Three Existential  Horror Novels

Essays by Ted Gioia
For the narrator of Nausea, Antoine Roquentin, a
failed historian, the horror is everywhere—so much
so that everything surrounding him can produce a
queasy sense of nausea.  Physical objects leave
him disgusted. “Every existing thing is born without
reason,” he laments, “prolongs itself out of weakness
and dies by chance.”...  

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The essence of this horror is not the disgusting
nature of the cockroach, but rather our narrator’s
realization that she shares an affinity with the
creature. “I’d looked at the living roach and was
discovering inside it the identity of my deepest life.”
The realization cuts even deeper—G.H. discovers
her basic oneness with the entire universe. ....  

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It's easy to laugh at Edvard Brandes, the Danish
critic, who jumped up in the midst of reading
Hunger and “ran like crazy to the post office” to
mail Hamsun ten kroner—he was certain, from
reading the book, that its author must be starving.
But you will have a similar reaction....


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Publication Date:  February 29, 2016
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Nausea by Jean-Paul Sartre
The Passion According to G.H. by Clarice Lispector
Hunger by Knut Hamsun
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