Nausea II

Sunday, 5 January 2003

I don’t lis­ten to them any­more: they an­noy me. They’re go­ing to sleep to­gether. They know it. Each one knows that the other knows it. But since they are young, chaste and de­cent, since each one wants to keep his self- re­spect and that of the other, since love is a great po­etic thing which you must not frighten away, sev­eral times a week they go to dances and restau­rants, of­fer­ing the spec­ta­cle of their rit­ual, me­chan­i­cal dances.…

After all, you have to kill time. They are young and well built, they have enough to last them an­other thirty years. So they’re in no hurry, they de­lay and they are not wrong. Once they have slept to­gether they will have to find some­thing else to veil the enor­mous ab­sur­dity of their ex­is­tence. Still … is it ab­solutely nec­es­sary to lie?

Jean-Paul Sartre, Nausea

that about cov­ers it.


Friday, 3 January 2003

upon reread­ing Nausea i am in­ter­ested in the ex­is­ten­tial­ist take on re­gret. Roquentin seems less alien­ated to me than he did the last time i vis­ited him, in­stead he seems more con­cerned with what used to be and what has changed. he does not ac­cept this change to Nausea and mourns for his past. is this Sartre’s ex­am­ple of Kierkegaard’s ‘knight of in­finite res­ig­na­tion?’ and why is the ex­treme aware­ness of be­ing-in-it­self so dis­gust­ing? why is this knowl­edge of dif­fer­ence nau­seous in­stead of eu­phoric? it doesn’t sicken me…

I must not put strange­ness where there is none. I think that is the big dan­ger in keep­ing a di­ary: you ex­ag­ger­ate every­thing. You con­tin­u­ally force the truth be­cause you’re al­ways look­ing for some­thing.

Jean-Paul Sartre — Nausea