Black Girl Lost: An Existentialist Journey Through An American Ghetto

  Donald Goines lacked the education and literary pedigree to write as eloquently as the likes of Cormac McCarthy or Toni Morrison, and while other American writers of his generation were brought up on Steinbeck and Faulkner, Goines was brought up on Iceberg Slim.  Drawing on his own experience, though, Goines was able to write as van Gogh painted, […]

Jean-Baptiste Clamence: The Existentialist Rambler

  In his eulogy for Albert Camus, Jean-Paul Sartre said that The Fall was likely Camus’s “finest and least understood” book.  Given that Sartre’s most famous work, Huis Clos (or No Exit), bemoans that “hell is other people”, and that the protagonist of The Fall, Jean-Baptiste Clamence, spends his life tormented by the thought of […]

Agatha Christie’s And Then There Were None: The Existentialist Murder Mystery

  If anybody ever wondered how Jean-Paul Sartre’s Huis Clos—or as it is more famously known in English, No Exit—would play out as a murder mystery, then one need look no further than Agatha Christie’s And Then There Were None, which actually predates Huis Clos by four years.  Rather than three unacquainted individuals meeting up […]

Carter Brown’s Play Now… Kill Later: The Existentialist Detective Novel

  As is the case with most Carter Brown novels, Play Now… Kill Later is a template of pulp era detective fiction.  It is filled with titillating women, each peered at through the male gaze, has an androcentric perspective, and follows a private eye as he unravels a mystery in which everybody is lying about […]

Blood Meridian: The Epilogue

  Blood Meridian (or the Evening Redness in the West) is widely regarded as Cormac McCarthy’s finest work.  Though he won the Pulitzer Prize for The Road, and The National Book Award for All the Pretty Horses, it is Blood Meridian that critic Harold Bloom boasts is “worthy of Herman Melville’s Moby-Dick”.  The novel is a rich […]

The Existentialist Ex Machina

  Alex Garland’s Ex Machina is a masterful existentialist thriller that marries The Tempest with Blade Runner to create a science fiction film that maximizes the potential of the genre.  The film details a week in the life of Nathan (Oscar Isaac), a programmer who has recruited another programmer, Caleb (Domhnall Gleeson), from his Google-esque corporation in […]

Sophocles’s Electra: The First Anti-War ‘Movie’?

  Though close to 2500 years old, Sophocles’ Electra remains relevant and speaks to several important social issues.  It is surprising, for instance, how pertinent the story is to issues related to war. In the face of the recent controversy surrounding his film American Sniper, Clint Eastwood has come out to suggest that the film […]

Chuck Palahniuk’s Fight Club: Walden for the 21st Century

  There was a period, around the time we all gasped a sigh of relief that the Y2K bug was not a problem, but having to hear Cher’s autotuned voice on the radio eight times a day, internet speeds, and the potential release of another Backstreet Boys album were still very much legitimate concerns, that […]

The Flies, by Jean-Paul Sartre: Orestes And Christ As Existentialist Heroes

  Jean-Paul Sartre’s The Flies (or Les Mouches) adopts the classic Grecian narrative of Orestes and frames the famous matricidal hero as an existentialist incarnation of Christ, whereby he takes the sins of the people of Argos upon his shoulders to relieve them of the burden of their past.  Though the Christ analogy is problematic at […]

John Milton’s Paradise Lost: God Made Me Do It!

  In John Milton’s Paradise Lost, the story of humanity’s fall is described in an epic poem, but it is unclear who is at fault for the fall.  Though the obvious choice is Satan, and though Eve has frequently been blamed, Adam has also been held accountable for the fall in many feminist discourses.  Whilst there […]