Existentialism Essay

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Kelly is a professor of literature and creative writing at Oakton Community College and College of Lake County and has written for numerous scholarly publications. In the following essay, Kelly argues the case for using Sartre's novel Nausea as the touchstone for gauging existential literature.

The concept of "existential literature" is a tricky one. Since Existentialism is a philosophy that means to describe existence, everything that has ever been done or written should rightfully fall within its bounds, since everything exists. Even works meant to illuminate other philosophies could be interpreted by existentialists as the authors' attempts to cope with their existential condition, and might reasonably be categorized as existential. But it is useless to have a category with no distinguishing characteristics to set its members off from everything else: if everything is existential, then there would be no use having the word, because the word "everything" would...

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This section contains 1,632 words
(approx. 5 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.
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