Existentialism Criticism

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"Existential literature" is a phrase that is seldom used anymore. The description has become, for the most part, irrelevant. One reason that literary works are not labeled existential as much as they used to be is that the movement, which captured the world's imagination during World War II, has faded from public attention since the 1980 death of its most charismatic practitioner, Jean-Paul Sartre. Modes of literature and philosophy that once would have been described as "existential" are now described by different terms. On the positive side, the main reason that the description existential seems so irrelevant is the massive popularity that it had in the 1940s and 1950s. Calling literature existential is almost a way of stating the obvious, since most contemporary literature presumes an existential worldview.

From the start, existential literature was seen as little more than a forum for the existential philosophers to present their ideas...

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This section contains 587 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Existentialism Study Guide
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Literary Movements for Students
Existentialism from Literary Movements for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.