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Download Nausea by Jean-Paul Sartre: A Classic Existentialist Novel



Nausea by Jean Paul Sartre: A Philosophical Novel




Nausea is a novel by the French existentialist philosopher Jean Paul Sartre, published in 1938. It is considered Sartre's first novel and his fiction masterwork. It is also an important expression of existentialist philosophy, which explores the meaning and purpose of human existence in a world that seems absurd and indifferent.




Jean Paul Sartre Nausea Pdf Download


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In this article, we will summarize the plot and the main characters of Nausea, analyze its style and themes, and discuss its significance and impact on modern literature and thought.


Summary of Nausea




Nausea is written in the form of a diary that narrates the thoughts and experiences of Antoine Roquentin, a young historian who lives in a fictional French town called Bouville. Roquentin has been working on a biography of an 18th-century political figure, the Marquis de Rollebon, but he gradually loses interest in his project and becomes disillusioned with his life. He suffers from a constant feeling of nausea that makes him sick of everything around him. He feels that the objects and people he encounters have no essence or meaning, and that they are just contingent and arbitrary. He calls this feeling "the nausea" or "the absurdity of existence".


Roquentin tries to find some relief or distraction from his nausea by interacting with other characters in the novel, but none of them can help him or understand him. He meets Anny, his former lover who has changed a lot since he last saw her. He talks to the Self-Taught Man, a friendly but naive socialist who spends his time reading books at the library. He observes the Autodidact, a pedophile who tries to seduce a young boy. He listens to a song called "Some of These Days" by a singer named Baker that reminds him of his past happiness. He visits various places in Bouville, such as the museum, the park, the cafe, and the railway station.


Roquentin realizes that his nausea is caused by his awareness of his own freedom and responsibility. He understands that he has no predetermined essence or destiny, and that he has to create his own meaning and values in life. He also recognizes that he is alone and isolated in a world that does not care about him or his choices. He decides to abandon his biography project and to write a novel instead. He hopes that by creating a fictional world he can overcome his nausea and find some authenticity. He also plans to leave Bouville and travel to Paris.


Analysis of Nausea




Nausea is not only a novel but also a philosophical essay that illustrates Sartre's existentialist ideas. Sartre uses the diary format to show Roquentin's subjective perspective and inner dialogue. He also uses a style of writing that reflects Roquentin's mood and state of mind. For example, he uses long and complex sentences when Roquentin is calm and rational, and short and simple sentences when Roquentin is agitated and emotional. He also uses metaphors and images to describe Roquentin's nausea and its effects on his perception of reality.


Sartre portrays the existentialist concepts of freedom, responsibility, absurdity, and authenticity through Roquentin's character and experiences. Freedom is the ability to choose one's actions and values without any external constraints or guarantees. Responsibility is the acceptance of the consequences and implications of one's choices. Absurdity is the lack of any inherent or objective meaning or purpose in life and the world. Authenticity is the courage to face one's freedom, responsibility, and absurdity, and to create one's own meaning and values.


Sartre also criticizes rationalism, idealism, and humanism through Roquentin's rejection of his biography project and his encounters with other characters. Rationalism is the belief that reason can provide a clear and objective understanding of reality and morality. Idealism is the belief that there are universal and eternal ideas or essences that define the nature and value of things. Humanism is the belief that human beings are special and superior to other beings, and that they have a common nature and destiny. Sartre argues that these beliefs are illusions that hide the contingency and arbitrariness of existence, and that they prevent people from facing their freedom, responsibility, and absurdity.


Sartre also relates Nausea to his own life and philosophy. He wrote Nausea after he had a personal crisis that made him question his own identity and values. He also based some of the characters and events in Nausea on his own experiences and acquaintances. He used Nausea as a way to express his existentialist views and to challenge the dominant philosophical trends of his time.


Conclusion




Nausea is a novel that explores the existentialist questions of human existence in a world that seems absurd and indifferent. It tells the story of Antoine Roquentin, a young historian who suffers from a feeling of nausea that makes him sick of everything around him. He realizes that he has no predetermined essence or destiny, and that he has to create his own meaning and values in life. He also recognizes that he is alone and isolated in a world that does not care about him or his choices. He decides to abandon his biography project and to write a novel instead. He hopes that by creating a fictional world he can overcome his nausea and find some authenticity.


Nausea is not only a novel but also a philosophical essay that illustrates Sartre's existentialist ideas. Sartre uses the diary format to show Roquentin's subjective perspective and inner dialogue. He also uses a style of writing that reflects Roquentin's mood and state of mind. He portrays the existentialist concepts of freedom, responsibility, absurdity, and authenticity through Roquentin's character and experiences. He also criticizes rationalism, idealism, and humanism through Roquentin's rejection of his biography project and his encounters with other characters. He also relates Nausea to his own life and philosophy.


Nausea is a novel that influences modern literature and thought. It is considered one of the best examples of existentialist fiction, which explores the themes of alienation, anxiety, freedom, responsibility, absurdity, authenticity, etc. It also challenges the traditional notions of plot, character, style, genre, etc., in literature. It also inspires many writers and thinkers who share Sartre's existentialist views or who respond to them in different ways.


Nausea is a novel that poses many questions and challenges to the reader. It invites the reader to reflect on their own existence and experience in relation to Roquentin's nausea. It asks the reader to question their own beliefs and values in relation to Sartre's existentialist philosophy. It challenges the reader to face their own freedom, responsibility, absurdity, authenticity in relation to their own choices.


FAQs





  • What is nausea according to Sartre?



  • Nausea is a feeling of revulsion that Roquentin experiences when he realizes that the objects and people around him have no essence or meaning, and that they are just contingent and arbitrary.



  • What is existentialism according to Sartre?



  • Existentialism is a philosophy that explores the meaning and purpose of human existence in a world that seems absurd and indifferent. It emphasizes the concepts of freedom, responsibility, absurdity, authenticity.



  • What is the difference between being-in-itself (l'être-en-soi) and being-for-itself (l'être-pour-soi) according to Sartre?



Being-in-itself is the mode of being of objects that have no consciousness or freedom. They are what they are and nothing else. They have a fixed and definite essence and meaning.


Being-for-itself is the mode of being of human beings who have consciousness and freedom. They are not what they are but what they are not. They have no fixed or definite essence or meaning. They have to create their own essence and meaning through their choices and actions.


  • What is the role of the song "Some of These Days" in Nausea?



  • The song "Some of These Days" is a jazz song by a singer named Baker that Roquentin listens to several times in the novel. It represents his nostalgia for his past happiness and his desire for some stability and continuity in his life. It also contrasts with his nausea that makes him feel that everything is changing and meaningless.



  • What is the significance of the chestnut tree root in Nausea?



  • The chestnut tree root is an object that Roquentin sees in the park near the end of the novel. It triggers his final and most intense attack of nausea. It symbolizes the absurdity and contingency of existence, as it has no reason or purpose to be there. It also symbolizes Roquentin's own condition, as he feels that he has no reason or purpose to be alive.




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