The Rise and Fall of Existentialism Existential literature often focuses on the personal journey towards existential awareness. Common themes in existential works, such as alienation and confrontation with death, often lead the "anti-hero" towards a climactic choice that defines whether they have reached true understanding. The themes within existential literature are reflected from the world at large, and the works themselves are a metaphor for a grander shift in Western philosophy.
1946, Albert Camus published his famous work called The Stranger and sparked the start of existentialism. This literary approach rejects the idea that the universe offers any clues about how humanity should live. Therefore, writers of this type glorify the ideas of freedom and individual responsibility. Other popular authors that are characterized as existentialists are Ernest Hemingway, James Baldwin, and Nathaniel West. Following its popular surge in the 1940s and 1950s, existentialism faded after