La Nausee is the story of a thirty-year-old man who, after years of travels and adventures, has settled in Bouville to complete a history thesis on M. de Rollebon. At the beginning of the novel, Antoine Roquentin feels that 'something has happened,:1 he is given to fits of nausea that he cannot explain and the world around him - tobacco packs, door handles, stones, walls, suspenders, tramway seats - appears to be just as sick. He decides to 'keep a diary in order to see clearly' (p. 5). At the end of the novel, after having understood the meaning of nausea ('it is Existence revealing itself and it is not pretty to see, Existence,)2 and after having rejected many ways of acting like a jerk and trying not to face the contingency of being - adventure (it is found only in books); his work on M. de Rollebon ('a dead man can never justify a living one,);3 power and money (the bourgeois of Bouville are bastards); knowledge (the Self-Taught Man is an imbecile); the consolations of reminiscence (the past is dead), psychology (Roquentin is 'neither a virgin nor a priest', p. 15), or nature (it is disgusting); debauchery (he has tried it and it did not work); action (but do what and for what?); love (Roquentin and Anny have nothing to tell each other); friendship (Roquentin and the Self-Taught Man have nothing to tell each other);

*Yale French Studies, (Conneticut: Yale University Press, 1984), vol. 67, pp. 182-90.