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KB

The Ninja Reader

High-brow or downright pretentious, good PNR or sparkly vampires, I don't care about the premise so long as it entertains me.

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Bullying: The Social Destruction of Self
Laura Martocci

Read what is available on marxists.org

Existentialism Is a Humanism - Jean-Paul Sartre, Arlette Elkaim-Sartre, Annie Cohen-Solal, Carol Macomber

Eh... I'm torn.

 

On the one hand, this is a very good reminder that if we want to use any sort of philosophical theory, we must first:

 

a/ Find the people and period that are of interest to us, and

 

b/ Find out exactly what they meant when they said "I am so-and-so."

 

Sad truth is that meaning tends to get diluted with every reading and citation. Sometimes quotes are taken out of context and you can never be sure what that person meant unless you read their own words. (Sartre would also argue that it's not the intent that matters, but how it comes across, which is both objective and subjective.)

 

Sartre's text is an interesting place to go if one has to discuss existentialism in the French context, but it's dense and inaccessible. Reading through an abstract was a chore.

 

But this is also a very self-serving text, first with Sartre calling out specific critiques leveled at existentialism by this or that movement (as if Communists are a hive mind), and then him nursing his white guilt while yammering away how Europeans can totes understand the struggle of Chinese folk, if they put their minds to it. (Of course they can, but I don't like the way Sartre says it.)