Absinthe and Jean-Paul Sartre

Sepulchritude Forum: The Absinthe Forum Archives Thru July 2001: Topics Archived thru March 2001:Absinthe and Jean-Paul Sartre
By Wormwood on Wednesday, February 28, 2001 - 04:21 am: Edit

A quick question for the historians. In the New Millenium, the protagonist logs onto a forum on the internet and the only people on it drink absinthe.
How would this be possible in 2001?

By Don_Walsh on Wednesday, February 28, 2001 - 03:53 am: Edit

I agree that Camus was a better writer of fiction than Sartre. Sartre was the better philosopher, if you like the existentialists, but he had all the subtlety of Ayn Rand.

Yes THE CUBE did rather have 'NO EXIT' written all over it, didn't it?

By Lordhobgoblin on Tuesday, February 27, 2001 - 11:53 am: Edit

Or maybe he didn't care about his ass or his elbow.

If we applied Occam's Razor to this forum we'd have nothing to talk about, we're into multiplying entities here ;-)

Hobgoblin

By Artemis on Tuesday, February 27, 2001 - 11:42 am: Edit

Occam's Razor dictates the following solution:

Maybe Sarte didn't know his ass from his elbow.

By Timk on Tuesday, February 27, 2001 - 10:27 am: Edit

If we couls substantiate that, then it would make having the French ban easy. I mean if the current ban was put in place by the Nazis after the Fench repealed it.

By Lordhobgoblin on Tuesday, February 27, 2001 - 09:11 am: Edit

Anatomist,

Sorry you didn't like "Roads to Freedom", I thought it had atmosphere and I liked its sense of 'detachment'. I guess we all have different tastes in literature and philosophy and I suppose "Roads to freedom" probably wouldn't appeal to a 'Romantic'.

Hobgoblin
(and Martin, Sartre was not into being 'cool', some people have more important concerns)

By Anatomist1 on Tuesday, February 27, 2001 - 08:56 am: Edit

I read two or three Sartre novels back in my Philosophy days and I thought they were awful -- even when I really admired his philosophy. Fiction-wise, Sartre is the classic case of the cart pulling the horse: he would come up with some intellectual parable and then prop up a bunch of one-dimensional cardboard characters to populate a story contrived to carry the ideas. This is not how fiction works: it's ass-backwards. A recent movie that reminded me very much of his stories was THE CUBE... yechh.

Camus completed the project of writing existentialist novels and stories much more successfully: his characters are more enigmatic and complex, and the stories have at least a little ambiguity -- a little room for exploration. I see literature as an essentially different vehicle from the philosophy essay/book. Despite his enormous brain and capacity for logical gymnastics, Sartre's understanding of the nuances of actual human lives was pretty thin. It doesn't surprise me at all that he would get a fact like absinthe availability wrong. The details weren't all that important to him.

K.

By Absinthedrinker on Tuesday, February 27, 2001 - 08:39 am: Edit

'Maybe Sartre didn't care what year it was, and had the bus conductor drinking absinthe because he thought it was cool'. Hey this is Sartre not Tom Wolfe :-)

By Martin on Tuesday, February 27, 2001 - 08:29 am: Edit

Maybe Sartre didn't care what year it was, and had the bus conductor drinking absinthe because he thought it was cool. Maybe he didn't draw a distinction between absinthe and pastis, and so whether the conductor was drinking absinthe or pastis, it would have been the same in his mind. It wouldn't have been the first time the two were used interchangeably (albeit incorrectly). Wouldn't suprise me one bit.

-Martin

By Petermarc on Tuesday, February 27, 2001 - 07:58 am: Edit

amusingly enough, i was told that a lift of the ban had been passed in 1938 and there are vague(can't remember where i heard them) stories of nazi occupation officials forbidding the production of absinthe...i do not have any historical documentation as of yet to back this up, only someone who wanted to sell me a ceramic ashtray with the brand 'une nature' on it and claimed it was 1930's era absinthe....

By Lordhobgoblin on Tuesday, February 27, 2001 - 07:54 am: Edit

I noticed that reference too but the date connection didn't click.

The Roads to Freedom trilogy is the best novel/s I have ever read. A true masterpiece the sort of story you can't put down.

Maybe it was bootleg absinthe?

Hobgoblin

By Absinthedrinker on Tuesday, February 27, 2001 - 07:36 am: Edit

A quick question for the historians. In The Age of Reason, the protagonist walks into a Parisian bar and mentions that the only customer is a bus conductor 'drinking an absinthe'. How would this be possible as the novel is set in 1938?

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