The Drunken Existentialist – Sartre Reinterpreted

The Drunken Existentialist – Sartre Reinterpreted

12th June 2014 // By Aimee Tracton // Dangerous Ideas

Existential philosophy is all about one's responsibility as a free agent to determine your own meaning in life. So, it’s only appropriate to twist Jean-Paul Sartre’s words to fit my own personal agenda (denial of being an alcoholic). The “death consciousness” theory (that the most important factor for a truly authentic life is not knowledge but experience) could easily allude to nights sharing drunken stories with a homeless man. 

Sartre’s fine theories were conceived on daily diet of 40 cigarettes, litres of alcohol, and a dozen tablets of an ingenious over-the-counter amphetamine/aspirin mix called ‘corydrane’. Ahhh, those were the days. Also, his most famous novel is titled ‘Nausea’. I’m not drawing any conclusions, but…

Below is a selection of ten Sartre quotes applied to the integral life experience that is a hangover.

Hell is other people.

Meaning: It was a one-night stand. It is now past midday and yet… he remains. 

Three o'clock is always too late or too early for anything you want to do.

Meaning: I’m going back to sleep.

We do not know what we want and yet we are responsible for what we are—that is the fact.

Meaning: I didn’t want to do eight ‘wet pussies’. Sally made me. This is all Sally’s fault. Oh, who am I kidding…

There are two types of poor people, those who are poor together and those who are poor alone. The first are the true poor, the others are rich people out of luck.

Meaning 1: A loving moment when your housemate pities your wretched state and cooks you Mi-Goreng.

Meaning 2: Your mum won’t come over to cook you bacon.

“I am going to outlive myself. Eat, sleep, sleep, eat. Exist slowly, softly, like these trees, like a puddle of water, like the red bench in the streetcar.”

Meaning: I’m not leaving the couch for at least 12 hours. Unless, it’s to the fridge.

Only the guy who isn't rowing has time to rock the boat. 

Meaning: We went on a boat? I don’t remember any boat.

I am. I am, I exist, I think, therefore I am; I am because I think, why do I think? I don't want to think any more, I am because I think that I don't want to be, I think that I . . . because . . . ugh!

Meaning: Why am I even bothering with my uni assignment when I’ve clearly inflicted myself with irreversible brain damage, I might as well drop out now.

I exist, that is all, and I find it nauseating.

Meaning: Bring the bucket. Quick.

She smiled and said with an ecstatic air: "It shines like a little diamond",
"What does?"
"This moment. It is round, it hangs in empty space like a little diamond; I am eternal.” 

Meaning: I’m scaring children at my nieces 2nd birthday party as I haven’t slept and am possibly still high.

Like all dreamers, I mistook disenchantment for truth.

Meaning: Is it awesome or terrible that I jumped on the table to do a strip tease and the table collapsed and now I owe Sally’s cousin $150 in damages?

I found the human heart empty and insipid everywhere except in books.

Meaning: Charles Bukowski was a violent drunk, and he was cool.