Recorded 1/26/14 by Mark Linsenmayer with Stanley Martin, Sean Webb, and Yannick Kilberger as a follow-up to PEL ep. 87.
The novel Nausea gives perhaps a more vivid picture than his straight-up philosophy writings of what existentialism feels like. The narrator feels the raw existence of his surroundings: “existence which unceasingly renewed itself and which was never born” (p. 132). What seems to happen is that while ordinarily we see objects as meaningful, e.g. as tools, as decoration, as things with history and often purpose, we can set that aside and see things instead as brute and meaningless. We can’t handle that, aren’t meant to handle that, and so instead of this being a machine-like, unemotional way of experiencing things, it is intolerably icky.
In this discussion, we try to figure out what the narrator's deal is, kvetch about the experience of reading this pretty but basically plotless exercise, and read a lot of quotes. Fun was had by all.
Not School is a way for PEL Citizens to read a text collaboratively and talk about it on exclusive online forums and/or on recordings like this one. Warning: Unlike regular PEL episodes, these recordings are largely unedited and feature participants who may be new to philosophy and are using crummy microphones. You'll get a good idea of what the reading is about, but we provide no other guarantees re. the quality of this discussion.