>Home > News
Sartre and La Grande Sartreuse A Dangerous Liaison
English romantic novels end with a marriage like Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice; French romantic novels begin with a marriage like Sartre’s beloved Flaubert’s Madame Bovary. If the anti-marriage of Jean-Paul Sartre e La Grande Sartreuse Simone de Beauvoir were to be a novel it would be Choderlos de Laclos’ Les Liasons Dangereuses, meets Reage’s L’histroire d’O meets Fleming’s From Russia with Love. And of course as with all romantic novels it is about class, money and sex. In her revelatory deeply researched new double biography A Dangerous Liaison [Century, London, 2008 pp573] Carole Seymour-Jones has disentangled fact from fiction in the self-created myths of the father of existentialism and the mother of feminism.

Existentialism and commitment
Sartre insisted that human existence is always individual and particular. It is always a case of my existence and your existence, and the two are radically separate as though each of us lives sealed in a morally air tight world. Sartre defined existence as a mode of being. The way one chooses to live is his particular mode of being. As the individual chooses from a wide range of possibilities and commits himself to those choices, he defines his existence.

France's `Liberation' daily is selling out for the sake of survival
Founder Jean-Paul Sartre might roll in his grave, but the famed leftist newspaper has allowed the son of a banker to become the company's largest shareholder... For 20 million euros (US$26 million), Rothschild acquired 37 percent of Liberation, which was founded in 1973 by philosopher Jean-Paul Sartre and current publisher Serge July as what one writer has called "a Maoist instruction sheet."


Fairmont hits the road with new CD, 'Hell Is Other People'
Hell Is Other People, Fairmont's third full-length CD is thought provoking and evocative, a concept album loosely based on Jean Paul Sartre's play, No Exit. Man's cruelty toward one another, and the inability to escape this human tendency, is a central theme of both the album and the play. The listener embarks on a journey in which the narrator battles a person he loves ("Your Fan From Far Away") and a person he hates ("The Monster You've Become"), as well as his own self-loathing and disappointment ("Don't Give Up The Ship"). By album's end, the narrator is still incapable of escaping his own hell, much like the characters in Sartre's play.

In the forest of the soul
In 1960 Oë met Chairman Mao, whose writings he admired ("I was proud of his being Asian"), in Beijing and interviewed Jean-Paul Sartre in Paris in 1961 (a "charming intellectual who kept quoting himself"). He marched with Sartre and Simone de Beauvoir against the Algerian war. He demonstrated against the Vietnam war and joined the huge leftwing protests in Tokyo in 1960 against the renewal of Japan's security treaty with the US. "I respected democracy and the constitution made possible by America," says Oë, "while I was against an America which rejects democratic principles." Yamaguchi says: "After the war, people looked to a hopeful future. But Japan was subservient to the US. Young people protested but were defeated, and Oë expressed their anger and defeat; they'd found a hero for their generation."

Influenced by Sartre's existentialism and Rabelais's grotesque realism, and an American tradition from Twain to Norman Mailer, Oë created anti-heroes who wallow in abject shame and disgrace, disgusted at "civilisation". In his short stories or the novellas Seventeen (1961) and J (1963), they are lured by political fanati cism, but as likely to end up alcoholics or subway perverts. He twisted the staid conventions of the Japanese autobiographical "I-novel" and assailed the "vagueness" of such predecessors as Yasunari Kawabata (the 1968 Nobel laureate). Critics sneered that his prose "reeked of butter" - Japanese purity sullied by western syntax. Nathan, for whom it trod a "fine line between artful rebellion and unruliness", says Oë's "entire stance was an assault on traditional values".


Op-ed: Our identity --Munir Attaullah
Existentialist philosophy finds its roots in such basic human emotions as anguish and despair; of helplessness and rage at our frequent impotence; and of bewilderment when we do not understand. For Buddha the answer was a kind of all-enveloping humanism, while Kierkagaard found salvation in religion and Sartre in uncompromising atheism. Sartre’s view was that for modern man, in today’s essentially rootless world, such feelings arise from the fact that the essence of our being conscious is the freedom to make choices; that our choices determine who and what we become; but when all choices are horrendous such a freedom can become an impossible burden because we are not free even then not to be free (i.e. we still must make a choice). As personal freedoms have expanded dramatically, so have the dilemmas.

Uncivil War: Intellectuals and Identity Politics During the Decolonization of Algeria.
It is certainly legitimate to criticize Sartre and Fanon for having used Algeria to promote their own agendas or to question their canonization in academic discussions of decolonization. Clearing space for the voices of others who promoted different political visions is salutary. But Le Sueur’s critique raises more questions than it resolves. What epistemological location allows him to judge Fanon an unacceptable spokesperson for the FLN, which had charged him with this mission? What, other than an essentialist conception of identity, allows Le Sueur to discount Fanon as an outsider? What version of reconciliation does the author feel merits recuperation? How would it have been historically viable? Didn’t Fanon warn us about the neocolonial alliance between bourgeois nationalists, international capitalism, and former colonial powers? How could reconciliation not have devolved into economic or political dependence during the Cold War? Didn’t the supposedly redemptive ethnographic knowledge possessed and produced by the insiders risk devolving into Orientalism?

The practical philosopher
Mary Warnock raised five children at Oxford in the 50s, was a headmistress in the 60s, wrote books about Sartre and became Master of Girton, despite a strong fear of failure. But it is her no-nonsense approach to ethical dilemmas in embryology that has left the greatest mark on public policy. "I was absolutely repelled by Sartre. Here was a philosopher who allowed himself to talk about sex, love, fear, disgust, loathing, envy and all those things that philosophers didn't talk about, and that was a revelation really; but I despised it at the time. I thought it meant that he wasn't a proper philosopher."

PURPLE PATCH: The core of existentialism
What existentialists have in common is simply the fact that they believe that existence comes before essence — or, if you will, that we must begin from the subjective. What exactly do we mean by that?

Sartre and the Arabs: a footnote (18 - 24 May 2000) By Edward Said
When I arrived I found a short, mysterious letter from Sartre and de Beauvoir awaiting me at the modest hotel that I had booked in the Latin Quarter. "For security reasons," ran the message, "the meetings will be held at the home of Michel Foucault." I was duly provided with an address, and at ten the next morning I arrived at Foucault's spacious apartment to find a number of people -- minus Sartre himself -- already milling around. No one was ever to explain the mysterious "security reasons" that had forced a change in venue, though as a result a conspiratorial air hung quite unnecessarily over our proceedings.

Maurice Blanchot, 95, Novelist and Essayist, Dies - Maurice Blanchot, a reclusive French novelist and essayist who influenced the postmodernist intellectual movement championed by Jean-Paul Sartre and Michel Foucault, died on Feb. 20. He was 95...

A Star Intellectual Who Theorized About the Ordinary

Jean Paul Sartre. A french philosopher of the 20th century. Privacy Policy