Death turns out to be what gives life value, even if you're a narcissist. Eternal life really is a bad gig.
All Men are Mortal is an interesting look at the achievements of men in Western Europe over the last several hundred years; but rather than from men's perspective, it is only from one immortal Man: Fosca. With an entertaining prelude we are finally launched into Fosca's centuries long discovery of existential purpose and the will to live in other men that so confuses him for so long.
Given eternal life, Fosca wants to make men happy. He thinks that peace and prosperity will help them, that economic security will make their lives easier and better. But it is not their peace, it is his. With a god amongst men controlling them all, they revolt (coinciding with Lutheran heresy in the church) and even at the cost of destruction need to feel themselves alive in the present.
This was a very strange book but it is very affective and it is an interesting platform for and way of looking at the existential philosophy developed by de Beauvoir and Sartre during their careers. It has the author's view of women clearly inscribed upon it, and her beliefs in what men should do, but in novelising them they are easier to read and feel more alive. It has made me very much want to read Simone de Beauvoir's memoirs/autobiography.
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