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It is the most enjoyable book Sartre has ever written.

The New Yorker

Jean-Paul Sartre

20th century French writer, critic and philosopher

Winner of the 1964 Nobel Prize in Literature, Jean-Paul Sartre, philosopher, critic, novelist, and dramatist, holds a position of singular eminence in the world of French 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. Sartre (1905–80) is author Intimacy (1939), The Flies (1943), No Exit (1943), and the monumental treatise Being and Nothingness (1943). New Directions publishes Sartre’s Baudelaire, The Wall, and Nausea.


Nausea

Fiction by Jean-Paul Sartre

translated by Richard Howard
with a contribution 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 catalogues his every 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 novel, is a landmark in existentialist fiction and a key work of the twentieth century.



Nausea (2007 edition)

Fiction by Jean-Paul Sartre


Winner of the 1964 Nobel Prize for Literature (which he formally declined to accept), 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, and Sartre himself wanted to be remembered for this more than any of his other works. 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.



The Wall

Fiction by Jean-Paul Sartre


In the five stories included in this collection––"The Wall," "The Room," "Erostratus," "Intimacy" and "The Childhood of a Leader"––the French master of Existentialism displays his powers of narrative and psychological insight at their most effective. Sartre’s characters and situations mirror the conflicts, complexities, neuroses and sensuality of the twentieth century. His intellectual underworld includes a modern Erostratus who is compelled to murder, a psychotic who communicates his hallucinations to his formerly-sane spouse, an unfaithful wife still bound to her impotent husband, a boy’s metamorphosis into an anti-semitic fascist, and the astonishing fate of a political prisoner. The close-ups of these people living in a contemporary world are vividly real; their stories are gripping and almost unbearably suspenseful. Polyphonic themes of decadence, sexual perversion, insanity and political and social amorality are skillfully woven throughout the entire collection of stories.


Available: January 01 2001


Baudelaire

Nonfiction by Jean-Paul Sartre


Sartre’s study of Baudelaire is one of the more brilliant achievements of modern criticism. We may often disagree with his interpretations of the poet’s personality, but we cannot fail to wonder at the mastery with which he presents his case. It is the case, quite patently, of an Existentialist who wishes to psychoanalyze a paramount literary figure in terms of his own beliefs. Perhaps Sartre’s greatest contribution to Existentialism has been his own personality. He made it a living philosophy, giving it his exotic imagination, his penchant for controversy, and above all his daring. He turned abstractions like Existence and Being, Freedom and Nature, into a theory of psychoanalysis, grounded in man’s creativity and opposed to Freudian determinism. Then he put the theory into practice in this book on Baudelaire. Baudelaire: man of shadows, opium-addict, dandy, frigid disciple of volupté; and then the greatest lyric poet of the age. Sartre lays bare the “lunar landscape of this distressed soul." We see Baudelaire, with anguished intelligence, selecting and arranging his own evil destiny, juggling the values of a world at the turning point of modern times.


Available: April 01 1972