Read Dinding (Serpihan Terjemahan JRGN001) by Jean-Paul Sartre Free Online
Book Title: Dinding (Serpihan Terjemahan JRGN001)|
The author of the book: Jean-Paul Sartre
ISBN 13: No data
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 715 KB
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Reader ratings: 4.7
Edition: Jargon Books
Date of issue: June 2012
ISBN: No data
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“I wanted my own words. But the ones I use have been dragged through I don't know how many consciences.”
― Jean-Paul Sartre, The Wall
My focus is on one of the book's title piece - The Wall. This existentialist story has the feel of a film shot in stark black and white; the prose is as hard boiled as it gets and is told in first-person. The opening scene takes place in a large bare room with white walls where the narrator, Pablo Ibbieta, a man we can visualize with a thin, chiseled face, slick back hair and looking a bit like Albert Camus or Humphrey Bogart - a visualization in keeping with the tone of one of those 1940s black and white films - is interrogated, and, along with two other men, sentenced to be shot dead. The three condemned are taken to a cellar with bench and mats, a room shivering cold and without a trace of warmth or humanity. The story unfolds in this hard, dank, ugly cellar room. Absurdity and despair, anyone?
Sartre has us live through the evening and night with Pablo and the two other convicted men: Tom, who has a thick neck and is fat around the middle (Pablo imagines bullets or bayonets cutting into his flesh), and Juan, who is young and has done nothing, other than being the brother of someone wanted by the authorities. We watch as Pablo and Tom and Juan turn old and gray; we smell urine when Tom unconsciously wets his pants; we hear Tom speaking of men executed by being run over by trucks to save ammunition.
A doctor enters the room and offers cigarettes and asks if anyone wants a priest. No one answers. Pablo falls asleep and wakes, having no thought of death or fear - what he is confronting is nameless; his reaction is physical - his cheeks burn and his head aches. Meanwhile, the doctor, referred to as the Belgian by Pablo, takes Juan's pulse and writes in his notebook. All is clinical; all is calculating. The cold penetrates - the doctor looks blue. Pablo sees that he himself is drenched in sweat. Sartre has written philosophical works such as Being and Nothingness where he addresses the meaninglessness of life and the reality of death in conceptual terms but in this story his ideas are given flesh and blood.
The core of this story is all three men dealing with their own death. Juan sobs. Tom talks so he can recognize himself, that is, talk as a way of anchoring his sense of self in the world. He says something is going to happen he doesn't understand: death is a blank for Tom. And also for Pablo, who observes how the doctor entered the cellar to watch bodies, bodies dying in agony while still alive.
Pablo remembers living as if immortal and reflects he spent his life counterfeiting eternity, although he missed nothing, he understood nothing. Meanwhile, Tom touches the wooden bench as if touching death. Now that Pablo is looking at things through the lens of death, objects appear less dense - several hours or several years are all the same when you have lost the illusion of being eternal. Pablo feels a horrible calm, a distance from his body; his feeling of being with his body is as if he is tied to an enormous vermin. Feeling your body as an enormous vermin - how disgusting and alienating. Just in case you are wondering if this is existentialism, this is existentialism.
The Doctor lets everyone know it is 3:30. At the mention of the time, Juan loses it and become hysterical but Pablo simply wants to die cleanly. After some time, the guards come in and take away Tom and Juan. Pablo hears shots fired out in the yard and wants to scream, but rather grits his teeth and pushes his hands in his pockets to stay clean. What does it mean to die cleanly? We are not given anything more specific.
Pablo is taken to the first floor where he is given a chance to live by revealing the whereabouts of one Ramon Gris. What happens from this point offers a twist, a twist, that is, for a tale soaking in absurdity, dread, alienation and death. Please read The Wall. You will be chilled; you will have an existentialist experience, you just might laugh so hard at the end you will start to cry.
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Read information about the authorJean-Paul Charles Aymard Sartre, normally known simply as Jean-Paul Sartre, was a French existentialist philosopher and pioneer, dramatist and screenwriter, novelist and critic. He was a leading figure in 20th century French philosophy.
He declined the award of the 1964 Nobel Prize in Literature "for his work which, rich in ideas and filled with the spirit of freedom and the quest for truth, has exerted a far-reaching influence on our age."
In the years around the time of his death, however, existentialism declined in French philosophy and was overtaken by structuralism, represented by Levi-Strauss and, one of Sartre's detractors, Michel Foucault.
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