Sunday, August 26, 2012

Satre's Nausea

Found a copy of Jean Paul Satre's Nausea on sale at the local library and had to pick it up. I find myself reading every word on a page. Rather than passively browsing or grazing (as I do more and more these days) - I am returning to a sentence from a later point like it would reveal new meaning this time. This 178 page volume will take a while to read.
I had completely forgotten what the "real" reading experience had been like and the quality of escape it afforded from the here and now. When younger, immersion into a book, the plot and the the lives of the characters came very easy - with age this became harder and harder to the point, I almost never found escape in fiction. 
There is passage on the narrator Antoine Roquentin, describes looking at his face in the mirror :
"Often in these lost days, I study it. I can understand nothing of this face. The faces of others have some sense, some direction. Not mine. I cannot even decide whether it is ugly or handsome. I think it is ugly because I have been told so. But it doesn't strike me. At heart, I am even shocked that anyone can attribute qualities of this kind to it, as if you could call a clod of earth or block of stone beautiful or ugly."
Can't remember the last time when I read something of that intensity.

No comments: