French Literature of Existentialism - Lecture 8 - 10.21.13 - French Literature of Existentialism Lecture 8 10.21.13 Start out by reviewing deeper of

French Literature of Existentialism - Lecture 8 - 10.21.13...

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French Literature of Existentialism 10.21.13 Lecture 8 Start out by reviewing deeper of some things last time In the park If you think about nausea it’s a novel written in order to avoid conventional narrative There’s a mystery to be solved The mystery of nausea itself The experience of existence and immediacy The existence without meaning The episode of nausea that Roquentin suffers is culminated in this moment in the park At the end he’ll discover begin to free himself beyond this nausea But I want to cover as quickly as I can what is revealed in this moment in the park I mentioned before but I quickly cast on other thing the idea of absurdity Absurdity is at the center of existentialism culture Specific meaning to absurdity here He says at the beginning of 129 o “The word absurdity… I thought without words… absurdity was not… serpent.” o I’m going to come back in a sec with the whole problem of talking without world o Problem with language o Now when he says he goes on to say I found the key to nausea… fundamental absurdity... absurdity another word… but I wanted to fix the absolute character o What does he mean by absolute absurdity? o As he says below “a mad man… delirium… but a little while ago I made an experiment… nothing I relationship to which it was absurd” o Relationship between absolute and this problem with language o If you think about a lot of comedy is based on absurdity o If I show up if I’m invited to a party and there’s a misunderstanding I thought it was a costume but it’s a ball I dress up o There are situations where it wasn’t absurd o Say it is a costume party o Situations where it would be perfectly normal and therefore not absurd o Relative absurdity has to do with norms and codes and expectations o With meanings o You’re out of place here you look like you should be at a costume party o In other words all of this relative absurdity has to do with meanings o That’s why so much comedy turns on these misunderstandings o Therefore it’s ridiculous they do the wrong thing o Absolute absurdity is different It’s not in relation to anything because this is not in relations with anything That’s why it’s absurd The root he’s looking at is not even a root I can call it that but there’s always something about it that’ more or less than a root There’s no relationship between the color it’s a black root but is it really black?
The thing has lost the meaning that humanity usually gives to it The thing is just an existence This existence has something extramental about it Something vicious about it It overflows it’s limits You can’t put it anywhere That’s existence as such The whole notion of human subjectivity as the origin of the world Literature is actually based on that idea What a work of art does is it disclose that world to us

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