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We Have Only This Life to Live (book review) Jean-Paul Sartre

The Selected Essays of Jean-Paul Sartre, 1939-1975

Ronald Aronson (Editor/Introduction)


160515: not the best collection of essays by Sartre- perhaps there is a tendency towards talking about individuals, thoughts in conflict, rather than philosophies. but this works very well in long essay about Merleau-Ponty. it is heartening, romantic in some ways, to imagine intellectual contest being essential to life. this works less well, for me, in his essay on Kierkegaard, but this is because have not read him much. there are a lot of essays here, great sense of how wide-ranging were his interests, some intriguing works on l'etranger, on fanon, on Giacometti read before, on Faulkner, dos Passos, on his other perspective of mid-century America. his politics are here of its time, and place, about WW2, about Algiers, about labour camps in USSR, about the Arab-Israeli conflict, colonialism, exploitation, alienation, to the early editorial aspirations of the journal les temps moderne, to Camus, overall very good... so, this rating is sometimes two, more often four or five, and there is something sad, something honest, something modest, in the final interview, looking back, being Sartre at 70 in the interview that ends the book...

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