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Posted in book reviews with tags , , , on August 2, 2010 by acousticchick

A Letter to the Fictional Antoine Roquentin, Regarding His Fictional Journal

Dear Mr. Roquentin,

If anything were to convince a person of the futility of life, it would be reading your journal. For a man who questions the value of life, you made damn sure to record every little detail of it (not to mention every last pang of emotion connected to it, right down to how colors made you feel). Sure, life is full of pointless events, and perhaps a more optimistic reader would say that part of the brilliance of your journal is that in expressing this, it becomes part of it. But frankly, your writing is dull, and even more so because it’s meaningless.

Don’t get me wrong. You gave a somewhat realistic depiction of what it is to be human. Life drags; it feels hopeless; we ask questions only to realize that there are no answers and the questions themselves are useless. But calling life futile is only part of the whole throughout your journal you neglect entirely to notice that life isn’t always like that. You’re a perfect candidate to ameliorate the despair that comes from the mindless repetition of days in which so many people are stuck. You get that life is pointless, but you don’t do anything with your knowledge besides wallowing in angst.

May I respectfully suggest that you do something other than write in your journal? Have a real conversation. Go for a walk, have your coffee in a different café. Just once, try to experience something without overthinking it, because for all your analyzing you haven’t found anything worthwhile to say. And if all else fails, try medication for God’s sake, because while no one can deny that life is transient, your response to it is just a huge waste of time.

Then again, that’s the point you were trying to make, isn’t it? You trickster, you.