the young and late Sartre. 6 We will also see the manner in which the concepts of rights, duties, and power that Sartre develops in this chapter are independent of the Polis . As such, Sartre has redefined certain of the fundamental concepts found in
The Projects of Christophe Boltanski and Ivan Jablonka
in France. He grew up and lives today in what he calls a society marked by a memory culture in which one is asked to reflect on and pay homage to the victims of the Holocaust. 3 But, he recognizes, this “duty to remember” can be stifling, a matter of
In 1797, two brothers brought an unusual case to the French legislature. Their niece, the daughter of the famous martyr of liberty Michel Lepeletier, had been “adopted by the nation” in 1793. Now officially emancipated from her relatives’ tutelage, she wished to marry a debt-ridden young Dutch man. Unable to prevent the marriage through more traditional means, Suzanne Lepeletier’s uncles demanded that the state fulfill its duties as father. They insisted that the legislative assembly oversee the establishment of its adopted daughter, and with her, the fate of its revolutionary patrimony; Suzanne must be stopped from “denationalizing” herself through her planned marriage to a foreigner.
T. Storm Heter
This article presents a novel defense of Sartrean ethics based on the concept of interpersonal recognition. The immediate post-war texts Anti-Semite and Jew, What is Literature? and Notebooks for an Ethics express Sartre's inchoate yet ultimately defensible view of obligations to others. Such obligations are not best understood as Kantian duties, but rather as Hegelian obligations of mutual recognition. The emerging portrait of Sartrean ethics offers a strong reply to the classical criticism that authenticity would license vicious lifestyles like serial killing. In addition to acting with clarity and responsibility, existentially authentic individuals must respect others.
Sartre's play Les Mouches (The Flies), first performed in 1943 under German occupation, has long been controversial. While intended to encourage resistance against the Nazis, its approval by the censor indicates that the regime did not recognize the play as a threat. Further, its apparently violent and solitary themes have been read as irresponsible or apolitical. For these reasons, the play has been characterized as ambiguous or worse. Sartre himself later saw it as overemphasizing individual autonomy, and in the view of one critic, it conveys an “existentialist fascism.” In response to this reading, it is necessary to attend to the elements of the play that already emphasize duty to society. From this perspective, the play can be seen as anticipating the concern with collective responsibility usually associated with the later Sartre of the 1960s. More than this, the play's apparent “ambiguity” can be found to exemplify a didacticism that is much more complex than sometimes attributed to Sartre. It is not only an exhortation about ethical responsibility, but also a performance of the difficulties attendant to that duty.
“L'Affaire des Quotas” and the Shattered “Image of 1998” in Twenty-First-Century France
Christopher S. Thompson
Since the mid-1990s, France's national soccer team has been given considerable significance in French debates about post-colonial immigration, national identity, republican citizenship, and the enduring legacies of French imperialism. This article explores the role played by representations of the team in those debates with a particular focus on the so-called “affaire des quotas” of 2010–2011. It argues that those representations reveal that the boundary between the purportedly inclusive civic nationalism of French republicanism according to which any person willing to embrace the duties and rights of democratic citizenship may theoretically become French, and the exclusionary ethnic nationalism of the xenophobic Front national is far less impermeable than is generally assumed in France. Indeed, race and ethnicity inform notions of French citizenship even among persons who reject the essentialist views of the Far Right.
Dennis A. Gilbert
At a time when a "return to Sartre" is being heralded in France and elsewhere in preparation for the celebration of the centennial of his birth, it seems appropriate to ponder the nature and tenor of this renewal. To which aspects of Sartre's work are we returning as the centennial approaches, and are we doing so with fresh eyes or with the same critical prejudices that have obscured our appreciation of this work in the past? If one looks for answers to Bernard-Henri Lévy (aka BHL), the principal instigator of this current renewal, with specific regard to the genre that interests us in these pages—the theater—one is going to be sorely disappointed. For while Lévy considers Sartre "the first [writer]—the only [writer]—to know how to split himself equally well between being a theoretician and an accomplished storyteller," he lavishes this praise solely on the theory and practice of Sartre's novels: "The concept of engagement is not a political concept stressing the social duties of the writer; it is a philosophical concept highlighting the metaphysical powers of language. … Sartre … has never really written a novel with a [totalizing] thesis or message" (BHL 85, 86).
Edited by David Detmer and John Ireland
Dialectical Reason . On the basis of this interpretation, Bassiri offers an account of Sartre’s ideas on power, rights, duties, moderation, justice, and personal identity, among other topics. Because the last two issues of Sartre Studies International were
A Defense of Lacanian Responsibility
are responsible for both acting according to our duty, as well as responsible for determining what that duty is. 15 He claims that we should also read Lacan’s imperative in a similar way as saying: that not only are we responsible to our desire
Christopher E. Forth
the Times put it, his was “the religion of a fighting, confident people, reverencing duty, as they conceive it, fearless of all else, by no means willing to turn the [other] cheek” (152). At the end of the century, “Britain eschewed the Christ