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