In this novel, Antoine Roquentin, an introspective historian, records the disturbing shifts in his perceptions and his struggle to restore meaning to life in a continuing present and without lies. This is Sartre's first published novel and his first extended essay on existential philosophy.
Set in volatile Paris of 1938, this novel follows two days in the life of Mathieu Delarue and his circle. Mathieu has so far managed to contain sex and personal freedom in separate compartments, but now he is in trouble, urgently trying to find money to procure a safe abortion for his mistress.
After his father's death Jean-Paul Sartre was brought up at his grandfather's home in a world even then 80 years out of date. This book recalls his illusion-ridden childhood, lived within the confines of French provincialism in the years before World War I, and considers its effects on his works.
Sartre used the theatre to express to one of his major preoccupations: the struggle for freedom in a world whose orders and systems make any choices hard, or impossible. Though the setting for each of these three pieces is different, they all share this central theme.
June 1940: this was the summer of defeat. Day by day, hour by hour, this work unfolds what men thought and felt and did as France fell. Men who shrugged, men who ran, men who fought and tragic men like Mathieu, riven with remorse, who must somehow learn to kill.
Part of the PENGUIN MODERN CLASSICS series, this book brings together a collection of Sartrean gems, many of which have never been translated into English before. From writings on food and sex to a mini portrait of his great friend and rival, Albert Camus, the volume contains an amazing sweep of thematically organized writing.
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