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Everyone by whom it lives. Pardons cowardice, conceit, Lays its honors at their feet. Time certainly has a few things to forgive Jean-Paul Sartre for.
Not cowardice or conceit; he was brave enough and not particularly vain. But he let himself be carried away by his enthusiasms, and he wrote far too much, which practically guarantees that a writer will occasionally make a fool of himself.
In private life he was decent but not irreproachable, though the sexual temptations of male intellectual superstars in the s were undoubtedly fierce, and were in any case rarely resisted.
But Sartre was unquestionably one of those by whom language lives, and vice versa. Many people read voraciously; Sartre wrote voraciously. Novels, plays, stories, memoirs, literary criticism, biography, autobiography, political essays, and philosophical treatises flowed unceasingly - and, it must often have seemed, effortlessly - from his pen though we learn from an interview included in these Selected Essays, they typically went through five or six revisions.
Renown does not always correspond to merit, of course; but Sartre's degree of eminence as, simultaneously, a creative writer, a political thinker, and a philosopher is, I think, unique.
Sartre's essays are prodigious in quantity and range. It leaves out a couple of my favorites: But it's an excellent selection nonetheless, almost doing justice - for full justice, the fiction and plays are indispensable - to this protean, exasperating, revelatory author.
It's said that William James wrote psychology textbooks that read like novels, while Henry James wrote novels that read like psychology textbooks.
Sartre's criticism of literature and art is saturated with philosophy, while his philosophical writings invariably have a literary flair which is not to say they are usually either vivid or clear.
These critical essays rarely contain much in the way of aesthetic judgments or patient delineations of technique. Sartre does not much care about influences, relative merits, or demonstrations of how one or another verbal or visual effect is achieved.
He is concerned with historical, moral, or metaphysical significance. His insights are often startling, provoking, sometimes thrilling, but one isn't always sure whether Sartre has found them in the work or put them there.
The essay on Faulkner is celebrated, and typical. In The Sound and the Fury, "the past," according to Sartre, "acquires a sort of surreality The present, nameless and fleeting, suffers greatly by comparison: And if we are immersed, in this way, in futurity, isn't the formless harshness of the present thereby attenuated?
The event doesn't spring on us like a thief, since it is, by its very nature, a having-been-future. And, in seeking to explain the past, isn't it first the historian's task to research into the future? For him, as for all of us, the future is blocked off. Everything we see and experience suggests to us that 'this cannot last,' and yet change is not even conceivable, except in cataclysmic form.
We are living in an age of impossible revolutions, and Faulkner employs his extraordinary art to describe this world that is dying of old age and our suffocation in it. I love his art; I do not believe in his metaphysics.
But one can't help wondering whether Faulkner's preoccupations aligned so neatly with Sartre's. Sartre's philosophy is represented in this collection by his essays on Kierkegaard and Husserl and by "Existentialism: The word "Being" induces one of two opposite reactions, depending on one's philosophical temperament:In a very famous essay on Faulkner called "On The Sound and the Fury: Time in the Work of Faulkner," Jean-Paul Sartre argued that this negotiation of the past makes Faulkner’s novel a brilliant example of modern technique and existential philosophy.
Here’s what he has to say. Sartre and Brooks’ Literary Critiques: Analysis of Memory and Time in Faulkner’s The Sound and the Fury “History is the witness that testifies to the passing of time.”. The full essay of The Sound and the Fury: Time in the Work of Faulkner Jean-Paul Sartre. The first thing that strikes one in reading The Sound and the Fury is its technical oddity.
What has Faulkner broken up the time of his story and scrambled the pieces? This collection includes essays on Dos Passos' , Faulkner's The Sound and the Fury, Sartre's essay helped rescue it.
Next to Simone de Beauvoir, Sartre's closest relationship was with Merleau-Ponty.
They also passed through the Ecole Normale at the same time, though in different circles. The Resistance brought them together. Sartre's. Published in , The Sound and the Fury was Faulkner's fourth novel, and was not immediately successful.
In , however, when Faulkner's sixth novel, Sanctuary, was published—a sensationalist story, which Faulkner later claimed was written only for money— The Sound and the Fury also became commercially successful, and .
Jean Paul Sartre in his essay, "On 'The Sound and the Fury': Time in the work of Faulkner," states that the technique of the fiction writer always relates back to his metaphysics (OSF 79).