Garden City: Doubleday & Company, 1958. Octavo. Beige cloth boards in light blue pictorial dust wrapper, unclipped with a couple short tears and some very slight rubbing, else fine. 278 pages. First edition. Near fine.
An armchair intellectual 50's classic. Essential early commentary on existentialists and their forerunners, folks like Pascal, Nietzsche, Kierkegaard, Camus, and Sartre, also artists like Picasso, Beckett, Joyce, and Hemingway. Some have argued that Barrett gets Hegel all wrong; we tend to favor philosophers who take liberties with Hegel. A beautiful copy.
"The story is told by Kierkegaard of the absent-minded man so abstracted from his own life that he hardly knows he exists until, one fine morning, he wakes up to find himself dead. It is a story that has a special point today, since this civilization of ours has at last got its hands on weapons with which it could easily bring upon itself the fate of Kierkegaard’s hero: we could wake up tomorrow morning dead—and without ever having touched the roots of our own existence. There is by this time widespread anxiety and even panic over the dangers of the atomic age; but the public soul-searching and stocktaking rarely, if ever, go to the heart of the matter."