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About Jean-Paul Sartre
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Sartre's greatest novel — and existentialism's key text — now introduced by James Wood.
Nausea is the story of Antoine Roquentin, a French writer who is horrified at his own existence. In impressionistic, diary form he ruthlessly catalogs his every feeling and sensation. His thoughts culminate in a pervasive, overpowering feeling of nausea which “spreads at the bottom of the viscous puddle, at the bottom of our time — the time of purple suspenders and broken chair seats; it is made of wide, soft instants, spreading at the edge, like an oil stain.”
Winner of the 1964 Nobel Prize in Literature (though he declined to accept it), Jean-Paul Sartre — philosopher, critic, novelist, and dramatist — holds a position of singular eminence in the world of French letters. La Nausée, his first and best novel, is a landmark in Existential fiction and a key work of the twentieth century.
An existential portrayal of Hell in Sartre's best-known play, as well as three other brilliant, thought-provoking works: the reworking of the Electra-Orestes story, the conflict of a young intellectual torn between theory and conflict, and an arresting attack on American racism.
Jean Genet’s debut novel Our Lady of the Flowers, which is often considered to be his masterpiece, was written entirely in the solitude of a prison cell. A semi- autobiographical account of one man’s journey through the Paris demi-monde, dubbed “the epic of masturbation” by no less a figure than Jean-Paul Sartre, the novel’s exceptional value lies in its exquisite ambiguity.
One of Sartre’s greatest existentialist works of fiction, The Wall contains the only five short stories he ever wrote. Set during the Spanish Civil War, the title story crystallizes the famous philosopher’s existentialism.
'The Wall', the lead story in this collection, introduces three political prisoners on the night prior to their execution. Through the gaze of an impartial doctor—seemingly there for the men's solace—their mental descent is charted in exquisite, often harrowing detail. And as the morning draws inexorably closer, the men cross the psychological wall between life and death, long before the first shot rings out. This brilliant snapshot of life in anguish is the perfect introduction to a collection of stories where the neurosis of the modern world is mirrored in the lives of the people that inhabit it . This is an unexpurgated edition translated from the French by Lloyd Alexander.
- Il doit m'arriver quelque chose.
- Je sais, dit Mathieu, votre ligne de vie est brisée. Mais vous m'avez dit que vous n'y croyiez pas vraiment.
- Non, je n'y crois pas vraiment... Et puis il y a aussi que je ne peux pas imaginer mon avenir. Il est barré.
Elle se tut et Mathieu la regarda en silence. Sans avenir... Tout à coup il eut un mauvais goût dans la bouche et il sut qu'il tenait à Ivich de toutes ses forces. C'était vrai qu'elle n'avait pas d'avenir : Ivich à trente ans, Ivich à quarante ans, ça n'avait pas de sens. Il pensa : "Elle n'est pas viable.""
Saint Genet is Jean-Paul Sartre’s classic biography of Jean Genet—thief, convict, and great artist—a character of almost legendary proportions whose influence grows stronger with time. Bringing together two of the century’s greatest minds and artists, Saint Genet is at once a compelling psychological portrait, masterpiece of literary criticism, and one of Sartre’s most personal and inspired philosophical creations.
In 1943, Jean-Paul Sartre published his masterpiece, Being and Nothingness, and laid the foundation of his legacy as one of the greatest twentieth century philosophers. A brilliant and radical account of the human condition, Being and Nothingness explores what gives our lives significance.
In a new, more accessible translation, this foundational text argues that we alone create our values and our existence is characterized by freedom and the inescapability of choice. Far from being an internal, passive container for our thoughts and experiences, human consciousness is constantly projecting itself to the outside world and imbuing it with meaning.
Now with a new foreword by Harvard professor of philosophy Richard Moran, this clear-eyed translation guarantees that the groundbreaking ideas that Sartre introduced in this resonant work will continue to inspire for generations to come.