An Appreciation
Comments 3

Existentialism…

Wikipedia, in its article on the topic of existentialism, states that “There has never been general agreement on the definition of existentialism.”

That same article goes on to state, a mere two sentences later, that “…the first prominent existentialist philosopher to adopt the term as a self-description was Jean-Paul Sartre,” (whose birthday we remember of this date).

Okay… so there it is.
We don’t know what the word means, but by-golly-by-gum we sure as heck know who we’re going to attach that word to!

Honestly, people?
Sometimes I wonder if any of us should be allowed to write in a public forum…
And you’d better believe I’m including myself in that statement.

Anywho…
Jean-Paul Sartre once said:

If you are lonely when you’re alone, you are in bad company.

When the rich wage war, it’s the poor who die.

As far as men go, it is not what they are that interests me, but what they can become.

Fascism is not defined by the number of its victims, but by the way it kills them.

Words are more treacherous and powerful than we think.

 

I’d like to wish Jean-Paul a happy birthday, but I’m not really sure if ‘happy’ is a real thing anymore… I mean, don’t I have to exist before I can be ‘happy’? or is ‘happy’ a state of being, separate from, but (perhaps…? maybe…? who knows…?) co-existant with a state of ‘unhappiness’, not to be confused with a general listless ennui that affects everyone this time of year, when you realize that the days are now only going to get shorter as the year rolls along, although years rolling along implies a motivating power behind it, or at least an originating force to the wheels of time, sort of a Great Cosmic Shover, if you will, unless the whole ‘time rolls on’ thing is more a function of a self-winding wristwatch, than the more normally accepted “… well, somebody had to wind the thing up in the first place…” (and what if the whole universe is actually digital… hmmmm? what about that concept…? did you ever think about that…?) unless existentialism really is a thing (whatever that thing is) in which case good ol’ Jean-Paul was right to have left the Philosophy business and gone into the fashion/shampoo/acting business, because (quite honestly) there’s just not a whole lot of money in the whole ‘seeing both sides of the issue at the same time’ market.

It is now the time in our regularly scheduled program when we all go outside and eat some worms…

Because no one likes us, everybody hates us, see…

 

 

Image found here.

I find it highly amusing that the link for the photo takes you to a ‘review’ page for Sartre’s play No Exit, which states in part:
Jean-Paul Sartre’s No Exit, written in the waning years of World War II, is a play which ironically allegorizes the existentialist philosophy, in a one act scene depicting Hell. The effect this iconic work had on the faithless era, made Sartre a paragon of the existentialist school of thought.

Don’t you just love academic-type writing?
What do those sentences even mean?
Does it mean the era when Sartre wrote the play was the only faithless era to have ever existed?
Or that ‘the faithless era’ is more akin to an adjective statement, like ‘the Bronze Age’, or ‘your red shoes?’

And to throw the words ‘iconic’, ‘faithless’ and ‘paragon’ into the same sentence makes one think the person who wrote this really hasn’t the slightest idea how their words read outside of their own head.

Kinda makes me wish I’d been on the jury when this one was submitted…
“Send ’em home cryin’ ” is my philosophy, when I see ‘work’ of this calibre…

 

 

 

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3 Comments

  1. I did a whole semester of “existentialist” literature as a French major in college. When I read Sartre’s La Nausée I actually threw up. I still like Camus, though. His “Lyrical and Critical Essays,” are on the table beside me as I type this.

    Liked by 1 person

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