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That's how I encountered Sarah Bakewell's At the Existentialist Cafe (2016), an unusually philosophical entry on nonfiction lists that are usually filled with history, popular-science and political titles.
Moreover, the analysis of the literary text will also pave the way for the upcoming readers to view the existentialist texts in a brighter light.
Like the effete English intellectuals of the Bloomsbury Set, the existentialists depended on what Lytton Strachey called "the marrying classes" to bear the burden of society, so that they could flit from flower to flower, enjoying a freedom that could never be allowed to those whom they despised for making it possible.
Existentialists, like Simone de Beauvoir preferred situations that allow the greatest amount of personal choice, but they recognize some compromises are necessary.
Part of the critical neglect of Existentialist prose of the 30s can be attributed to the exacerbation with the aesthetic revisionism praised by Verani, because as Gustavo Perez Firmat explains "by 1934 -- after the publication of perhaps three dozen works -- the interest in this sort of fiction has all but dissipated" (29).
The reason for the issue of freedom to become a leading theme of existential thinking was that despite its anti-metaphysical strive, most of existentialists sketched one or another ontology, and it is clear enough that freedom finally determines the ontological status of human being.
I am struck by how this concept of the "necessary other" seems to be reworked from Beauvoir's long essays on existentialist ethics, Pyrrhus et Cineas (1944) and Pour une morale de l'ambiguite (1947), in which the key concept of "interdependence" is fleshed out.
Like all existentialists, he is a universal man who is free in thought and action: "There was no racial tone to his reactions; he was just a man, any man who had an opportunity to flee and seized upon it." Cross Damon downplays the issue of race and hopes that it cannot be used to judge him especially in his relationship with Eva: "Could he allow her to love him for his color when being a Negro was the list important thing in his life?" Cross Damon cannot be anything else but what he already is, an existentialist by choice.
The Centre was a response both to the need for postwar planning after the Nazi occupation and also to the existentialist outlook of Camus and Sartre who, also in the wake of wartime moral, military, and political chaos, had so strongly stressed "that each human being creates his or her own future and participates in the creation of the human future" (188).
O'Gorman rightly labels Percy an existentialist, thanks largely to his conversion by way of Kierkegaard though also to his deep debt to Sartre and Kafka and Camus.
But like the earlier existentialist reception of Nietzsche, the death of God theology (at least in the central work of Thomas Altizer) is dependent, above all, on a notion of presence -- indeed, as Altizer does not hesitate to state, "total presence." In the post-modern work of Mark C.
Existentialists and Mystics: Writings on Philosophy and Literature.