Edited and with an Introduction by Gordon Marino
Basic Writings of Existentialism, unique to the Modern Library, presents the writings of key nineteenth- and twentieth-century thinkers broadly united by their belief that because life has no inherent meaning humans can discover, we must determine meaning for ourselves. This anthology brings together into one volume the most influential and commonly taught works of existentialism. Contributors include Simone de Beauvoir, Albert Camus, Fyodor Dostoevsky, Ralph Ellison, Martin Heidegger, Søren Kierkegaard, Friedrich Nietzsche, Jean-Paul Sartre, and Miguel de Unamuno y Jugo.
About the Author
Gordon Marino is professor of philosophy, Boldt Distinguished Chair in the Humanities, and director of the Hong Kierkegaard Library at St. Olaf College in Northfield, Minnesota. He was research fellow at the Kierkegaard Biblioteket in Copenhagen for three years. He is also co-editor of The Cambridge Companion to Kierkegaard and author of Kierkegaard in the Present Age.
“Basic Writings of Existentialism will be, for many, a reminder of what first drew them to existentialism and, simply, to philosophy. Marino's introductory essays, taut, instructive, well-tuned to the drumbeat of each thinker's passions and concerns, and the substantial selections from the foremost representatives of the movement, are a benediction. In defiance of Hegel's pronouncements, the thinkers included here introduce us to a philosophy in present tense, and preferably in the active voice. Readers new to existentialism have as reliable a guide as the subject matter permits. Those familiar with movement have an occasion for recollection and more."
—Vanessa Rumble, Associate Professor of Philosophy, Boston College
”This book is a perfect choice for all who wonder what existentialism is all about. The key writers are included -- Kierkegaard, Nietzsche and Dostoevsky from the19th Century, and Heudegger, Sartre, and Camus, from the 20th Century. It's good to see selections from Simone de Beauvoir and Ralph Ellison, as well. Marino has a sharp eye for picking telling passages from often long and complex works. It's now clear that existentialism is one of the enduring traditions in Western Philosophy, Art, and Religion, a perspective that articulates and responds to the deepest human needs. These fresh selections lay out the issues, from alienation to reconciliation, from despair to joyful wisdom, that make this world-perspective so compelling. Marino's introductions to each writer, and his introductory overview, are lively and capture the spirit of the chosen texts. A profound adventure awaits those readers ready to immerse themselves in this jewel of a book.”
—Edward F. Mooney, Professor of Philosophy and Religion, Syracuse University
"With superb selections and strongly supportive introductory biographies, this is in my judgment the best existentialism anthology out there."
—Merold Westphal, Distinguished Professor of Philosophy Fordham University