Browse

You are looking at 141 - 150 of 442 items for :

  • French Studies x
  • Refine by Access: All content x
  • Refine by Content Type: All x
Clear All Modify Search
Restricted access

Sartre and God: A Spiritual Odyssey? Part 1

John H. Gillespie

This two-part article examines whether Sartre's final interviews, recorded in L'Espoir maintenant [Hope Now], indicate a final turn to belief through an overview of his engagement with the idea of God throughout his career. In Part 1 we examine Sartre's early atheism, but note the pervasive nature of secularised Christian metaphors and concepts in his religion of letters and the centrality of man's desire to be God in Being and Nothingness. His theoretical writings seek to refute the idea of God, but in doing so God is paradoxically both absent and present. In Part 2 we assess his anti-theism and consider his final encounter with theism in L'Espoir maintenant, arguing that it is part of Sartre's long-term engagement with the idea of God.

Restricted access

Book Reviews

Matt Eshleman, Mark William Westmoreland, and Yiwei Zheng

Stephen Wang, Aquinas and Sartre: On Freedom, Personal Identity and the Possibility of Happiness Review by Matt Eshleman

Jonathan Judaken, ed. Race After Sartre: Antiracism, African Existentialism, Postcolonialism Review by Mark William Westmoreland

Anthony Hatzimoysis, The Philosophy of Sartre Review by Yiwei Zheng

Restricted access

Constructing Peace by Freedom: Jean-Paul Sartre, Four Short Speeches on the Peace Movement, 1952-1955

David Lethbridge

Sartre's interventions at the Vienna, Berlin, and Helsinki Congresses of the World Peace Council are examined in depth. Neglected and overlooked for over a half-century, it is argued that the themes Sartre elaborated in these speeches were consonant with the political and intellectual projects he had been developing since the mid-1930s. Although Sartre spoke as a Marxist who had allied himself with the Communist Party, his deepest concern was to build international unity in opposition to the escalating threat of nuclear war, and to restore political and economic sovereignty to a Western Europe crushed by dependency on America. Freedom for all the world's peoples, Sartre argued, depended on mutual interdependence between nations, built from the ground up by the popular masses.

Restricted access

Orality, Censorship and Sartre's Theatrical Audience

John Ireland

Sartre's conflicted relationship with his theatrical audience is explained by showing how Sartre's initial theatrical venture, Bariona, created in a POW camp in December 1940, sparked an idealized conception of the audience. The particular context in which the play was produced brought its performers and audience together into an almost mystical fusion. But these virtues, derived from pre-textual “oral“ culture, lost much of their luster with Sartre's second play, The Flies. Like its predecessor, The Flies used myth to counter German censorship, but in occupied Paris in front of a much more heterogeneous audience. The resulting comparative failure complicated Sartre's relationship to the mass audiences he sought in the post-war years. Theater audiences became emblematic of a wider public Sartre never fully trusted to accept or understand his ideas. Furthermore, Sartre's decision to stage almost all his plays between 1946 and 1959 at the “bourgeois“ Théâtre Antoine only made him even more mistrustful of audiences he often found himself writing “against.“

Restricted access

Revolution or Revolt? Les Mains Sales and Les Justes

Benedict O'Donohoe

Sartre's evocation of ideological socialism in Dirty Hands' protagonist Hugo, as opposed to the pragmatism of the realist, Hoederer, found an attentive audience in April 1948. The means are justified by the ends, Hoederer insists, although that means “getting one's hands dirty.“ Eighteen months later, Camus produced Les Justes, which offers an implicit rebuttal of Sartre's position. Kaliayev-like Hugo, an idealist and an intellectual-is rebuked by his hard-line colleague, Fedorov, for failing to throw his grenade at the Archduke's carriage merely because he was accompanied by children. Kaliayev's vindication of the individual's moral conscience, even in the midst of collective action, counters Hoederer's position. For Camus, the ends do not necessarily justify the means; there are always lines to be drawn in the name of an ethical stance which, ultimately, protects human dignity from the allure of morally compromised “progress.“ Consideration of each playwright's notion of authenticity, as embodied in their respective protagonists, leads us to consider whether Sartre had, in effect, anticipated Kaliayev in the person of Hugo and foreshadowed his critique of Camus's L'Homme révolté, which led to their definitive quarrel.

Restricted access

Sartre and Engels: The Critique of Dialectical Reason and the Confrontation on the Dialectics of Nature

William L. Remley

In a little remembered event in December 1961, Sartre entered into a debate with Roger Garaudy, as well as other representatives of the Parti Communiste Française (PCF), on the topic of the existence of a universal dialectical law applicable to nature as well as to human thought. In the debate, Sartre seeks to rebut the notion that humankind is merely an “alien addition“ to nature, as Engels maintained, and instead argues that individual subjectivity cannot be reduced to an object of knowledge. This paper highlights the importance of the debate for both sides, but particularly for Sartre and his Critique of Dialectical Reason.

Restricted access

Sartre and Theatrical Ambiguity

John Gillespie

This overview of Sartre's theater within the context of the symposium focuses on the inherent ambiguities of his theory and practice. His plays, as committed literature, are not always successful in their pedagogical intention of changing the minds of his audiences. On the one hand, he seeks to provide universal situations with which everyone can collectively identify, and on the other he wishes to convince them of the value of freedom and confront them with problems and conflicts they must resolve for themselves. These spectators then exercise that freedom by taking ideological viewpoints that are in conflict with those of the plays. Moreover, the plays are often complex and ambiguous, and set far from a contemporary French context, thus demanding a certain sophistication of interpretation. Sartre's skill as a dramatist is to write plays that engage the public in debates about the key questions of the day, even though, because of his open approach, he does not always succeed in changing their minds.

Restricted access

Sartre's Conception Of Theater: Theory And Practice

Adrian Van Den Hoven

This article analyzes articles and interviews published in Sartre on Theater and focuses on five plays (Bariona, The Flies, No Exit and The Condemned of Altona) in order to arrive at a coherent conception of Sartre's theater. Sartre views the stage as “belonging to a different imaginary realm“ in which the characters' language, gestures and the props function in a synecdochical relationship in respect to the spectators. It is their task to grasp these “signs“ and bundle them into a coherent and meaningful whole. Because Sartre views the theater as an imaginary realm, he can free himself from the strictures of his philosophy: 1) the irreversibility of time; 2) the fact that life does not give us a second chance; and 3) that death means that our life falls into the public domain. This freedom allows Sartre to deal with temporality in a novel way and to deal with “life after death“ as life simply continued. Conversely, he can scramble temporality for psychological reasons in order to bring out deep rooted personal conflicts, as he does in The Condemned of Altona.

Full access

Simone de Beauvoir on Existentialist Theater

Dennis A. Gilbert

My article focuses on Le Théâtre existentialiste (Existentialist Theater) by Simone de Beauvoir, recently translated and published in the volume of the Beauvoir Series on her literary writings. The first part introduces the original sound recording of this text and the circumstances behind its possible production in New York City in 1947 and my discovery of it at Wellesley College in 1996. The second part analyzes the divisions of Beauvoir's remarks as she presents Jean-Paul Sartre, Albert Camus, and their principal plays from the period of the Occupation: The Flies, No Exit, and Caligula. The third part then evaluates certain of Beauvoir's key concepts in terms of how they were able to define adequately the substance of existentialist theater for a postwar American audience and whether they remain valid for a more contemporary theatrical public some six decades later.

Restricted access

Book Reviews

Tim Huntley, Ian Birchall, Manuel Braganca, Nik Farrell-Fox, and Willie Thompson

Michael Lewis and Tanja Staehler, Phenomenology: An Introduction Review by Tim Huntley

Gérard Wormser (ed.), Jean-Paul Sartre, violence et éthique Review by Ian Birchall

Sam Coombes, The Early Sartre and Marxism Review by Manuel Braganca

Joseph S. Catalano, Reading Sartre Review by Nik Farrell-Fox

Jean-Pierre Boulé and Benedict O’Donohoe, Jean-Paul Sartre: Mind and Body, Word and Deed

Tony Judt, Marxism and the French Left: Studies on Labour and Politics in France, 1830–1981 and Past Imperfect: French Intellectuals 1944–1956 Reviews by Willie Thompson