By Steven Kellman
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Additional resources for The Self-Begetting Novel
Because ... ] The Cartesian faith in method and in his ability to construct a network of indubitable truth, including that of God's pre-eminence, is absent. And Sartre finds the Cartesian mind-body duality unacceptable. But Roquentin, like Descartes, is thrown back on his own individual epistemological resources and is unable to elude the primacy of his own existence. Sartre presumably would have little quarrel with the Biblical myth that portrays man as created out of the slimy matter of clay.
185). An orphan without any social ties, he has now denied even the possibility of family and society as anything but inauthentic and arbitrary. All he can do now is create. 84), undergoes a Cartesian birth. 141). This marks the beginning of his enlightenment and his salvation. While for Descartes it is thought which provides the assurance that there is a subject who is thinking, nausea becomes the prime mover in the Sartrean universe. As soon as he is able to see beyond the delusions of custom, Roquentin faces the world en-soi in all of its unmanageable density and viscosity.
22 THE SELF-BEGETTING NOVEL But artistic power derives from the manipulation of names, which sometimes requires their temporary suppression. " It is significant that the protagonist of Ala recherche is anonymous throughout most, if not all, of the novel. Like the main character in Sand's FranfOis le champi, "Marcel" begins as a foundling of sorts who eventually "makes it" in the world precisely by making the world. Like any visionary or pilgrim, he begins with the conviction of his own unworthiness and of a chasm between the self and the external world.
The Self-Begetting Novel by Steven Kellman