978-0-394-71838-5 / 9780394718385

The Age of Reason


Publisher:Vintage Books



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About the book:

The Age of Reason is one of those rare classics in literture that combine an interesting and readable account with a deep quest for understanding.Sartre has taken the disruptive world of Paris, on the brink of invasion by Germany in 1939, and used this backdrop to debate the meaning of freedom. Obviously the idea of freedom is subjective and Sartre certainly does not presume to have found the answer in absolute terms. He uses the protagonist, Mathieu, as well as the peripheral characters, to examine different view points; albeit, with mixed results. The Age of Reason can certainly be read as an independent novel, but if one is to truly understand Sartre's vision, it will be necessary to read the other works in the trilogy, The Reprieve and The Troubled Sleep. Both are excellent and follow up on the secondary characters that are first introduced in the Age of Reason. The three novels, known collectively as The Roads to Freedom, represent, to me, the most significant analysis of what freedom means to a given individual. It will force the reader to reexamine long cherished views and address their own concept of freedom. If you haven't been introduced to the writings of Sartre, The Age of Reason is an excellent starting point.

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