A couple of weeks past I indulged in a “parlour game” of naming 15 books that somehow influenced my life. I thought it might be fun to explore what impact these texts made. It seems logical to begin with the book that had most influence.
Nausea by Jean-Paul Sartre (1938). At 17, a phase of dabbling with religion left me unconvinced. I was vaguely aware of existentialism. Nausea was the book that erased four years of mysticism and occultism. After reading the book twice in succession I came to the conclusion of my search for meaning.
Two years of disquietude followed as the discovery reshaped how I was to live in life. During that period I read Sartre, Kierkegaard and Nietzsche. I attempted Heidegger. Indirectly Nausea lead to Kafka and Dostoyevsky, both whom became important influences. Twenty-five years on I still strive to define myself and to live an authentic existence. I frequently fail, taking little reassurance from the knowledge that Sartre was frequently lead to inauthenticity. Each year I examine my personal commitment to bring meaning to my existence.