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Old April 5th, 2011, 12:04 AM   #11

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Nausea for children. You are free to choose your own adventure.
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Old April 5th, 2011, 12:09 AM   #12

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Linschoten View Post
'Sartre, Nausea': that just about sums up my feelings about the man and his writings.
That's OK. For me, reading Sartre is all about Weltanschauung, and I don't even speak German.
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Old April 5th, 2011, 01:26 AM   #13

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One critique of Nausea makes what would be an interesting point except that I don’t completely agree.

Quote:
The fate of Roquentin is foreshadowed many times in Nausea in descriptions involving violated children. Not entirely guiltless, partly responsible and often fascinated at the beginning of their downfall, these raped and murdered children haunt the pages of the diary and underline a recurring theme of violated innocence. Roquentin meanwhile assents to his constant losses, to his progressive powerlessness, in the hope of the ultimate benevolence of the world and of others. Some deeply hidden aspect of him keeps believing that if he surrenders all, he will eventually acquire a solid footing, an absolute ground and foundation. He never attains this sure and final mooring. In this respect the theme of Nausea echoes the theme of The Transcendence of the Ego. Roquentin ultimately reacts with acceptance of the groundlessness of his existence. He conquers chaos in the same way he has conquered the nausea. "The nausea has not left me," he writes, ". . . but I no longer suffer it, it is no longer an illness or a passing fit, it is me." (Bernd Jager, Sartre’s Anthropology: A Philosophical Reflection on La Nausee, in The Philosophy of Jean-Paul Sartre. Paul Arthur Schilpp - editor. Open Court, La Salle, IL, p 477)
First of all, I’m not sure “foreshadowed” is the word I would use here. Is not “foreshadowing” a form of dramatic irony in which the audience/reader has an inkling of an event to come, thus the true meaning of the passage that is said to foreshadow? But, yes, Roquentin ends with his “acceptance of the groundlessness of his existence,” the ultimate absurdity.

Be that as it may, Jager suggests here that the victims are “not entirely guiltless, partly responsible and often fascinated at the beginning of their downfall.” I can find nowhere in the novel any suggestion that Lucienne was “not entirely guiltless” nor “partly responsible.” The story proceeds as follows:
Quote:
Little Lucienne's body has been found! Smell of ink, the paper crumples between my fingers. The criminal has fled. The child was raped. They found her body, the fingers clawing at the mud… Little Lucienne was raped. Strangled. Her body still exists, her flesh bleeding. She no longer exists. Her hands. She no longer exists… I am because I think that I don't want to be, I think that I ... because . . .ugh! I flee. The criminal has fled, the violated body. She felt this other flesh pushing into her own. I ... there I ... Raped.

p. 52 in this copy http://users.telenet.be/sterf/texts/...tre-Nausea.pdf
In this quote, I edited out Roquentin’s own reactions to the rape, my intention being to see whether there was any suggestion of complicity or guilt on Lucienne’s part.

The other explicit passage of a violated child that I found in this novel was the incident in the library when the self-taught man fondled the young boy. In this case, I actually wondered why Sartre belabored the point of the boys’ complicity in the incident. Here’s what caught my attention in this account:
Quote:
for a long time I had thought that his soft, timid face would bring scandal on itself. He was so little guilty: his humble, contemplative love for young boys is hardly sensuality— rather a form of humanity. But one day he had to find himself alone. (p80 of the online version)
Indeed, this passage suggests that Roquentin’s discussion in the café with the self-taught man was itself a foreshadowing of the event about to occur.

Quote:
Two boys with satchels come in. Students from the High-school. … The two boys stay near the stove. The younger one has brown hair, a skin almost too fine and a tiny mouth, wicked and proud. His friend, a big heavy-set boy with the shadow of a moustache, touched his elbow and murmured a few words. The little brown-haired boy did not answer, but he gave an imperceptible smile, full of arrogance and self-sufficiency. Then both of them nonchalantly chose a dictionary from one of the shelves and went over to the Self-Taught Man who was staring wearily at them. They seemed to ignore his existence, but they sat down right next to him, the brownhaired boy on his left and the thickset one on the left of the brown-haired boy.
P 80 of the online text.
“Full of arrogance and self-sufficiency.” I believe he knew about the man they were about to sit by or perhaps the older boy was daring the younger. Their reaction—embarrassment and running away was perfectly natural, but the younger was, as Jager says, not entirely guiltless. I wondered why Sartre belabored that point, and I’m not completely satisfied with Jager’s answer, but it makes a certain amount of sense.

Doesn’t it?
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Old May 3rd, 2011, 07:34 PM   #14

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Fantastic book. It should, however be read after Being and Nothingness.
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Old May 4th, 2011, 04:33 AM   #15

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I have to admit that "Nausea" is one of the few books I have quit without finishing them. Even if I'm not excited by a book, I usually press myself to finish it. This one I couldn't. Of course I was in my 'teens when I tried, not a good time to start reading Sartre.

However, it was unfortunate that my first contact with Sartre had this outcome; I haven't touched another Sartre book since. And while Camus had always been (and still is) one of my favourite authors, Sartre still remains a mystery to me.
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Old May 4th, 2011, 06:47 AM   #16

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Solidaire View Post
I have to admit that "Nausea" is one of the few books I have quit without finishing them. Even if I'm not excited by a book, I usually press myself to finish it. This one I couldn't. Of course I was in my 'teens when I tried, not a good time to start reading Sartre.

However, it was unfortunate that my first contact with Sartre had this outcome; I haven't touched another Sartre book since. And while Camus had always been (and still is) one of my favourite authors, Sartre still remains a mystery to me.
You're far from alone in your opinion. I tend to agree with Camus that Sartre showed promise in this, his first novel, but that he let the didacticism get in the way of the plot and character development. Any of his novels or plays is a better read than Nausea (IMO). Of all his major works, On Being and Nothingness is the hardest to read. But I have to say that this is because his world view is so alien to my own.
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Old December 1st, 2011, 01:11 PM   #17
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the library worker in nausia/ le gardien dans la nause


Dear all,


I'm doing a masters in library science in England. A part of my dissertation is to analyse Sartre's novel, Nausia, and the way he represents the library. I am having a small niggle as I have noticed that the word used in English to describe the man who works in the library is not 'librarian' but 'attendant'. Likewise, in the French it is not 'documentaliste' but 'gardien'. My hypothesis is that as Sartre is using the library of Bouville as a way to poke fun at the positivist notion of 19th century rationalism, he has chosen to make the library worker a bit of a ****. Rather than being a professional he is more like a body guard and walks around intimidating teenage school kids who want to read 'naughty' literature like Baudelaire, reprimanding them and telling them he's going to report them to their teachers at school and finally punching the 'autodictat' for his foolish behaviour. This is a really hard bit of the novel for me to read as even if one wants to like the autodictat, it is hard not to disapprove and be disturbed by his stroking a teenage boy's hand...I guess this is not the cosy novel for the lover of hob nobs and cocoa... The problem is, that although I have a degree in French literature, I am not that confident I know enough about French culture and language to say for sure that 'attendant' or 'gardien' (in French) was not simply the word they used for 'librarian' at the time. If you have any suggestions please do help. I've put this in French too, just in case English is not your first language. Any more thoughts on the library in 'nausea' then I'd love to hear them too.


Many thanks
Emma



Bonjour tous,


je fais un maitrise pour ȇtre documentaliste en angletterre. Un partie de mon thse c'est de faire un analyse du roman la nause par Sartre. Ce qui m'a interess c'est le choix de Sartre d'utiliser le mt 'gardien' plutot que le mot 'documentaliste' pour le monsieur qui travaille dans la bibliotque. En anglais ils ont traduit ce mot 'gardien' comme 'attendant', ce qui m'a fait penser que un 'gardien' de bibliotque n'a pas autant de connaissances et de diplme qu'un documentaliste. La traduction de 'documentaliste', c'est 'librarian' en anglais. Mon hypothese c'est que comme Sartre a utilis le biblioteque de Bouville comme un facon de se moquer du rationalisme du 19 sicle, il a choisi de donner au biblioteque un 'gardien' qui se comporte plutt comme un policier barbar qu'un professionelle. Malheureusement, je n'ai pas suffisament de connaissances de la biblioteque francaise l'epoque du roman qui est mis en scene en 1932. C'est possible aussi que le mot documentaliste est un mot trop recente pour cet epoque.


Si vous savez quelque chose sur ce sujet, prier de m'ecrire.


Merci tout le monde.


Emma
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Old December 1st, 2011, 01:18 PM   #18
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I think this passage is really hard to read..Everyone is partly guilty. They know something horrible is going to happen in the library and they don't prevent it but are drawn in as voyeuristic observers. it's also hard for us to read as readers, not many of us like the idea of what the autodictat does, even if he is in someway just acting on a whim without thinking. the boy is obviously partly playing a prank but terrified as well. That is the way kids begin to understand danger, by trying to cross boundaries. in a novel whose problem it is that boundaries are never clear and responsibilities for actions are not clear cut, this is almost an emblematic moment. Rather than wondering if a pipe is really a pipe or someone's finger, this truely brings in the question of responsibility and intention. Hope this helps.
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Old January 20th, 2013, 09:17 AM   #19
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Heavy stuff with interesting views . I admire Camus myself . I have owned Being and Nothingness for years and just haven't gotten around to reading it . Nausea I shall try to find.
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Old January 20th, 2013, 02:34 PM   #20

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Anyone who has taken LSD can easily relate to Nausea.
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