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New Directions Paperbook #82: Nauseaby Jean Paul Sartre
Synopses & Reviews
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 Nausée(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.
Nauseais 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.
The classic Existentialist novel, with a new introduction by renowned poet, translator, and critic Richard Howard.
About the Author
Jean-Paul Sartrewas a prolific philosopher, novelist, public intellectual, biographer, playwright and founder of the journal Les Temps Modernes. Born in Paris in 1905 and died in 1980, Sartre was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1964—and turned it down. His books include Nausea, Intimacy, The Flies, No Exit, Sartre’s War Diaries,Critique of Dialectical Reason, and the monumental treatise Being and Nothingness.Richard Howardis the author of thirteen volumes of poetry (including Inner Voices: Selected Poems, 1963-2003). He has published more than 150 translations from the French including Baudelaire's Le Fleurs du Mal, for which he received the 1983 American Book Award for translation.
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