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Re: novels and plays

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  • james tan
    hello daniel, i suppose some ideas are better expressed in dramatic forms such as the plays and novels. ideas such as bad faith, freedom, responsibility are
    Message 1 of 1 , Dec 4, 2001
      hello daniel,

      i suppose some ideas are better expressed in dramatic forms such as the
      plays and novels. ideas such as bad faith, freedom, responsibility are best
      conveyed or illustrated in concrete situations rather than in abstraction.
      they are very human and concrete topics with a lot of psychological values.
      existentialist emphazise on living and not so much on 'knowing'. and what
      approximate living situations more than plays, novels, the theatres?
      abstract discourse like what hegel did, coming to the conclusion that the
      real is rational and the rational is real? kierkegaard had once said of
      hegel that he built a castle but himself live outside it, and that the real
      is 'irrational' or the subjective. in contrast, look at other topics of
      philosophy: say, betrand russell's "principia mathematica", or david hume's
      theory of knowledge, hegel's logic... they are of topics you can't dramatize
      into novels and plays. in fact, at one time existentialism was not even
      considered as philosophy. i suppose sartre has another reason to write plays
      and novels. i think he was good not just academically, he was also good at
      'marketing' his ideas. he was a 'advertiser' and a 'promoter', in a sense.
      in literary forms, it could reach a much bigger audience (most people
      neither has the inclination nor time to read through b&n, especially with
      its 'tribal languages' of being-in-itself, decompression, etc, etc; a lot of
      people feels that sartre's idea is really simple, and his b&n is
      deliberately difficult by using odd words and sentence expressions). let's
      also see sartre's 'existence precede essence' in relation to the kind of
      literary forms you see in these ezistentialist writers, such as kafka,
      beckett, etc. some of their literary productions do not have forms, at least
      not one we are familiar with, and content different from, say charles
      dicken, thomas hardy, jane austen. if you approach their novels with a
      'essence' of what a novel or play should be, you may be 'lost'..while the
      non existentialist writers may be more focused on social issues, the
      existentialist writers are more concerned with expressing their sense of
      absurd, bewilderment, anxiety when confronted with human conditions, and his
      despair at being unable to find a (absolute, objective, metaphysical)
      meaning in life. kafka is par excellence in evoking this mood, and in my
      opinion better than sartre and camus. beckett's plays lack plot, which seems
      to convey that life itself is plotless inherently; there is no story, only a
      static situation of the human condition. perhaps life itself cannot be
      expressed in words or concepts as in a discourse; it has to be lived or
      relived, and what frameworks better suit this than novels and plays?

      last but not least, do not worry about 'that individual'. your reaction or
      response to 'that individual' defines what kind of individual you are. so
      you decide. you create your own self.


      From: dnewdeath@...
      Reply-To: Sartre@yahoogroups.com
      To: Sartre@yahoogroups.com
      Subject: [Sartre] Circe: Nothing is wrong with my signature. It's only my
      Date: Tue, 4 Dec 2001 04:15:31 EST

      Circe: An individual on this discussion board felt threatened by my
      for some reason. I do not want to offend anyone so I thought seriously about
      changing it so this person would leave it be. Then this same person compared
      my signature to the "symbolism" used by bin Laden in the attack on the World
      Trade Center, and told me to "Be Lost." At that point I realized that I was
      not offending him/her for whatever reason, and that this is the same person
      that I offended by claiming that "existentialism is a relatively simple
      philosophy" in an earlier post of mine. Anyway..his problem is off topic,
      even my responding to him, and even this response is off topic. I really
      enjoy this discussion board, I love reading the posts.///

      I still believe that Sartre had a social mission in attempting to
      his ideas via the theater. While his brand of existentialism is indeed a
      technical philosophy, it is not a philosophy primarily intended for the
      "intellectual" elite. He perceived a stark reality that applied to all men,
      and sought to communicate his perceptions of that reality to all men. Being
      and Nothingness is a technical synthesis of his philosophy, by a
      and for philosophers. However, Sartre the humanitarian sought to reach and
      awaken everyone. I believe this to be a primary reason for the rejection of
      his philosophy in some intellectual circles. Sartre wanted to move beyond
      such constraints. Sartre the man, and Sartre the philosopher are sometimes
      two different things. I do not believe that existentialism was Sartre's
      project. I believe that his attempt to deliver an urgent message was, and I
      do not believe that he was taken over by his own school of thought. ( My
      reads your posts because she is Portuguese, she says that she can pick up on
      the nuances even in your English ?????) Respectfully, and in good humor:
      NewDeath (Registered Trade Mark 1994)
      Daniel Rocco-
      /0/</A><<<<<<Visit Daniel Rocco's Home

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