Thursday, February 12, 2004

Sullivan on Sartre

My thinking exactly:

I tried to read Sartre long ago, in order to grapple with existentialism, but as soon as I discovered Camus, he seemed completely flat in comparison. Camus was a phenomenal mind and a far richer writer than Sartre, and he remained human. He was a thinker, rather than an intellectual, let alone an "absolute" one. The difference, perhaps, is in an appreciation of what we don't know, a love of what we can actually cherish - love, friendship, political freedom - and a refusal to apply ideas to reality as if there were no need for compromise or restraint.

Andrew Sullivan brings back memories. If you had to choose between L'être et le néant (Being and Nothingness) and L'étranger (The Stranger), which would you choose?


No comments: