Author(s): Richard Appignanesi & Oscar Zarate (ill.)
In this book we encounter Camus, Sartre, Kierkegaard, Hegel, Marx, and Nietzsche, and always in the background a history of dark times - our legacy of Nazism and the Cold War - overcasting the search.Pope Pius XII condemned Existentialism for its 'terrifying nihilism'. Anguish, despair, absurdity, nothingness...these still have a power to scandalise. Do we find in them the quintessence of Existentialism? Or has Existentialism's truth been eclipsed by its popular appeal? Richard Appignanesi begins with Camus and suicide: 'Must life have a meaning to be lived?' Is absurdity at the heart of Existentialism? Or is there a question as yet unexplored in Sartre - Existentialism, 'the least scandalous, most technically austere' of all teachings? The answer is found in Husserl's phenomenology, from which Heidegger, Sartre and others depart. We encounter Kierkegaard, Hegel, Marx and Nietzsche, and always in the background a history of dark times - our legacy of Nazism and the Cold War - overcasting the search. This is a book of undergoing Existentialism. Can it have meaning in our age of postmodern crisis?