Wednesday, February 22, 1995

The Age of Reason

by Jean-Paul Sartre

It's the first book in his Roads of Freedom trilogy. A very meticulously planned novel, it centers around Mathieu, a disenchanted college professor with a pregnant mistress. The character of Daniel, the cruel and masochistic homosexual who hates himself, is one of the great instigators in literature. Throughout the book, Mathieu trees to be free, even though he doesn't know how to attain freedom. He sees marriage as sacrificing his freedom, but has no clear alternatives.

There are exceptional passages, such as when Mathieu goes up to Lola's apartment after Boris has mistakenly reported her dead. The complex network of occurrences takes place in the space of three days in the book, so it's a very tight examination of its characters' minds. All in all, a great work, the theme of which will hopefully be expounded on in the second novel

four stars

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