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31 of 32 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars LITERARY BLUEPRINT FOR CREATING 'TRUTH' FROM MEANINGLESSNESS
'The Wall' rises up as a catalogue of man's solitary and free application of the existentialist's understanding. Sartre leaves no dark corner unlit in what could be considered his most biting renderings of the human condition's anguish in the face of meaninglessness.
'The Wall' itself is an astoundingly suspenseful glimpse at the fine line between life and...
Published on August 13, 1999

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars Ugh
Textbook for class. Some good stuff in their. Kinda expensive though. I only used it a few times and wish i rented it.
Published 1 month ago by Philey


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31 of 32 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars LITERARY BLUEPRINT FOR CREATING 'TRUTH' FROM MEANINGLESSNESS, August 13, 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: The Wall: (Intimacy) and Other Stories (New Directions Paperbook) (Paperback)
'The Wall' rises up as a catalogue of man's solitary and free application of the existentialist's understanding. Sartre leaves no dark corner unlit in what could be considered his most biting renderings of the human condition's anguish in the face of meaninglessness.
'The Wall' itself is an astoundingly suspenseful glimpse at the fine line between life and death, the insanity in ultimate human will-power, and the psychological effects of foreknowing one's own time of death.
'The Room' is stark and vague. Interpretations abound, all from absurd (in itself) to Sartre's most profound writing. Nevertheless, the story's 'insanity' brings about many insights into the world of the individual of nothingness.
'Erostratus' follows quite well, asking whether it is moral, immoral, right, or wrong, to kill and whether a modern man is truly free to commit conscious evil. Furthermore, it questions our modern society's knack for making celebrities of villains.
'Intimacy' is a wonderful story with heavy-handed, deadbolt dialogue, well-crafted absurd heroes, and philosophical wit, wound up in a woman's tale of love, adultery, loyalty, friendship, impotence, and existence.
Finally, 'The Childhood of a Leader' reveals the facist's facade of strength, the soft scar-tissue of their idealistic youth, the true childishness of their anti-semite reactions, and the way in which men allow themselves to follow or hunger to be followed.
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46 of 51 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Mesmorizing Journey. Extreme Psychological Insight, December 10, 2000
By 
This review is from: The Wall: (Intimacy) and Other Stories (New Directions Paperbook) (Paperback)
"The Wall and other short stories" is a triumph in literature. Each story explores the depths of human thought and reason through an existential point of view. Each story can be interpreted different by all readers, therefore making this a great book for discussion.
"The Wall" is the first story presented. It consumes the reader because of its brilliant writing style. The story is narrated by a man named Pablo Ibbieta, who is in a jail cell with 2 others awaiting execution the following morning. Every event that transpires that particular night is analyzed almost too thoroughly thus leaving the reader in a trance. I wont get into it too deeply, but believe me, this story is worth reading...i guarentee it will have to be read again. After finishing the story, I felt as though nothing mattered. Who cares if the dishes were not washed, who cares if I would be late for work. Believe me, this story will have a profound impact on the way you think. Don't be surprised if you have a new appreciation for life. This story enlightens the mind.
Another great story from this book is called "Erostratus". Erostratus was a character who wanted to be famous, so he burned down the temple of Ephesus, which was one of the 7 wonders of the world. This is the central symbol of the story, the quest for glory. It also brings up an interesting point when the narrator asks one of his colleagues "Who built Ephesus?" and the colleauge did not know, he only knew who burned it. "Erostratus" in short is one mans decent into madness because of his quest to be remembered. The ending of "Erostratus" is filled with suspense and makes your heart beat in fear. It serves as a grim reminder that there are people of this type, and we should be prepared at any time for them to strike.
There are also 3 other stories, that being "The Room", "Intimacy", and "The Childhood of a Leader", which also draw the reader inside the workings of the mind through an existential window (ie: we are all here by accident, man is condemned to choose).
In short, these stories are all perfect, and leave the reader with a feeling of enlightment. Sartre is an extremely intelligent and clever writer. This is evident in these short stories. So turn off the television, buy this book, and start questioning your existence, you owe it to yourself. Besides, they are short stories, so you will be able to get through at least one a day...that isnt much to ask considering the benefits you will reap by reading them.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Execellent!, April 12, 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: The Wall: (Intimacy) and Other Stories (New Directions Paperbook) (Paperback)
To the above comment, Jean-Paul Sartre and Albert Camus are two compeletly different writers. Of course their wittings are different. If you find that Sartre is not understandable you are not alone. But just take another look at the last story of The Wall called "Childhood of a Leader." This story best explains Sartre's ideas, especially ideas of 'the other' and how we go about dealing with them. But each of the stories well represent his thought at least up until the 1950s. The book is really a good introduction to the theory of Jean-Paul Sartre.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Quintessential Existentialism, April 5, 2013
By 
Glenn Russell (Philadelphia, PA USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Wall: (Intimacy) and Other Stories (New Directions Paperbook) (Paperback)
My focus is on one of the book's five pieces - The Wall. This existentialist story has the feel of a film shot in stark black and white; the prose is as hard boiled as it gets, told in first-person. The opening scene takes place in a large bare room with white walls where the narrator, Pablo Ibbieta, a man we can visualize with a thin, chiseled face, slick back hair and looking a bit like Albert Camus or Humphrey Bogart - a visualization in keeping with the tone of black and white film - is interrogated, and, along with two other men, sentenced to be shot dead. The condemned are taken to a cellar with bench and mats, a room shivering cold and without a trace of warmth or humanity. The story unfolds here in the cellar room that's hard and dank and ugly. Absurdity and despair, anyone?

Sartre has us live through the evening and night with Pablo and the two other convicted men: Tom, who has a thick neck and is fat around the middle (Pablo imagines bullets or bayonets cutting into his flesh), and Juan, who is young and has done nothing, other than being the brother of someone wanted by the authorities. We watch as Pablo and Tom and Juan turn old and gray; we smell urine when Tom unconsciously wets his pants; we hear Tom saying how he heard men were executed by being run over by trucks to save ammunition. A doctor comes in and offers cigarettes and asks if anyone wants a priest. No one answers. Pablo falls asleep and wakes, having no thought of death or fear - what he is confronting is nameless; his reaction is physical - his cheeks burn and his head aches. Meanwhile, the doctor, referred to as the Belgian by Pablo, takes Juan's pulse and writes in his notebook. All is clinical; all is calculating. The cold penetrates - the doctor looks blue. Pablo sees that he himself is drenched in sweat. Sartre has written philosophical works such as Being and Nothingness where he deals with the meaninglessness of life and the reality of death in conceptual terms. In this story, his ideas are given flesh and blood.

The core of this story is everyone dealing with their own death. Tom talks so he can recognize himself --- talk as a way of anchoring his sense of self in the world. He says something is going to happen he doesn't understand: death is a blank for Tom. And also for Pablo, who observes the doctor entered the cellar to watch bodies, bodies dying in agony while still alive. Pablo remembers living as if immortal and reflects he spent his life counterfeiting eternity but he understood nothing although he missed nothing. Meanwhile, Tom touches the wooden bench as if touching death. Now that Pablo is looking at things through the lens of death, objects appear less dense -- several hours or several years are all the same when you have lost the illusion of being eternal. Pablo feels a horrible calm, a distance from his body; being with his body feels as if he is tied to an enormous vermin. Feeling your body as an enormous vermin - what disgust and alienation. Just in case you are wondering if this is existentialism - this is existentialism.

The Doctor lets everyone know it is 3:30. At the mention of the time, Juan loses it and become hysterical but Pablo simply wants to die cleanly. After some time, the guards come and take away Tom and Juan. Pablo hears shots fired out in the yard and wants to scream, but rather gritts his teeth and pushes his hands in his pockets to stay clean. What does it mean to die cleanly? We are not given anything more specific. Pablo is taken to the first floor where he is given a chance to live by revealing the whereabouts of one Ramon Gris. What happens from this point offers a twist, a twist, that is, for a tale soaking in absurdity, dread, alienation and death. Please order a copy of this book and read The Wall. You will be chilled; you will have an existentialist experience, you just might laugh so hard at the end you will start to cry.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Mastery, November 15, 1997
By A Customer
This review is from: The Wall: (Intimacy) and Other Stories (New Directions Paperbook) (Paperback)
indifference, neuroticism, dissidence...sartre's heroisms...read "the wall" and understood and conceptualized eminent death...i know "erostratus" only because sartre knew him...what i mean is that sartre wrote so descriptively and honestly, his readers feel his words...
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3.0 out of 5 stars Ugh, June 12, 2014
By 
Philey (Califronia USA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Wall: (Intimacy) and Other Stories (New Directions Paperbook) (Paperback)
Textbook for class. Some good stuff in their. Kinda expensive though. I only used it a few times and wish i rented it.
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1.0 out of 5 stars Received book with a billion notes on every page, May 20, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: The Wall: (Intimacy) and Other Stories (New Directions Paperbook) (Paperback)
Really pathetic. The book was not in a good condition. They mentioned "like new" or "very good". But it had so many notes on every page every line that it's distracting. Please don't misguide people like this. Just mention clearly that the book is in a very bad condition and this might distract you from the real story.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Oh, Sartre, May 13, 2014
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This review is from: The Wall: (Intimacy) and Other Stories (New Directions Paperbook) (Paperback)
He and I are "of the same kind," as Papa Hemingway would say. I strongly recommend The Wall to all who are of existential bent.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Dark, May 10, 2014
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This review is from: The Wall: (Intimacy) and Other Stories (New Directions Paperbook) (Paperback)
I love this book because of its creepy pre-Film Noir darkness based in Existential nausea. Want to be seriously spooked? Buy it. Read it.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Great literature-interesting philosophy, May 24, 2012
Every literary work contains some sort of conflict, some struggle that drives the story forward. Usually this takes place in the form of conflict between individuals or between an individual and his\her outer circumstances. In Sartre's works, the conflict takes place inwards, man fighting with himself, his preconceptions, his unmet expectations of how the world should be, and his bitterness of not succeeding in finding utopia.

Sartre's fiction is psychological. The plot doesn't involve actions and situations so much, but inner thoughts and feelings. He masterfully exhibits how people's minds can play strange games on them, and how senseless people can sometimes be.

This is high quality literature, with texture, rhythm, and much suspense, although most of the action takes place inside the protagonist's head. Now that's something only a master can achieve! The stories are also very interesting from a philosophical standpoint, and I would recommend the book to people who are either interested in this psychological, meditative type of literature that tracks the inner procedures of people's minds, or interested in Sartre's philosophy.
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The Wall: (Intimacy) and Other Stories (New Directions Paperbook)
The Wall: (Intimacy) and Other Stories (New Directions Paperbook) by Jean-Paul Sartre (Paperback - January 17, 1969)
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