Monday, September 21, 2009

Quote of the day

“In 1935, Sartre turned 30 and discovered that he was nothing but a provincial philosophy teacher with no significant publications. His feelings of frustration led to a veritable crisis of boredom and depression, culminating in hallucinations of being persecuted by lobsters.”

-Toril Moi, Simone de Beauvoir: The Making of an Intellectual Woman, 1994, page 229

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

Dali's lobster telephone and Schiaparelli's lobster dress both date from the mid-'30s. Lobsters are plenty weird at any time, but was there any connection between Sartre and Surrealism?
--EH

Petey said...

"Dali's lobster telephone and Schiaparelli's lobster dress both date from the mid-'30s. Lobsters are plenty weird at any time,"

Look, this just isn't true.

In the 19th century, lobsters were considered to be quite ordinary and normal. Two 19th century Presidents, Benjamin Harrison and James Garfield, were both born as lobsters, and yet both still managed to get elected President.

(Although it is true that Garfield was assassinated by someone who thought lobsters were "plenty weird", the assassin was found guilty by a jury of his peers who didn't share in his anti-crustaceanism.)

Matt said...

My understanding is that the lobster hallucinations had more to do with psychedelic drugs than with boredom as such, though perhaps the boredom percipitate the drug taking.

X. Trapnel said...

This is fantastic. I'm so sick of reading how when X was my age, he had already done Y, Z, and died. Repeating this quote out loud will be my new mantra!

So wait, are you IN France now?

Phoebe said...

I'm not in France, just in New York, nothing special. But I've seen from your blog you are in Heidelberg - if you like coffee, be sure to go to Florian Steiner in Neuenheim.