Existentialism discussion

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Nausea - Week 2

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message 1: by Littlevision (new)

Littlevision | 38 comments Mod
Discuss Week 2 (Jul 8-14) - through pg. 88 in this thread.


Rob the Obscure There's a natural stopping place (in terms of the diary) at page 40. 44 is right in the middle of a long section on one day.


message 3: by Jimmy (new)

Jimmy | 85 comments Maybe that's why she's called "Littlevision."


message 4: by Littlevision (new)

Littlevision | 38 comments Mod
I haven't read the book yet and wasn't aware of that - I just tried to divide the pages somewhat evenly. I'll modify the schedule so the first week ends on pg 40. Thanks for the note :)


message 5: by Littlevision (new)

Littlevision | 38 comments Mod
I'm a little confused about p. 79/80. The man in the cloak - is he a predator? And what is the meaning of Roquentin's response: "A great menace weighs over the city"?

Also, on pg. 84, in the art gallery R. says, "his judgement went through me like a sword and questioned my very right to exist. And it was true, I had always realised it; I hadn't the right to exist." Prior to this he names the great things that people who had their portraits painted in the gallery had done. So does he see the worth and purpose of other people - just not of himself? Although he did mention that if he wasn't writing the book on Rollebon he wouldn't have a purpose (paraphrased, I mean).

And what is the meaning of the phrase "For a right is nothing more than the other aspect of duty"?


Rob the Obscure The "menace" that weighs over the city: I think that Sartre is trying to symbolize the existential realization that the meaning and purpose we imbue things with is largely an illusion. The realization of that illusion is described as a great menace that comes over the city.

However, the menace "passes". So, we can see that, although we can experience a realization that our existence is nothing other than what it is, that there is no higher purpose, and this can instill a feeling of dread, or angst, or alienation, many times, as we move on about our daily routine that awareness "passes" and we move right back into the illusion under which most people live their daily lives.

Donald Fagan, of Steely Dan, writes in his song "Any Major Dude": "When the demon is at your door, in the morning it won't be there no more - any major dude will tell you."

As for the last sentence on the relationship between duty and "rights", I think Sartre is simply saying that we have no rights without duty. They are two sides of the same coin.


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