Monthly Archives: March 2017

Nausea – Sartre

“A book. Naturally, at first it would only be a troublesome, tiring work, it wouldn’t stop me from existing or feeling that I exist. But a time would come when the book would be written, when it would be behind me, and I think that a little of its clarity might fall over my past. Then, perhaps, because of it, I could remember my life without repugnance.    Perhaps one day, thinking precisely of this hour, of this gloomy hour in which I wait, stooping, for it to be time to get on the train, perhaps I shall feel my heart beat faster and say to myself: “That was the day, that was the hour, when it all started.” And I might succeed —in the past, nothing but the past—in accepting myself.”





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Existentialism – Thomas Flynn

p. 5

In his Journals, Kierkegaard muses: “the thing is to find a truth which is true for me, to find the idea for which I can live and die” (August 1, 1835).


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Nausea – Jean Paul Sartre

p. 52

“It’s worse than the rest because I feel responsible and have complicity in it. For example, this sort of painful rumination: I exist, I am the one who keeps it up. I. The body lives by itself once it has begun. But thought—I am the one who continues it, unrolls it. I exist. How serpentine is this feeling of existing—I unwind it, slowly. … If I could keep myself from thinking! I try, and succeed: my head seems to fill with smoke . . . and then it starts again: “Smoke . . . not to think . . . don’t want to think … I think I don’t want to think. I mustn’t think that I don’t want to think. Because that’s still a thought.” Will there never be an end to it? My thought is me: that’s why I can’t stop. I exist because I think . . . and I can’t stop myself from thinking. At this very moment—it’s frightful—if I exist, it is because I am horrified at existing. I am the one who pulls myself from the nothingness to which I aspire: the hatred, the disgust of existing, there are as many ways to make myself exist, to thrust myself into existence. Thoughts are born at the back of me, like sudden giddiness, I feel them being born behind my head … if I yield, they’re going to come round in front of me, between my eyes— and I always yield, the thought grows and grows and there it is, immense, filling me completely and renewing my existence.”


“I was just thinking,” I tell him, laughing, “that here we sit, all of us, eating and drinking to preserve our precious existence and really there is nothing, nothing, absolutely no reason for existing.”

         The Self-Taught Man becomes serious, he makes an effort to understand me. I laughed too loud: I saw several faces turn towards me. Then I regretted having said so much. After all, that’s nobody’s business.
         He repeats slowly: “No reason for existing . . . you undoubtedly mean, Monsieur, that life is without a goal? Isn’t that what one might call pessimism?”
        He thinks for an instant, then says gently:
       “A few years ago I read a book by an American author. It was called Is Life Worth Living? Isn’t that the question you are asking yourself?”
        Certainly not, that is not the question I am asking myself. But I have no desire to explain.
       “His conclusion,” the Self-Taught Man says, consolingly, “is in favour of voluntary optimism. Life has a meaning if we choose to give it one. One must first act, throw one’s self into some enterprise. Then, if one reflects, the die is already cast, one is pledged. I don’t know what you think about that, Monsieur?”
        “Nothing,” I say.

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A Terrible Toothache

A toothache so terrible, her teeth she thought

Would tear through her gums and tumble on her tongue

And slip down the tip like a tube down  a slide

And hang on her lips as they grinned ever so wide

They would fall through the air with a buzz and a whirl

They would tumble from the mouth of the brown-haired girl

They would roll and would bounce until they all disappeared

Under the table or under the chair or under the rug her mother had just aired.

But alas they did not, the teeth kept their place

And stuck to her gums in position in her face

She fretted and moaned and awfully groaned

But the pain still remained and would not be disowned

Her regrets were a great many, how could they not be?

For she had eaten every last bit of Halloween candy

She shared not a one with any of her friends

And now she desired  nothing but to make amends

For her selfishness she paid a very dear price

And her teeth made her suffer until she was nice

She learned her lesson, painful though it may be

To avoid terrible toothaches, moderation is key.

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