Jean-Paul Sartre

Background Information

Born: 21 June 1905, in Paris
Died: 15 April 1980, in Paris

Sartre was raised in Paris until his father's early death, at which time the family moved to La Rochelle. Sartre returned to Paris for schooling in Paris lycées and later at the École Normale Supérieure. At the École Normale Supérieure he met his lifelong friend, Simone de Beauvoir in 1929.

From 1931-33 he taught philosophy in Le Havre. In '33, he went to Berlin to study the writings of philosopher Edmund Husserl and Martin Heidegger. He returned to Paris to teach in various secondary schools. He was taken prisoner by the Germans in June, 1940 after being mobilized in September, 1939. He escaped in March 1941, returning to Paris to teach until 1944. In 1945, he founded the literary review. In 1964, Sartre was awarded the Nobel Prize for literature. He refused to accept the award on "political" grounds. In order to protest the Vietnam War, Sartre stopped wearing suits and ties. By the late 1970's, Sartre's body began to weaken due to the fact that he smoked two packs of cigarettes a day, drank heavily, and used amphetamines while writing. On April 15 1980, Sartre died. For Sartre's funeral procession more than 50,000 people lined the streets.

Critical Resources

· Ian Craib, Existentialism and Sociology: A Study of Jean-Paul Sartre
· Joseph Halpern, Critical Fictions: The Literary Criticism of Jean-Paul Sartre
· Peter Caws, Sartre
· Anthony R. Manser, Sartre: A Philosophical Study
· Frederic Jameson, Sartre: The Origins of a Style

Selected Works

Nausea. (1938)
"The Wall." (1939)
"The Flies." (1943)
"No Exit." (1944)
The Age of Reason and The Reprieve. (1945)
"Dirty Hands." (1948)
Troubled Sleep. (1949) [Third novel of trilogy with Age of Reason and The Reprieve.]
The Devil and the Good Lord. (1951)
The Words: An Autobiography. (1964)
"Sartre: An Interview." (1970)

Favorite links

Philosophers : Jean-Paul Sartre
Jean-Paul Sartre
Jean-Paul Sartre