Nausea, by Jean-Paul Sartre
This was Sartre’s first “novel”—the first spurt of this Niagara Falls of letters. It was published in France in 1938. The date surprised me a little. My notion had been that Sartre’s leap had come right out of the fighting, that
It was begotten by Despair
It was begotten by those things, but before the war. For this book—it is charity to call it a “novel”—finds everyday life rotten. The need to storm a heaven that isn’t there came later, you can find it in Sartre’s plays. In this first book there is none of that. There is just a rotten day-by-day existence.
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