In Homo Viator, Gabriel Marcel analyzes the nature of man as wanderer, or pilgrim, who comes into this world with much already given, journeying towards an end that lies beyond the world. Men either recognize time and history as open, their own being as rooted in an unfathomable mystery of creative Being, and thus hope, or they imagine reality as closed in on themselves, and give themselves up to despair.
There is much in the essays that comprise Homo Viator, all of which were written in France during the Second World War, which is dense and difficult to understand. This is particularly true of Marcel's critiques of his fashionable contemporaries, Sartre and Bataille. A casual reader may be forgiven for skipping those essays, but should be sure to return for the masterful essays on Rilke which end the collection.
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