants, cronies, indoctrinated from a young age, via school, shows us that to love solitude is not, as any who feel the need to fit in with the masses merely solipsistic and certainly not narcissistic, In myriad passages, "scenes" or soliloquies by a character, be he protagonist or peripheral character, the words which make up said passages, are used like a great painter's color wheel or the sculptor's use of clay or stone, whatever the medium, to lament man's alienation from the world, though most people mindlessly go about their daily rituals with no self-awareness of the bad or good among the society in which he exists, but now & then a unique character shows up & is not only quite self-aware, or "self-conscious" of his own existence, but is able to extrapolate many things from the words and/or deeds of others. Although NAUSEA is a brilliant work, a book which any person who yearns to find some connection with the alienation he feels may find a kindred spirit, viz. Antoine Roquentin, the protagonist in NAUSEA; I would be the 1st to admit that, although it is a novel, a work of fiction with didactic overtones and characters who put in practice Sartre's existentialism, it isn't and I don't believe was, written with the intent of creating a novel qua novel, e.g., Ulysses, Crime & Punishment, The Trial, Remembrance of Things Past or The Dead Souls, which are examples of the novel at its acme. However, if one wishes to learn or understand the singularly breathtaking philosophy of Sartre, NAUSEA would be a great starting point, followed by a reading (or, if a you're lucky enough to be in or near a city where they happen to be staging them) any or all of his plays, e.g., NO EXIT or THE FLIES just to name two; then, after going through his longer novel, The Age of Reason, if you have a burning desire to read the unmasked, existentialist bible, BEING AND NOTHINGNESS, and you are willing to read every sentence, every page, you will be left as an, if not satisfied in terms of a philosophical "epiphany", you will at least come away with a better understanding of the man, his thinking, his philosophy and his sensitive, expressionistic, albeit occasionally a bit abstract. Jean-Paul Sartre was a genius. If only more Americans weren't addicted to mass commercialistic media and the whole cult of celebrity, maybe we'd be better able to stop the worsening of our society by realizing the hypocrisy within in order to be better able to spot it from without. KM.
Eduardo Goye I found it to be a horrible mess. I would rate it in negative starts if I could. It's just a bunch of mumbo-jumbo pretending to construct an ontological argument and trying to "going beyond Kant", when he can't even recreate Kant's basic position. The author had never read the "Science of Logic" before writing this. If he had taken the time to do so, it would have been obvious this book had no need to be written.
Anton Belyakov I couldn't have finished it. With all my respect to Existential Philosophy and other Sartre's works, I couldn't.
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