Thursday, June 21, 2007

At the Novelty Shop

This is what I thought: for the most banal event to become an adventure, you must (and this is enough) begin to recount it. This is what fools people: a man is always a teller of tales, he lives surrounded by his stories and the stories of others, he sees everything that happens to him through them; and he tries to live his own life as if he were telling a story. But you have to choose: live or tell.

--Jean Paul Sartre, Nausea (Trans. Lloyd Alexander. New York: New Directions Publishing, 1964. p. 56)

Sigh... this is the kind of crap that passes through my mind these days whenever I sit down to "blog". Although I'm essentially an existentialist myself [yes, yes, I know already!], I think Sartre was a bit of a whiny wanker. I mean, look at the title of the book I took the above quote from. Nausea. Nausea? Was he gut-punched or something? Well, yeah, but only "figuratively". Personally I've never had too much trouble telling the difference between myself and a rock on the ground (although I'll have to concede that others may have more difficulty), but if I were gut-punched (literally or figuratively), I somehow doubt that "nausea" would be the first word to spring to my lips to describe the attendant emerging sensations. More likely I would utter something involving the words "puke" or "barf". But that's just me.


  1. We all go through that. Stop thinking. Write.

  2. Well, I have a stomach thing which results in nearly-constant nausea, so maybe I would think of that title.

    Mostly, though, I agree with glenn.

  3. Okay, seems like a tough crowd today. Unphilosophical.

    I like Sartre but since there seems to be a general consensus for you to "write," I will hop on that cry for you to write more.

  4. Glenn, MT, GT,
    I hear and (will try to) obey!

    I didn't intend to put down anyone who might actually feel physically nauseous. Rather, I was poking fun at Sartre's "existential nausea". It doesn't seem very "authentic" to me. What do we find at the "novelty shop"? Fake barf...

    I teach English in Japan. Now that is a "tough crowd"!

  5. As long as an individual doesn't try to infect others with his disease, I'm ok. I live that a lot myself, but that doesn't mean I should make others miserable.

    As of defining myself based on what others actually SAY about me, ja! I would've commited suicide years ago. My own definition is the one that counts, and I try not to tell others, 'cause they always try to puke on it.

    (sigh) guess we're all having a bad day, right?