In their 1971 interview with Sartre concerning L’Idiot de la famille,
Michel Contat and Michel Rybalka asked him: ‘Aren’t you a little
afraid of the idea that someone might try to elucidate you as you did
Flaubert?’ Sartre answered calmly, ‘On the contrary, I would be
happy. Like all writers, I hide. But I am also a public man and people
can think what they like about me, even if it is severe.’1 My project
of ‘elucidation’ thus has his complete approval.