Yeah, of course they're worth reading. Existentialism is out of fashion but that doesn't mean it didn't have a serious role to play in 20th century thought, and produced some literature along the way which is definitely "worth reading", regardless of whether or not it captures the public's imagination today. Existentialism is also, in my opinion, a philosophy with which everyone should become familiar, ideally as early as possible -- it kind of is a teenage philosophy.
Read Dostoyevsky, Nietzsche and Kierkegaard as its pre-emptors/early proponents; read Camus, Sartre and Heidegger from when it really came into its own and became self-aware of itself as a movement. You don't really need much else, but all of those writers are "worth reading."
>What is there to read from these movements? Plenty, you won't run out soon. But since they're both post-somethings, it makes sense to begin with the somethings. For someone with a literary inclination, modernism will be more rewarding. A reading list of modernism could go on for a very long time, but I suppose the key writers would be T. S. Eliot, Ezra Pound and James Joyce. These are indispensable. Don't fall into the /lit/ trap of reading almost exclusively prose. You might also add Woolf, Faulkner, D. H. Lawrence, middle-to-late Yeats, etc. Modernism was a golden era for literature and these writers are a lot more rewarding than the abstract and difficult post-modern/post-structuralist stuff which I have no taste for -- but the key names if you're interested would be Foucault, Lacan, Deleuze and Derrida.
> Also, what does exactly precedes existentialism? It isn't in any of the philosophy lists and guides here. You can't really chop the entire intellectual past into neat, discrete categories with nice labels like "existentialism" or "Romanticism" or whatever. It's not really the case that in the year xxxx movement a. ended and movement b. begun. They all run into each other and overlap. You should be aware of that when asking questions like about what came before what -- it's an oversimplification which we use for convenience. That in mind, I don't know what can be said to "precede" existentialism as such. Realism, maybe, since realists were generally speaking concerned with faithful representation of the world around them, while the existentialists re-shifted their focus onto an introverted examination of the individual.
>>7579381 My pleasure. /lit/ was pretty formative for me back in the day. A lot of the high-quality posters have left, so I do my best to fill their shoes.
>>7579387 I didn't say it was outdated, I said it was out of fashion. It's not outdated for people in a certain stage of their lives, which I think everyone goes through, mostly in their middle-to-late teenage years, when they begin to struggle with questions of meaning, the absurd, and the role of the individual in a universe which seems vast, cold and indifferent. Every thinking person asks themselves these questions sooner or later, but you don't stay in that phase forever. It is a little self-indulgent, and eventually your profound deliberation starts to appear more like self-involved navelgazing -- abstract, detached and directionless.
>>7579436 >self-involved navelgazing -- abstract, detached and directionless. What do you mean this? That the socio-economic problems of the real world become more pressing and immediate, or that once you've found your own meaning any more introspection would lead to paralysis by self-analysis?
>>7579512 I don't mean anything too specific, really; I think everyone runs out of steam with their existentialism eventually, but it happens differently for everyone. It may be that life's obligations become far too real and material and pressing and make the existential ones seem airy by comparison. It may also be that you arrive at some kind of conclusion in your deliberation which is satisfactory to you, at least for the moment. Maybe you've read Kierkegaard or Nietzsche or Camus and found some kind of resolution therein. I guess everyone finds their own way out of it, but find their way out they do -- I don't know anyone from my teenage years of reading and discussing these writers who are still preoccupied by them.
>>7579546 So you think that Camus's idea of embracing the absurd is a valid end to a teen's existencialist crisis? As a STEMfag 20 year old that only saw the world as science dictates, having a slow burning crisis that lasted my entire teens up to last year, only Camus offered me a satisfying answer.
>>7579557 >So you think that Camus's idea of embracing the absurd is a valid end to a teen's existencialist crisis? It's a pretty orthodox "solution" to the existential "problem". You shouldn't take my word for it though, or anyone else's. Appealing to the authority of other people to "validate" your solution is kind of doinitwrong. You find your own way out of it.
Existentialism is a half-assed cop out that relies on doubtful assumptions and is literally the shit that a teenager that could come up with, dressed up with intentionally difficult and vague wording. When Camus said his philosophy came from football, he wasn't trying to be cute or edgy - his philosophy really is just that simple.
I really love existentialism and I think it's coming back into fashion, I think especially with technology and all these new weird tangents that gender is going we will see a need for some more writings but with a more modern flavour.
What's worth reading? Notes from the underground Either/Or Beyond Good and Evil The Myth of Sisyphus
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