Nausea

Nausea

Book - 1979
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Winner of the 1964 Nobel Prize for Literature, Jean-Paul Sartre, French philosopher, critic, novelist, and dramatist, holds a position of singular eminence in the world of letters. Among readers and critics familiar with the whole of Sartre's work, it is generally recognized that his earliest novel, La Naus#65533;e (first published in 1938), is his finest and most significant. It is unquestionably a key novel of the twentieth century and a landmark in Existentialist fiction.

Nausea is the story of Antoine Roquentin, a French writer who is horrified at his own existence. In impressionistic, diary form he ruthlessly catalogues 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." Roquentin's efforts to come to terms with life, his philosophical and psychological struggles, give Sartre the opportunity to dramatize the tenets of his Existentialist creed.
Publisher: Cambridge, Mass. : R. Bentley, 1979
ISBN: 9780811220309
9780837604435
0837604435
Characteristics: xiv, 178 p. ; 22 cm

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lukasevansherman
Dec 06, 2014

"I have it, the filth, the Nausea."-J.P.S.
"It'll make your soul throw up!"-L.S.
Like a lot of moody, pretentious male undergrads, I read some of the existentialists (Camus was my homme) both because I was depressed and because I hoped it would make me seem intellectual and interesting (failure on both counts!). Despite its apparent bleakness, existentialist lit. also conjures up a romantic image of sitting on the Left Bank smoking Gauloises, sipping espresso, wearing all black, and waiting for a beautiful French woman (who also dresses in black). Anyway, "Nausea" (La Nausee) is among Sartre's best known works and, according to A.J. Liebling, "the most enjoyable book Sartre has ever written," which is kind of like saying the funniest film Ingmar Bergman ever made. As you might guess from the title, this is not a lot of fun, dealing with existence, the sickness of life, and the meaningless of a post-God world. Camus may not be the more influential philosopher, but he's the better novelist. You might also like Gide, Celine, Genet, Dostoevsky, and the horror of the void. "If anyone had asked me what existence was, I would have answered, in good faith, that it was nothing, simply an empty form which was added to external things without changing anything in their nature."

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Persnickety77
Nov 29, 2014

i read Nausea when i was 19, and it was the first book that really made me question reality, what we consider real, and the nature of existence. it's pretty heavy stuff for a 19 year old! it rocked my brain.

k
KerrAvon
Aug 08, 2011

Satre referred to this work as an "Anti-novel", because it doesn't follow the normal style of a usual novel. In the form of a diary, Sartre's Roquentin describes his feelings of "nausea" (which, here, is more of a metaphor for a sense of existential anguish). A brilliant and highly readable piece of self-examination. Near the end of Sartre's life, he called it the best book he ever wrote! I agree with him.

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alexy93
Sep 10, 2010

Standing ovation!!
Nausea is often cited as the essential book of Existentialism.
Sartre could be considered a French Kafka. Kafka always questioned the meaning of life. Mr. Sartre only questions the fact of existence. Nausea, a novel of absolute solitude, is narrated by Roquentin, a nihilistic who is horrified by his own existence. The realization that the universe is mechanical & meaningless can often leave one floundering on the edge of panic, anguish, or even nausea.

“I live alone, entirely alone. I never speak to anyone, never. I receive nothing, I give nothing”. “Nothing happens while you live”. “Existence is what I am afraid of”

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lavi_1 May 13, 2015

this is my summary

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