illusion of freedom

November 27, 2012 § Leave a comment

the age of reason by jean-paul sartrethe age of reason by jean-paul sartre is what i consider a piece of lierature with all the glamours and nuances of a beautifully written one. it is one of the few books i’ve read that carries you through each character’s thoughts, feelings and lines of reasoning. the plot and story line is not the book’s forte, rather the way sartre developed its simple story into a book, which you don’t want to put down, is its excellence.

the book narrates a scholarly-styled life of a philosophy professor who tries to maintain what he defines freedom in his life, in spite of all the events and people that want to force him towards what sartre calls the age of reason. the age at which apparently you should start to be responsible and to care for your deeds as well as the life of people around you. it somehow sounds like a rite of passage, except that the protagonist never passes over. this book is the start of a trilogy called the roads to freedom, however so far the only freedom depicted was the professor’s perspective of it, or better to say his fear of responsibility and commitment. all the rest of the characters seem to have a tendency to intentionally escape this type of freedom.

it’s very hard to tell if sartre’s perspective is a reflection of his own mind or he is narrating a familiar story, for although he explains all the scenes, feelings, thoughts and actions very well, it doesn’t sound to be a real story.

i know sartre as a philosopher, an existentialist, however i recognize this book as just a well written novel and although it is very tempting to label it as an existentialist book, it doesn’t fit very well. in my opinion the concept of fiction/novel defies the fundamentals of existentialism. based on existentialism the story you are reading is not the same story the author wrote!

to conclude, i enjoyed the book and i look forward to reading the rest of the trilogy.


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