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Winner of the 1964 Nobel Prize for Literature, Jean-Paul Sartre, Frenchphilosopher, critic, novelist, and dramatist, holds a position ofsingular eminence in the world of letters. Among readers and criticsfamiliar with the whole of Sartre's work, it is generally recognizedthat his earliest novel, La Naus#xE9;e (first published in 1938), ishis finest and most significant. It is unquestionably a key novel of thetwentieth century and a landmark in Existentialist fiction. Nauseais the story of Antoine Roquentin, a French writer who is horrified athis own existence. In impressionistic, diary form he ruthlesslycatalogues his every feeling and sensation. His thoughts culminate in apervasive, overpowering feeling of nausea which "spreads at the bottomof the viscous puddle, at the bottom of our time-the time of purplesuspenders and broken chair seats; it is made of wide, soft instants,spreading at the edge, like an oil stain." Roquentin's efforts to cometo terms with life, his philosophical and psychological struggles, giveSartre the opportunity to dramatize the tenets of his Existentialistcreed.