Existentialism From Dostoevsky to Sartre [Walter Kaufmann] on * FREE* shipping on qualifying offers. Good for age. Wear and creasing of spine. Mar 1, One of the foremost resources on existentialism from renowned philosopher, poet , and Nietzsche translator Walter Kaufmann—a must-read for. Mar 28, One of the foremost resources on existentialism from renowned philosopher, poet , and Nietzsche translator Walter Kaufmann—a must-read for.
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Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read. Want to Read saving…. Want to Read Currently Reading Read. Refresh sostoevsky try again. Open Preview See a Problem? Thanks for telling us about the problem. Return to Book Page. Existentialism from Dostoevsky to Sartre by Walter Kaufmann. This volume provides basic writings of Dostoevsky, Kierkegaard, Nietzsche, Rilke, Kafka, Ortega, Jaspers, Heidegger, Sartre, and Camus, including some not previously translated, along with an invaluable introductory essay by Walter Kaufmann.
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Lists with This Book. Jan 31, peiman-mir5 rezakhani rated it really liked it Shelves: View all 14 comments. Dec 15, Jonfaith rated it liked it. How unfortunate to have forgotten the curator to that museum of ideas. I once was young. Concepts all too often were inchoate. Kaufmann directed my stumbling feom through these choppy waters.
Existentialism from Dostoevsky to Sartre: Walter Kaufmann: : Books
I had a long hooded green coat then. I walked around the university brooding — largely for effect. My focus shifted from social justice to existential peril. I’d like to beat that guy’s ass.
What emerged was a lifelong appreciation of Hamlet. I’m now curious if further biases leaped upon me with my dazzl How unfortunate to have forgotten the curator to that museum of ideas. I’m now curious if further biases leaped upon me with my dazzled attentions elsewhere. View all 8 comments. Jun 23, Plaidlad rated it it was amazing. A kid from my old neighborhood let me borrow this book for a summer, and it changed my life.
I watched I Heart Huckabees and got really drunk. Jan 21, Christopher Porzenheim rated it really liked it Shelves: George Orwell had a similar problem in his essay What is Fascism?
To say why would take too long, but basically it is because it is impossible to define Existentialism satisfactorily without making admissions dosfoevsky neither the Existentialists themselves, nor the Consequentialist, nor Deontological philosophers of any colour, are willing to make.
All one can do for the moment is to use the word with a certain amount of circumspection and not, as is usually done, degrade it to the level of a swearword. Kaufmann argument is this; what if anything ties the movement of Existentialism together is an admirable -if sometimes fanatically isolating- insistence that philosophy be focused on individual authenticity in our everyday lives and relationships.
Sadly, this individual focus more than occasionally devolves into, as Kaufmann well puts it: To add to the confusion, many writers of the past have frequently been hailed as members of this movement, and it is extremely doubtful whether they would have appreciated the company to which they are consigned. Certainly, existentialism is not a school of thought nor reducible to any set of tenets.
If, as it is often done, Nietzsche and Dostoevsky are included in the fold, we must make room for an impassioned anti-Christian and an even more more fanatical Greek-Orthodox Russian Imperialist. By the time we consider adding Rilke, Kafka, and Camus, it becomes plain that the one essential feature shared by all these men is their perfervid individualism.
The refusal to belong to any school of thought, the repudiation of the adequacy of any body of beliefs whatever, and especially of systems, and a marked dissatisfaction with traditional philosophy as superficial, academic, and remote from life -that is the heart of existentialism.
Oct 23, Matthew DeCostanza rated it liked it. The thing that irked me most about this anthology was Kaufmann’s highly questionable selections. The included pieces by Dostoevsky and Kafka, while fine pieces of literature, are hardly characteristic of existentialism, whatever it may be.
Sisyphus is a classic manifesto on how to create joy and self-perpetuation in a cruel world; Notes is a fictional memoir full of If anything, misleading. Sisyphus is a classic manifesto on how to create joy and self-perpetuation in a cruel world; Notes is a fictional memoir full of the deranged ramblings of a crazy fucker.
Kaufmann does not distinguish this difference. Dangerous, as this is presented to be a primer of the most fundamental sort. Kaufmann’s lack of editorial focus is evident from the introduction.
Never once does he define what existentialism is. He speaks in terms of “essence” and informs the reader what existentialism is not, but seems unable to offer an even rudimentary definition.
While it’s not an easy task, scholars have argued about the basic concepts of existentialism for yearsa primer without a clear idea of what the subject matter is doesn’t serve much use.
Personally, I would have placed The Allegory of the Cave right after the introduction, because, srtre all of the authors in this anthology, it is dowtoevsky basic point of agreement. Instead, Kaufmann seems to say “Pretty cool ideas, right? I can’t really make heads or tails of em, but maybe you can. Oct 14, Zachary F. Seriously, Kaufmann tells us on the first page that “[e]xistentialism is not a philosophy but a label for several widely different revolts against traditional philosophy.
The three writers who appear invariably on every list of “existentialists”—Jaspers, Heidegger, and Sartre—are not in agreement on essentials.
Such alleged precursors as Pascal and Kierkegaard differed from all three men by being dedicated Christians. If, as is often done, Nietzsche and Dostoevsky are included in the fold, we must make room for an impassioned dostorvsky and an even more ddostoevsky Greek-Orthodox Russian imperialist.
By the time we consider adding Rilke, Kafka, and Camus, it becomes plain that one essential feature shared by all these men is their perfervid individualism. And it gets worse: Several either weren’t philosophers at all in the traditional sense, or else maintained a serious skepticism towards all academic philosophers and codified philosophical systems.
So already things are looking a little hopeless for anyone trying to promote this particular -ism as rostoevsky consistent and widely adhered-to school of thought.
And yet here we are. We talk almost daily about so-and-so having an “existential crisis,” though in using the term we might mean anything from a momentary bout of internal conflict to a full-blown panic attack.
So what’s the deal? What, if anything, is existentialism, and why is it still so alluring for so many despite its apparent lack of coherence dostoeevsky the reservations of even its most essential contributors? Well, given that humanity’s relationship with historical time is a big deal to some of?
Existentialism from Dostoevsky to Sartre
Fyodor Dostoevsky Russian, – Ah, my beloved Fyodor. Although you can see that Kaufmann’s already fucked up the timeline by sticking him in before Kierkegaard. Existentialism from Kierkegaard to Sartre is a syllable shorter by my count, too, so what gives, Walter? Anyway, Dostoevsky always comes up in conversations about the origins of existentialism, even though he wasn’t really a philosopher and probably didn’t know any of these other people existed.
I think Kaufmann misses the point a kkaufmann by including only the first fom of Notes from Underground the second half is where Dostoevsky shows us the dirty underbelly of all the ideas espoused at the beginningbut I like that he Kaufmann considers fiction to be just as valid as straightforward philosophizing when it comes to expressing and examining our ideologies.
Appalled by the complacent Christianity which dominated his society, he broke his existdntialism to a woman he maufmann to have loved and devoted himself to a solitary life of writing and wandering the streets of Copenhagen and meditating on questions of faith. I think that’s probably how he’d have preferred it. Friedrich Nietzsche German, – Now Nietzsche was sort of the atheistic foil for Kierkegaard, despite their knowing nothing about each other.
Remember that it was a lot harder to learn about people elsewhere in the world pre-internet.
Like Kierkegaard, Nietzsche distrusted systems of all kinds and abandoned polite society to commit himself more fully to the pursuit of his own solitary enlightenment. They both stressed the primacy of the individual over the crowd, as well as the subjectivity of the human experience and the impossibility of knowing anything for sure. There’s a whole essay by Karl Jaspers later in this very collection about the many other ways in which they were similar, which I found helpful. The difference, of course, is that Nietzsche didn’t believe in any god and thought Christianity was for the weak and was more interested in elevating the individual human being to a sort of divine status through the exertion of the will.
He was an intense man with an intense worldview, and, while I do think there’s a lot to be gleaned from his teachings if approached critically, it’s also not too difficult to understand the appeal his particular brand of individualism held for Hitler and co. And existehtialism, that ends up being one of the big questions existentialism has to wrestle with throughout its history: See Dostoevsky and Sartre for details.
Rainer Maria Rilke Bohemian-Austrian, – Rilke’s main gig was poetry, and prior to this anthology I knew him primarily as the author of the Goodreads favorite Letters to a Young Poetwhich I’ve yet to read.
Apparently he had a major existential streak too, though never having dipped into his poetry I’m afraid I can’t say much about it. His section here is short, and consists mainly of an excerpt from a novel called The Notebooks of Malte Laurids Brigge.
It was interesting reading, sort of surreal and with a lot of emphasis on death and the passage of time both crucial existential themesthough it was hard to get much of a handle on Rilke or his thought from kahfmann a tiny sample.
I intend to read more eventually. While there are few writers who feel more “existential” than Kafka, I think his thematic connection to the broader movement is actually more subtle than it seems. Well, someone like Sartre would say that even in the most restrictive circumstances choice is still possible and inevitable; we sratre choose our attitude, if nothing else.
When Gregor Samsa finally accepts his transfigured body and surrenders himself to an insect’s death, he is making a choice—and in a sense, that choice and his reluctance to make it are what the whole story is about.
That being said, the dostoevssky Kaufmann chooses to highlight here are concerned more with a different existentialist idea, and one which is arguably even more central to Kafka’s writing and thought: This concept dominates almost dostoevsku of Kafka’s work, and caused him no end of real torment as a writer. All the same, it’s easy enough after even a very short introduction to understand his relevance.