$13.46 $14.95 Save 10% Current price is $13.46, Original price is $14.95. You Save 10%.
View All Available Formats & Editions
Choose Expedited Shipping at checkout for guaranteed delivery by Wednesday, September 18


Sartre's greatest novel — and existentialism's key text — now introduced by James Wood.

Nausea is the story of Antoine Roquentin, a French writer who is horrified at his own existence. In impressionistic, diary form he ruthlessly catalogs his every feeling and sensation. His thoughts culminate in a pervasive, overpowering feeling of nausea which “spreads at the bottom of the viscous puddle, at the bottom of our time — the time of purple suspenders and broken chair seats; it is made of wide, soft instants, spreading at the edge, like an oil stain.”

Winner of the 1964 Nobel Prize in Literature (though he declined to accept it), Jean-Paul Sartre — philosopher, critic, novelist, and dramatist — holds a position of singular eminence in the world of French letters. La Nausée, his first and best novel, is a landmark in Existential fiction and a key work of the twentieth century.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780811220309
Publisher: New Directions Publishing Corporation
Publication date: 03/25/2013
Pages: 186
Sales rank: 48,097
Product dimensions: 5.20(w) x 8.00(h) x 0.60(d)
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

Jean-Paul Sartre was a prolific philosopher, novelist, public intellectual, biographer, playwright and founder of the journal Les Temps Modernes. Born in Paris in 1905 and died in 1980, Sartre was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1964—and turned it down. His books include Nausea, Intimacy, The Flies, No Exit, Sartre’s War Diaries, Critique of Dialectical Reason, and the monumental treatise Being and Nothingness.

Richard Howard is the author of eleven books of poetry,
including Untitled Subjects, which won the Pulitzer Prize in 1970. He is the translator for more than 150 works from the French language. He received the American Book Award for his translation of Charles Baudelaire’s Les
Fleurs du Mal.

James Wood, the prominent critic, essayist, and novelist, is a professor at Harvard and a staff writer forThe New Yorker. Born in Durham, England, he began his career atThe Guardianand later became a senior editor atThe New Republic. He currently serves on the editorial board ofThe London Review of BooksandThe Commonin Cambridge, MA. His books includeThe Irresponsible Self: On Laughter and the Novel,How Fiction Works, and, most recently,The Fun Stuff: And Other Essays.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See All Customer Reviews

Nausea 3.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 28 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
An amazing work of art that transforms the very heart of life. Sartre brilliantly paints a picture of man taken to his simplest form, of a man conscious of his existence and searching for his very essence, only to find the horrific and obscure truth of life; that being that we exist, nothing else, at the culmination of his journey. Yes, in this moment I exist; I breathe in and out, transformed upon the expulsion of that very breath. Still, I exist, even though I am never truly myself again, that which I was now different and lost in the past: a being irrelevant in the ever-changing present. We struggle, desire, to be more, but still, we, like the trees, the rocks, and everything else, exist, living within this absurdity, this nothingness that envelops all. In fact, I am this nothingness but, at the same time, I am everything, for nothing exists without the qualifcation of its existence. I am everything and nothing, yet both at the same time, paradoxically speaking. This, is the truth of Sartre, and, 'Some of these days/ You'll miss me honey,' for now, I shall never be the same. Pure brilliance!
Guest More than 1 year ago
The Café Philosopher¿s first and finest work that points to or surmises his existential ideas in his later works. Nausea is indeed a "beautiful and hard as steel" philosophical novel that makes "people ashamed of their existence" or at least lures people to question "it." Nausea is a book "above existence... an adventure." It is Sartre¿s realization, masking himself behind his character Antoine Roquentin, that existence suddenly unveils itself as Nausea ¿ a frightful, obscene and naked disorderliness (127). Comparing or paralleling Sartre¿s "absurdity" of existence with Schopenhauer¿s "vanity" of existence is strikingly similar. Schopenhauer says, "The vanity of existence is revealed in the whole form existence assumes: in the infiniteness of time and space contrasted with the finiteness of the individual in both; in the fleeting present as the sole form in which actuality exists; in the contingency and relativity of all things; in continual becoming without being; in continual desire without satisfaction; in the continual frustration of striving of which life consists... That which has been no longer is; it as little exists as does that which has never been. But everything that is in the next moment has been. Thus, the most significant present has over the most significant past the advantage of actuality, which means that the former bears to the latter the relation of something to nothing... We suddenly exist, after having for countless millennia not existed..."
Guest More than 1 year ago
After reading this novel for a philosophy class, and having to write a paper on the ideas expressed throughout, it is evident that Sartre's intentions were to incorporate his ideas through the counts of a fictional 'diary'. The novel seemed to have a consistent drag of emotions and expressions that really never stopped through the whole book. It was easy to get lost in translation of the text and documentarys of the charachter 'Roquentin'. The overwhelming expressions of the charachters emotions and feelings left me distraught and exhausted, while at the same time leaving me unfulfilled with the ending. Overall, brilliant writing on Sartre's part, but don't be looking for a feel good ending while reading Sartre's 'Nausea'.
atomheart on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
for anyone who questions things, feelings, emotions that you have, yet don't understand why nor feel as if you should have them, but yet can't help but wonder why... why why why, this book is for you.written in journal format, Antoine Roquentin supposedly hates his life, or is it just existence, the questioning of present, of the next moment to come... his extreme discomfort for existence creates thought-provoking and intellectually stimulating moments as a reader -- i found myself making notes, underlining passages...if you follow his logic, his pulse, it will suck you in and absorb you...i cannot give this book the justice it deserves, you should find out for yourself... but make sure to read in a quiet, dark and lonely place.
AmaliC on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
'Nausea' is the sort of book that can change the way you see the world. It's an exploration of the search for meaning in a life without God. Freedom, essentially, is the issue at stake. Sartre unhurriedly walks the reader through this journey of self-awareness, infusing the book with a subtle humour and using the absurdity of his fiction to reflect the absurdity of reality itself.While I did not necessarily agree with all that the novel seemed to say, there was no part of it that failed to interest me. It's unsurprising that 'Nausea' is considered among the most influential existentialist texts to have been written. It's well worth the read, as it forces the attentive reader to consider what it truly means to be alive.
jennyolsson on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Horrible book, I didn't like it at all but was forced to read it in school.
autumnesf on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Did not enjoy. A mans diary about life - in which he sounds like a disconnected idiot.
figre on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
There are interesting portions of this book; interesting enough to make it worth reading. As the first novel by Sartre, it is understandable that it be a treatise for his existentialist approaches. I have not studied philosophy, so I cannot quote you the meanings of existentialism (shy of the comic book snippets one receives in classes, books, and conversations among people who really don¿t know what they are talking about). But everything I know (so little) and everything I¿ve read indicates this is a pivotal piece. And, as I mentioned, there are very interesting concepts in here. Some I rejected out of hand; others I found resonated. And, while it was heavy slogging through a couple of parts (to be expected in a French book trying to expound a philosophy); overall it was not a difficult read. In all, this is probably not the best way to introduce yourself to Sartre or existentialism. However, if it is your first foray (as it was mine), you will find, if not an in-depth introduction, a nice peek into what it may mean.
DarkWater on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Some argue that existentialism is more of a feeling than a philosophy, and one could easily get that impression after reading Sartre¿s novels. Sartre was not afraid to explore his philosophical ideals in different forms, and his Renaissance-man abilities in writing allowed him this freedom, even as a novelist. Nausea, in particular, is a collection of diary entries from one Monsieur Roquentin whose soliloquies personalize existentialism.Existence without essence is naked, cold, detestable (like a bolbous rock easily reduced to pure, bare existence). To demand meaning, to turn inward, and to see Nothing is to feel nausea. ¿Every existing thing is born without reason, prolongs itself out of weakness and dies by chance.¿ It is difficult to be a man, the knowing animal, who must tolerate the human condition, suffer with the idea of life¿s absurdity. Dostoevsy wrote ¿Suffering is the sole root of consciousness¿. More broadly, this novel is really an anthropocentric exploration into man¿s struggle to accept himself and his epistemological limitations.
SamuelW on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
How do you reconcile your own existence in a world without meaning or purpose? With the decline of religion in a modern world, it is a question that many non-believers will find themselves asking ¿ and some may find answers in Nausea, an undisputed classic of modern philosophical fiction.From atheism springs existentialism ¿ the philosophical movement led by 20th-century French philosopher Jean-Paul Sartre ¿ and from existentialism springs Nausea, Sartre¿s first major exploration of the ideas he became famous for. It takes the form of a diary; fittingly, a journal of philosophical ideas and their effects on the philosopher who realises them. As Sartre¿s prose unfolds ¿ at times measured and sure, at times frantic and epiphanic ¿ we begin to build a picture of the novel¿s protagonist, Antoine Roquentin, a historian living alone in the town of Bouville. He dines at the Café Mably, researches the Marquis de Rollebon at the library with his friend the Autodidact, observes his fellow citizens and reminisces about his past. The details of Roquentin¿s life, however, are deliberately unimportant; as Sartre¿s creation, he serves to explore ideas which are much more universal.Roquentin suffers from attacks of what he calls `Nausea¿ ¿ a crippling sense of the utter superfluity and randomness of himself and the world around him. It is out of laziness, Roquentin supposes, that the world looks the same day after day. His world is one without order or rules, where anything could happen at any time. Turning his attention to the people around him, he analyses the myriad of meaningless constructs that humans create to facilitate a comfortable illusion of order and continuity. Past, future, memory, progress, wisdom, adventure . . . as these constructs fall away from him, one by one, the knowledge of his own unmitigated existence drives him slowly insane.Nausea, then, is not only an exploration of Sartre¿s existentialist ideas. It is a cautionary tale for would-be philosophers. Perhaps it is better, Sartre acknowledges, to be ignorant and happy, like the young people the Autodidact sees admiring paintings without any idea of their meaning, and appearing to enjoy themselves regardless. They must have been pretending, responds Roquentin ¿ an injection of Sartre¿s own dry, self-mocking wit.Indeed, the debilitating angst of Nausea begs an inevitable question of the reader: how is it that these can be Sartre¿s thoughts, Sartre¿s beliefs, when Sartre himself was neither mad nor depressed? The novel carries all the marks of Sartre¿s life and work. Its ideas are those of his later philosophical treatise, Being and Nothingness. Its port-town setting is strongly reminiscent of Le Havre in Haute-Normandie, where Sartre wrote Nausea in 1938. Connections can be spotted, here and there, between the novel and Sartre¿s life ¿ like the Autodidact, for example, Sartre spent time as a prisoner of war in Germany. Long passages of the novel are devoted to mocking and criticising the constructions and trivialities of bourgeois life, in accordance with the beliefs that led Sartre to decline the Nobel Prize for Literature when it was offered to him in 1964. (These passages form the most uninteresting sections of the novel, as the insipidity of bourgeois life threatens to carry over to Sartre¿s prolix discussions of it.)Yet, for all his links with the tormented Roquentin, Sartre remained content with his life to the end. In his own words: The only thing that I truly like to do is to be at my desk and write, especially about philosophy. Philosophy for him was not a source of angst, but a source of enjoyment. How did Sartre alleviate the pain of his own existence?The answers may perhaps be found in the final few pages of Nausea, when the novel justifies not only Roquentin¿s existence, but also its own. As he listens to his favourite record for the last time, Roquentin is struck by the permanence o
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
BookReviewersClub More than 1 year ago
Dean Goranites of the BookReviewersClub reviewed the book "Nausea" by Jean-Paul Sartre. This book is a blend of philosophy and existentialism, and portrays the belief that we are all singular people going through the process of life by ourselves. That it is our free will and our decisions that help dictate how our lives will go. "Nausea" is a work of fiction that walks the line between literature and philosophy. Dean said this book made him feel depressed. Most parts were very similar to Albert Camus's "The Stranger" but they didn't grip him nearly as much. In "The Stranger," every word seemed important, but in "Nausea," it was usually a paragraph or a sentence that would really hit home. While reading, he would tend stop for a second and reread something 3 or 4 times. Those times, he was usually impressed at how Sartre was able to come up with something he had always felt inside but was never able to vocalize. Or just maybe, he had never even thought about it enough to vocalize it - like it was a kind of subconscious feeling about the world he'd always had. All in all, Dean gave the book 3 stars since he felt it was worth reading all the way through, but he doubted he would read it again.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The rating is for the book itself. This is not a "new translation" so don't waste your money if you have an earlier New Directions Edition of this book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
hate it
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I haven't had the opportunity to read this book yet, despite the fact I ordered it, and received it in December. I let my brother barrow it since i was still reading another book. I never got my book back! He loved this book SO much that he would not part with it and bought me a new copy. He is currently rereading the book for the 3rd time. This is impressive for a book I bought on a whim and knew next to nothing about.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago