Art, Ontology, and the End of <i>Nausea</i>

Peter Lamarque

in Work and Object

Published in print June 2010 | ISBN: 9780199577460
Published online September 2010 | e-ISBN: 9780191722998 | DOI:
Art, Ontology, and the End of Nausea

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This chapter identifies a view about the ontology of art in the final sections of Jean-Paul Sartre's novel Nausea and suggests a more positive evaluation of the novel's ending than is commonly proposed. A contrast between the nature of objects, as a source of nausea, and the nature of works of art (with the focus on the jazz song ‘Some of These Days’) is drawn in terms of three features: the viscous, the absurd, and the contingent. Reasons for the absence, in Sartre's view, of these features in works of art are elaborated, partly by reference to Sartre's work The Psychology of Imagination, as is the idea that works are objects of the imagination. Sartre's puzzling claim that works of art do not (strictly) exist is explained in terms of the distinctive ontology of art that emerges in the novel.

Keywords: Sartre; Nausea; viscous; absurd; contingent; Psychology of Imagination; ontology

Chapter.  4781 words. 

Subjects: Aesthetics and Philosophy of Art

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