By Sarah Bakewell
From the best-selling writer of How to Live, a lively account of 1 of the 20th century’s significant highbrow activities and the innovative thinkers who got here to form it
Paris, 1933: 3 contemporaries meet over apricot cocktails on the Bec-de-Gaz bar at the rue Montparnasse. they're the younger Jean-Paul Sartre, Simone de Beauvoir, and longtime good friend Raymond Aron, a fellow thinker who raves to them a couple of new conceptual framework from Berlin referred to as Phenomenology. “You see,” he says, “if you're a phenomenologist you could speak about this cocktail and make philosophy out of it!”
It used to be this straightforward word that may ignite a stream, inspiring Sartre to combine Phenomenology into his personal French, humanistic sensibility, thereby growing a completely new philosophical procedure encouraged by way of issues of radical freedom, genuine being, and political activism. This move may sweep during the jazz golf equipment and cafés of the Left financial institution earlier than making its method the world over as Existentialism.
Featuring not just philosophers, but additionally playwrights, anthropologists, convicts, and revolutionaries, At the Existentialist Café follows the existentialists’ tale, from the 1st rebellious spark throughout the moment global conflict, to its position in postwar liberation pursuits similar to anticolonialism, feminism, and homosexual rights. Interweaving biography and philosophy, it's the epic account of passionate encounters—fights, amorous affairs, mentorships, rebellions, and lengthy partnerships—and an important research into what the existentialists need to provide us at the present time, at a second once we are once more confronting the most important questions of freedom, worldwide accountability, and human authenticity in a fractious and technology-driven international.