Archive for Jean-Paul Sartre

Existential love for Jean-Paul…

Posted in Writers with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 21, 2012 by Mj Rains

Existentialism reigns…

THE LITERARY MAN

Happy birthday (posthumously) to iconic literary man Jean-Paul Sartre, master of existential thought, prolific writer and long time companion of Simone de Beauvoir who today would be turning 107. In NAUSEA, Sartre wrote:

“This is what I thought: for the most banal even to become an adventure, you must (and this is enough) begin to recount it. This is what fools people: a man is always a teller of tales, he sees everything that happens to him through them; and he tries to live his own life as if he were telling a story. But you have to choose: live or tell.”

For us, as writers, we feel conflicted. Choosing to live or tell seems somewhat impossible as we live to tell and tell to live and live to live in some sort of “chicken vs. egg” tangled web of messiness. We feel that in living, the writer continues to experience…

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Freedom…

Posted in "Wit"icisms" with tags , , , , , , , , , on March 5, 2012 by Mj Rains

Freedom is what you do with what’s been done to you.

~Jean-Paul Sartre~

Generosity

Posted in Esoteric with tags , , , , , , , , on March 2, 2012 by Mj Rains

Generosity is nothing else than a craze to possess. All which I abandon, all which I give, I enjoy in a higher manner through the fact that I give it away. To give is to enjoy possessively the object which one gives.

~Jean-Paul Sartre~

Iconic and Controversial

Posted in Writers with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 5, 2009 by Mj Rains

simone-de-beauvoirOne of the most controversial women of the century, essayist, novelist, and philosopher, Simone de Beauvoir has changed millions of women’s lives, awakening us all to the mystique of being a woman by authoring her most famous work The Second Sex.  Though Simone, herself, was uninterested in being a mother, she had become known as “the mother to us all.”

She “was the vanguard of French intellectual life for nearly forty years,” and became notoriously “the most public sinner in all of France.”  Her life-long unmarried relationship with existentialist philosopher Jean-Paul Sartre was the source of this.  “After we had decided what our relationship was to be, we were both embarrassed that we had even briefly considered the most bourgeois of institutions, marriage, to be the answer,” Beauvoir recalled.  Ah, yet another marriage without papers.

Beauvoir and Sartre were known as “the writing couple” who were together nearly every day, at work at separate desks or cafe tables…

Beauvoir and Sartre

Together they participated in rallies, visited heads of state on almost every continent, exchanging ideas with the greatest artists and writers of their era. 

Simone has become the ultimate feminist icon, always “deeply committed to her work yet always ready to put Sartre’s first.”  She had other love affairs on the side, both male and female, to which much criticism has been raised, and one longer ill-fated relationship with American writer Nelson Algren, to whom she wrote many love letters.  She always insisted that their relationship would go no further, for her committment to Sartre and his intellect was undeniable, even though her affair with Algren was physically satisfying. 

I had always thought of Simone de Beauvoir as this great, scary woman, independent of men, though not a hater of men (as some feminists have become), but one who sincerely did not need a man.  Yet, in reading her biography, I find that most of her financial “freedom” came out of Sartre’s open pocketbook.  Curious…isn’t it.   For a most admired feminist icon, she was surrounded by many men, the key to which, I feel, was their respect for her as an equal of intellect, and a contemporary in philosophic thought with all life matters.

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