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Nausea by Jean-Paul Sartre (Author), Lloyd Alexander (Translator), James Wood (Introduction), Richard Howard (Foreword)

Nausea by Jean-Paul Sartre  (Author), Lloyd Alexander (Translator), James Wood (Introduction), Richard Howard (Foreword)
By Jean-Paul Sartre  (Author), Lloyd Alexander (Translator), James Wood (Introduction), Richard Howard (Foreword)
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Sartre's greatest novel ― and existentialism's key text ― now introduced 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 catalogs 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.”
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 and best novel, is a landmark in Existential fiction and a key work of the twentieth century.
'It is the most enjoyable book Sartre has ever written.'
(The New Yorker)
'The best-written and most interesting of Sartre's novels.'
(Atlantic Monthly)
'With Nausea Sartre has succeeded magnificently—and horribly—in extending the realm of the novel to the outermost reaches of naked self-examination.'
NewYork Post) 
The most famous of the French existentialist philosophers, Sartre was at once a philosopher and an important man of letters. He studied in Paris where he lived and taught most of his life, a good part of it with Simone de Beauvoir, herself a noted philosopher and social critic. Sartre and de Beauvoir never married formally considering marriage to be a bourgeoie moral norm and a remnant of religion which both of them opposed. 
Sartre's first work Nausea was a novel which was at once highly anti-social and fiercely individualistic, revealing some of his later existentialist ideas. He adopted the phenomenological method and applied it to several of his philosophical works of which the most famous is Being and Nothingness. In this work he opposes human consciousness as nothingness to being which is "thingness." Sartre was a defender of human dignity and freedom but also at the same time he considered all human endeavor to be useless. In later life, with Existentialism and Humanism, he began to equate freedom more with social responsibility and in his personal life he began to spend much of his time caring for the poor. He turned again in his later years to novels and especially plays such as No Exit which became famous. Politically he was an active leftist espousing Marxist causes although he turned against the Soviet Union after 1956. At that time he wroteThe Problem ofMethod to revamp Marxism. 

This combination of existentialism and Marxism, characteristic of Sartre, de Beauvoir and their followers had a deep impact upon French intellectual circles after the Second World War and through them upon a number of Muslims especially from North Africa who had spent their student days in France. In fact, the influence of Sartre in both literature and philosophy in modernist circles in the Islamic world is much greater than that of the German existentialist philosopher Heidegger who was, however, much more interested in questions of religion than was Sartre, who openly opposed religion as such and espoused strongly agnostic and in fact atheistic attitudes. 
(Seyyed Hossein Nasr)
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