Saturday, February 25, 2017

Book: At The Existentialist Cafe - eagerly waiting

I've pre-ordered the latest book by Sarah Bakewell and can't wait for it to drop through the letter box.

Here is a snippet from a review in the FT:
Bakewell’s exegetical skill is also well exemplified in her discussion of a key difference between Sartre and Camus. The latter believed that when we look at the world truthfully, we see it as empty and meaningless. Sartre insisted that to view it this way is not to see it properly at all, since seeing properly is inextricably bound up with meaning. “If I watch a football match,” Bakewell writes, “I see it as a football match, not as a meaningless scene in which a number of people run around taking turns to apply their lower limbs to a spherical object.”  
 .... Perhaps the aphorism that best captures the book is one of Bakewell’s own: “Thinking should be generous and have a good appetite.” Her hunger is infectious. I was left wanting to read more Sartre, Edmund Husserl, Heidegger, Emmanuel Levinas and de Beauvoir, a plan I suspect won’t survive first contact. Bakewell is fond of Heidegger’s image of a mind as a clearing in a forest, and her book is a clearing in a dense philosophical thicket few of us have the ability or inclination to navigate alone.

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