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Les Mots The Words, Jean Paul SartreThe Words is Jean Paul Sartre s 1963 autobiography The text is divided into two near equal parts entitled Reading and Writing Jean Paul Sartre s famous autobiography of his first ten years has been widely compared to Rousseau s Confessions Written when he was fifty nine years old, The Words is a masterpiece of self analysis Sartre the philosopher, novelist and playwright brings to his own childhood the same rigor of honesty and insight he applied so brilliantly to other authors Born into a gentle, book loving family and raised by a widowed mother and doting grandparents, he had a childhood which might be described as one long love affair with the printed word Ultimately, this book explores and evaluates the whole use of books and language in human experience 2008 195 20 1344 337 1396 337 9789643463663 1348 287 1387 243 1386 216 1388 9789643116064 1387 243 9789644483721 1963 1905 1847 1906 1882 1969. Faith, even when profound, is never entire.There is considerable audacity in a project of this nature The famed philosopher playwright novelist creates a memoir fifty plus years into the past, a poking about in a small child s mind I hazard to say there s a some fancy in these pages Much as Sartre notes throughout most of his childhood he was acting, I assume the great thinker feels compelled to craft something of stature to merit his adult achievement I will be honest I don t remember much of my early life One or two images of leaving Michigan ages 3 4 There are a few flutters after that My adoptive mother telling everyone I was reading at age two Was I I have always had books and much like Sartre I feel indebted Also, just like the author I had flowing curly locks, a surprise I guess after being bald for 14 months The stories bifurcate there as Sartre benefited from his grandfather s library and I read comics and books from the local public library Both of us constructed constant narratives where we were the heroes He was encouraged to write I was given a typewriter and I filled notebooks in junior high when I should have been learning geometry The second section Writing isn t as magical as the first Reading He broaches his burgeoning narrative structures, slowly evolving in a stumbling gait and how everything was ultimately enriched by attending school That period of his life so deserved a further extensive treatment, if only his adolescent friendship with Paul Nizan Outside of his widowed mother and tacit grandmother, women do not feature large in this vision His partial blindness, his diminutive stature, his less than ideal looks all reflect upon this but without explicit comment. What did Jean Paul Sartre 1905 1980 and Ernesto Che Guevara 1928 1967 have in common Prior to reading this book, I did not know that they saw each other when they were both still alive This is my first book read written by Sartre and three years ago, I read John Lee Anderson s Che Guevara A Revolutionary Life Before Sartre s image in my unsophisticated read zero knowledge in philosophy mind was this old professor talking inside his wood paneled and fully carpeted office about the things like existentialism that was so deep I would never ever understand what he was saying On the other hand, prior to the Anderson s book, I used to see the image of Che Guevara printed on the t shirts of some hip teenagers I had some clues who he was because of the communist posters my handsome brother brought home when he was still in studying in a radical university But not all young Filipinos one caller in a morning show thought that Guevara was some kind of a band soloist so he asked what latest rock song he recorded Thanks to printed words Thanks to books We can read them and we can be informed We can choose not to be ignorant We can also contribute to influencing future generations by writing too We can make books of our own.The importance of reading and writing to his life This is basically the main theme of this book, The Words by the existentialist philosopher Jean Paul Sartre At the age of 59, he wrote this book about the first 10 years of his life on earth He was exposed to books at a very young age He remembered looking at the volumes and volumes of similar hardbound books stacked in his grandparents room He did not know what were those but he loved to touch them and hear the flipping of the crisp pages From then on, he resolved to himself that he would not only read those books someday but he also become a writer Same thing happened to Che Guevara His parents also loved to buy and read books In the above mentioned Anderson s biography of Guevara, one of Che s childhood friends recalled that he could barely navigate inside the living room of the Guevaras because of the many stacks of books and magazines on the floor So, what made Sartre and Guevara in common 1 They both loved to read 2 They both believed and supported Marxism 3 They actually saw and talk to each other in Cuba in the 60 s In fact, when Guevara died in 1967, Satre declared He is not only an intellectual but also the most complete human being of our age and the era s most perfect man 4 I both have read something about them Ako naMe already Next in my to be read is the childhood days of Sartre s girlfriend, Simone de Beauvior, Memoirs of a Dutiful Daughter. The Words, Jean Paul Sartre s autobiographical work on childhood remembrance, is split into two parts Reading writing, and, looking back from the point of view of an almost sixty year old Sartre, moves on many levels Told with a philosophical romanticism for the past, Sartre opens up about his first acquaintance with books, and about his first desire to become a writer, which, having been partly raised by a grandfather who was surrounded by a world books comes as little surprise.After first writing about his grandparents and their families, his story moved on to his parents, how they met, and of losing his father at a very young age Little Jean was then seen as the centre of attention during his first ten years, and thus developed a selfishness, something which the older Sartre didn t try to hide from when writing this book The young Sartre might not come across as wholey likeable, but at least the older Sartre was being honest, and not making himself out to be the model child He even ended up being expelled from school for writing a bad dictation.Jean Paul was a hermit in the company of other children, with his grandfather being the most influential person in his development, and he only fell in love with writing superficially and theatrically to begin with, simply to impress his watchers But it s evidently clear that from a certain age he lived for books, and writers were seen as his best friends His hyper developed sensitivity to angst and boredom, even led a nine year old Sartre yes just nine to start pondering on the existential holes in people s lives And the rest, as they say, is history So as well as being a childhood memoir, The Words also explores parts of Sartre s craftemenship in existentialist philosophy, and is generally seen as Sartre closing his literary career This book is an impressive display of the deeply literary nature of Sartre, is written in way that is intelligent, spontaneous, sometimes difficult, sometimes playful, but most importantly, always honest. ( Download Book ) ♵ Les Mots ⚕ Jean Paul Sartre S Famous Autobiography Of His First Ten Years Has Been Widely Compared To Rousseau S Confessions Written When He Was Fifty Nine Years Old, The Words Is A Masterpiece Of Self Analysis Sartre The Philosopher, Novelist And Playwright Brings To His Own Childhood The Same Rigor Of Honesty And Insight He Applied So Brilliantly To Other Authors Born Into A Gentle, Book Loving Family And Raised By A Widowed Mother And Doting Grandparents, He Had A Childhood Which Might Be Described As One Long Love Affair With The Printed Word Ultimately, This Book Explores And Evaluates The Whole Use Of Books And Language In Human Experience This book is an awesome display of the deeply literary and religious religious in the sense of considering all the world and one s self to be profoundly significant and purposive in every part nature of Sartre It explains so much about him The title, The Words, refers to the way he attached a supremely high value in the first half of his life to reading, writing, and being read This is an autobiographical account of his first ten years of life which were so formative for his adult life I cannot emphasize enough how very much of Sartre s philosophy is explained here I was actually shocked to discover in his first decade alone so many unveilings to the meaning AND motive for his later work Sartre was once tempted to think it funny that people wondered if he even had a childhood When I was thirty, friends were surprised One would think you didn t have parents Or a childhood And I was silly enough to feel flattered This was due to Sartre s early adult abandonment of his past which he believed could only be interpreted from his future Now, Sartre is writing this book in his sixties and finding value in his earlier life like he thought he would, but in a different way I truly believe he grew to appreciate each moment of his life in itself, rather than as a chronicle to lure others into loving himself, which he couldn t do Because I did not love myself sufficiently, I fled forward The result is that I love d myself still less Sartre s father died when he was two years old, and his mother moved with him into her parents home It was an upper middleclass home steeped in education, impassioned politics, and family tension which would indelibly shape his psyche and self esteem for the rest of his life His relationship with his mother was much like brother and sister, even as an adult to a child at times, and he accustomed himself to calling her by her name Anne Marie The cause of this was his grandfather s contempt for Jean Paul s father, who died very inconveniently, and the subsequent belittling treatment of Anne Marie by his grandfather who was irked to have his daughter again as his dependent plus one leveled, in Jean Paul s mind, the roles of Jean Paul and his mother Anne Marie was treated as an importunate child, but Jean Paul was coddled as his grandfather s alter ego, and praised from a young age for his precocity Actually, he was a spoiled brat, and he knew it, and it wasn t long before he despised himself for the pretentious, melodrama with which he stooped to please his grandfather and sustain his image as a child prodigy Sartre developed a persona that existed solely to please others around him, and his authentic abilities and desires were hidden deep beneath a veneer that was for him hardly comfortable or satisfying Even in solitude I was putting on an act I sank deeper and deeper into imposture Condemned to please, I endowed myself with charms that withered on the spot He developed many neuroses during his younger years, and may never have outgrown some of them His feeling of superfluity and absolute insignificance apart from the attention of his doters, which was inconsistent at best and frankly demoralizing, hollowed out his sense of security and worth, and he increasingly repressed and compartmentalized his less favorable habits, interests, and personality traits to survive socially The result is that he loathed himself and all identity pimps He fell in love with writing only superficially and theatrically at first, determined to impress his watchers He then introverted so far that he couldn t find his way out for a long time, and he wrote himself into an self awareness coma by creating fictions in which he was always a delivering hero and the world was celebrating him eternally It was during this time he began to live posthumously , imputing meaning to his life by imagining how his ideas and fantastical exploits would be read by people after he was dead Only then did he believe his life would be explained and his value to others would be etched in stone as a form of legacy which has been a maelstrom for many heroes and celebrities who have unwittingly wasted their life in this denial of self Much of this early tortuous introspection and self loathing was because he had no friends he wasn t permitted to attend schools which didn t recognize his genius and when he finally made friends at a school he was allowed to attend, he began the slow process of breaking out of what was quickly becoming a sociopathic escapism the human race became a small committee surrounded by affectionate animals , though he would never completely overcome the desire to see his life as a book which would justify all of his actions in some future reader s mind In his later years, he began to be grieved about his early and late inauthenticity He relates that while writing Nausea he was fake to the marrow of my bones, and hoodwinked And yet, as much as he tried to escape it, he resorted to the elitism of criticizing everyone, but at the same time, I was I, the elect, chronicler of hell, a glass and steel microscope peering at my own protoplasmic juices I doubted everything except that I was the elect of doubt In trying to get back to the beginning of his insincerity and objectified, artificial persona, he found an infinite regression of personas that was forever creating new masks for him to unmask This was a foreshadowing of his theory of the spontaneous and transcendent ego which is beyond our reach, for it inspires and directs our reach Any sense of self that we discover or delineate has become an artifice, a forgery of the real self which is impelling the discovering and objectifying a decoy self Trying to get to the back of the cogito probably kept him busy for a while, and this, along with a fear of death, inflamed his neuroticism I lived in a state of terror it was a genuine neurosis I m truly saddened to think how many psychoses and suicides a little Zoloft back in the day might have prevented Sartre was truly oppressed by the thought ingrained in him, mostly by his grandfather s behavior, that he was not needed anywhere, or had any importance to anyone He felt completely superfluous I think his psyche and nervous system was scarred by having to play act for his grandfather so much He literally did not feel significant or valuable, and was looking for ways to make himself feel real We were never in our own home This caused me no suffering since everything was loaned to me, but I remained abstract Worldly possessions reflect to their owner what he is they taught me what I was not I was not substantial or permanent, I was not the future continuer of my father s work, I was not necessary to the production of steel In short, I had no soul At nine years old c mon he was thinking about the existential holes people leave behind when they aren t at a party or gathering and people notice that they are not there This spoke to Sartre of necessity, and he so badly wanted to feel necessary in a way that his absence would be palpable and would shake the world It affected his whole outlook on his literary career, and Sartre admitted that it still affected him in his later years His desire to write in such a way that he would be immortalized and missed when he was dead consumed him He later realized the flaw of living solely that you would be remembered, and labeled this posthumous thinking and yet he couldn t shake the need to leave a profound impression with others about his past being, whether or not he was still being or not This probably illuminates his matured ideas about intersubjectivity and our connection to others that is irreducible and fundamental to our consciousness and being Could it be that Sartre so badly felt the need to be needed, that he invented a philosophy in which this need is proof of our ontological interconnectivity Or, could Sartre have felt intensely and consistently this need we all have, and rightly surmised a possible reason for it that better explains its appearance than any other theory I think both.Sartre gives an excellent analogy about how he began to feel which may communicate to the reader in imagery than Sartre could explain in abstract philosophy Since nobody laid claim to me seriously, I laid claim to being indispensable to the Universe What could be haughtier What could be sillier The fact is that I had no choice I had sneaked onto a train and fallen asleep, and when the ticket collector shook me and asked for my ticket, I had to admit that I had none Nor did I have the money with which to pay my fare on the spot I began by pleading guilty I had left my identity card at home, I no longer even remembered how I had gotten by the ticket puncher, but I admitted that I had sneaked on to the train Far from challenging the authority of the ticket collector, I loudly proclaimed my respect for his functions and complied in advance with his decision At that extreme degree of humility, the only way I could save myself was by reversing the situation I therefore revealed that I had to be in Dijon for important and secret reasons, reason that concerned France and perhaps all mankind If things were viewed in this new light, it would be apparent that no one in the entire train had as much right as I to occupy a seat Of course, this involved a higher law which conflicted with the regulations, but if the ticket collector took it upon himself to interrupt my journey, he would cause grave complications, the consequences of which would be his responsibility I urged him to think it over was it reasonable to doom the entire species to disorder under the pretext of maintaining order in a train Such is pride the plea of the wretched Only passengers with tickets have the right to be modest I never knew whether I won my case The ticket collector remained silent I repeated my arguments So long as I spoke, I was sure he wouldn t make me get off We remained face to face, one mute and the other inexhaustible, in the train that was taking us to Dijon The train, the ticket collector, and the delinquent were myself I was also a fourth character, the organizer, who had only one wish, to fool himself, if only for a minute, to forget that he had concocted everything Writing this book in his sixties, he was able to understand the genesis of his motives for writing, and he could see that he would never be fulfilled by writing in the way he originally thought he could be For the last ten years or so I ve been a man who s been waking up, cured of a long, bitter sweet madness He could see that his eagerness to write involves a refusal to live in that he would always be inclined to think of writing as a need to be loved and justified as a legend, a story, an object in the mind of some other existent My individuality as a subject had no other interest for me than to prepare for the moment death that would change me into an object I was charging my descendents to love me instead of doing so myself He does a wonderful job of sniping the false pride of legacy in himself and his culture A desire to leave a legacy is a loathing of the present moment for the sake of being a chapter in someone else history, a drawing in some children s book, that no longer risks hunger, humiliation, or danger of any kind It is an agreement for one to die if everyone will tell good stories about them I became my own obituary His loud, self affirming declaration at the end of the book is as bold and clear as any man who has ever spoken a word in his own defense and fought for his own honor, or humbly but confidently surrendered himself to the gallows he would justly hang on What remains of my work A whole man, composed of all men and as good as all of them and no better than any I love Sartre s writing Absolutely love it It s genius, meandering, spontaneous, anti climactic, playful, enigmatic, and always, always honest He reminds me of Wittgenstein I often wonder if the two ever interacted Both of their M.O seemed to be anti elitism Never in my life have I given an order without laughing, without making others laugh , anti institutionalism, spontaneity, and an emphasis on knowing the world through relation I love when he tells on himself for being disingenuous, then tells on himself for telling on himself I m always ready to criticize myself, provided I m not forced to He is a fountain of messy, sudden, and superlatively powerful ideas From a young age he liked word puzzles, and I think he created cryptic messages for diligent readers to unlock, though I think the point is not memorization but assimilation if you don t have to work for what you know, you don t really know it to your core Sartre notices and says all the things we ve been taught for so long not to notice or say, and having dumbfounded you, leaves without knowing what you made of it It was enough for him that he said it the rest of your life is up to you, as the rest of Sartre s own life and meanings are left to him Never have I thought that I was the happy possessor of a talent my sole concern has been to save myself His early childhood ideas and experiences were emotionally and cognitively overwrought and perhaps frantic by some people s standards, but his hyper developed sensitivity to existential angst and boredom allowed him to help people realize with devastating accuracy the tradition vacuum into which modern man and academia has fallen, and the way to climb out Sounds like a rough road, experiencing such psychological torment before the age of ten and much to follow after, but I m glad he wrote about it for the postmodern explorer Thanks Sartre my brother. Until this book and except for some of his political writings I ve never much liked Sartre The first exposure to him was in high school through three of his dramas Read quickly and never seen performed, I wasn t impressed The second was Nausea, an early novel also read in high school I couldn t finish it The third, in college, was the collection, Essays on Existentialism I found myself in profound disagreement with his take on depth psychology The fourth, in seminary, was Being and Nothingness Here, as earlier with Nausea, I felt I was reading the symptomatology of a neurotic, not philosophy Still, I did enjoy some of his political pronouncements and found myself in broad agreement with existentialist philosophy as it was attributed to him by other authors and in some of his essays.The Words, however, was a pleasant read The very concept of essaying an autobiography of one s youth was intriguing Here Sartre considers primarily his first ten years and the three most influential figures of his childhood his widowed mother and her parents, the Schweitzers yes, apparently Jean Paul was distantly related to Albert, though he receives but scant mention herein Of the three, most important was his grandfather, the great authority figure who, directly and indirectly, appears to have led young Jean Paul to a career as a writer.Most of this book, however, is not about persons Most of it appears to be an effort to describe a state of mind, Sartre s state of mind as a boy and, by implication, how that led to his being what he found himself to be at the time of his writing of this autobiography as a fifty nine year old man Here, naturally, one suspects a great deal of second guessing, of the present overlaying the past and indeed Sartre devotes a good deal of attention to the centrality of teleology to his developing sense of personhood and purpose.Only at the book s end does Sartre seriously deal with the influence of the Protestant and Catholic idealogies which were among the givens of his upbringing I found this approach illuminating and wish there had been of it. I went to a play last weekend or rather it was an event in which a scene or a part of a scene from many plays was performed by one actor A couple of scenes from two Sartre plays were performed When I came back home, I had a deep urge to read a book by Sartre I decided to pick his memoir The Words I had two translations of The Word I chose one of them using a homegrown method and read it More on this later in the post Jean Paul Sartre wrote his memoir The Words when he was fifty nine But the book covers only the first ten years of his life In the book, Sartre talks about his grandparents on both sides and how they met and how his parents met, how his fascination for the printed word started at a very young age, how he could read books before he joined school properly During the course of his memoir, Sartre touches on his relationship with his mother he says that his mother was like his elder sister and so their relationship was like that of siblings it is very beautifully described the scene which describes how Sartre s mother read a book to him for the very first time and the transformation that happened to her, and the magic that happened, is one of my favourite parts of the book and with his grandparents, the history of Alsace Lorraine and how it was related to his grandparents, his favourite books when he was young, his love for films, how he became a writer and other things In the second part of the book, Sartre flits between the past and the present, but he mostly stays in the past The first part of the book is called Reading and the second part of the book is called Writing I liked the first part of the book , because it had a narrative interspersed with introspective thoughts The second part of the book had a light narrative and was heavier on introspective thoughts Normally I would like the introspective part , but this time, maybe because I was in an annoyed mood because I was upset with something and I wanted to rush through the book, the second part looked harder and I had to plod through Maybe if I had read it with a calmer mind, my experience might have been better The Words is a very interesting book People have compared it with Rousseau s Confessions and have called it a masterful work of self analysis The edition I read was around 250 pages long and it had big font with generous spacing between the lines, giving an illusion that it would be easy going and could be read fast It was, of course, exactly that an illusion It was deceptive The book demands our attention, invites us to pause at important passages and linger there, and rewards us if we do There were so many beautiful passages in the book that my highlighting pen didn t stop working It is not a regular memoir and it is definitely not a straightforward narrative, and so it is not for everyone But if you have time and you read slowly and persevere, it will unfold its beauty and secrets and reward you Now on the translations One of them was by Bernard Frechtman and the other one was by Irene Clephane I was undecided on which one to read I did a test read of both of them for a few pages and then finally decided to read the first one by Bernard Frechtman When I highlighted a passage that I loved, I went back to the other translation and read that passage and compared the two translations It was fun I thought I ll ask you which translation you liked So I took out some of my favourite sentences from the first few pages, from the two translations, and am giving them below Do tell me which translation you like Do also tell me which you think is closer to the French original Sentence1 Translation1 Around 1850, in Alsace, a schoolteacher with children than he could afford was willing to become a grocer Translation2 In Alsace, round about 1850, a schoolmaster, burdened with children, agreed to become a grocer Sentence2 Translation1 all his life he retained a passion for the sublime and put his heart and soul into manufacturing great circumstances out of little events Translation2 all his life, he preserved a taste for the sublime and turned his energies to elevating trivial incidents into great occasions Sentence3 Translation1 That lively and shrewd but cold woman thought straight but inaccurately, because her husband thought accurately but amiss Translation2 This sharp tongued, lively, cold woman had clear but wrong opinions, because her husband had right but muddled ones Sentence4 Translation1 She saw nobody, being too proud to court favor for first place and too vain to be content with second Translation2 She did not see anyone, because she was too proud to covet first place and too vain to accept the second So, what do you think Translation 1 or Translation 2 Bernard Frechtman or Irene Clephane I ll leave you with some of my favourite passages from the book BeginQuote What I have just written is false True Neither true nor false, like everything written about madmen, about men I have reported the facts as accurately as my memory permitted me But to what extent did I believe in my delirium That s the basic question, and yet I can t tell I realized later we can know everything about our attachments except their force, that is, their sincerity Acts themselves cannot serve as a measuring rod unless one has proved that they are not gestures, which is not always easy The social hierarchy of the theatre had given my grandfather and late father, who were accustomed to second balconies, a taste for ceremonial When many people are together, they must be separated by rites otherwise, they slaughter each other The movies proved the opposite This mingled audience seemed united by a catastrophe rather than a festivity Etiquette, now dead, revealed the true bond among men adhesion I developed a dislike for ceremonies, I loved crowds I have seen crowds of all kinds, but the only other time I had witnessed that nakedness, that sense of everyone s direct relationship to everyone else, that waking dream, that dim consciousness of the danger of being a man, was in 1940, in Stalag XII D But the fact is this apart from a few old men who dip their pens in eau de Cologne and little dandies who write like butchers, all writers have to sweat That s due to the nature of the Word one speaks in one s own language, one writes in a foreign language I conclude from this that we re all alike in our profession we re all galley slaves, we re all tattooed Middle aged writers don t like to be praised too earnestly for their early work but I m the one, I m sure of it, who s pleased least of all by such compliments My best book is the one I m in the process of writing right after it comes the last one that was published, but I m secretly getting ready to be disgusted with it before long If the critics should now think it s bad, they may wound me, but in six months I ll be coming around to their opinion But on one condition however poor and worthless they consider the book, I want them to rank it above all my previous work I m willing to let them run down my whole output, provided they maintain the chronological hierarchy, the only one that leaves me a chance to do better tomorrow, still better the day after, and to end with a masterpiece EndQuoteHave you read Jean Paul Sartre s The Words What do you think about it 200 pages book hides inside a 10 000 pages literary text How is this possible one could ask I have no freaking idea This is why Sartre is Sartre I guess Erratum, that sentence should have stated this is why Sartre the Great is Sartre the Great as I have decided to literary refer to him from now on Reviewing the words could lead to the writing of a 100 PhD dissertations and a lot essays I have been struggling to write something about it for long and finally decided to take that leap of faith to see where my thoughts nothing would take me so here it goes The words is an autobiography written by Sartre the Great and we him and I have never been properly introduced before It wasn t until a dear friend kindly offered me this book that I got the chance to discover Sartre the man and Sartre the writer I have separated the two because I have clear distinct feelings for each I do believe the man had a lot to do with Sartre becoming the Great author philosopher he is and the aim of the autobiography itself was to show how one lead to another Written at the age of 59, Sartre retraces back the first 10 years of his life, claiming that he knew back then that he wanted to become an author because of the influence of his grandfather and everything he read as well as his first attempts of writing The influence of the family and the grandfather is present in the whole book which is divided in two parts entitled reading and writing , respectively From the organization one can tell that this book is logical and well structured and clearly shows the importance of family than anything else in Sartre s decision because of its presence in both parts of the book However, I found this autobiography to be too well organized and clear for my taste which made it hard for me to believe that it was genuine and honest as autobiographies should aim to be Besides, I believe that Sartre was lying on two major issues one of which is clear and evident than the other First, it is quasi impossible for someone to remember all the books read during childhood or at least as much books as those mentioned in this autobiography I mean seriously, the other day I tried to remember the books I read the past month alone and I just couldn t remember anything It was only after I consulted Goodreads that I was able to answer this question So claiming that one recalls the book read 40 years ago is total bogus to me No doubt about it Second, I am pretty sure that no one has an idea about what he she wants to become when they get older Let s assume some do, I am sure the idea would not be as clear and extremist oh yes we ll get back to this as that presented by Sartre A child is a vessel for a thousand and one ideas a day while here Sartre presents himself as a one idea goal aim child He also awkwardly views literature as a religion, his grandfather as a Priest sometimes also God and himself, the miracle child that has to write because literature needs him, because the world needs him Said by a child, this might sound kind of cute, but you just feel that this arrogance cannot be that of a child but rather that of a successful intelligent yet obnoxious and shallow kind of a MAN.This further hints that the story we are reading is a fake one I am not evaluating the literary value of this book or Sartre the Great It is absurd as I mentioned before All the successes and intelligence in the world do not however justify the arrogance and pretentiousness of a man Sartre the man, was full of that He tries to dissimulate it in the child in him but I think he failed to convince me at least Writing an autobiography by itself tends to stem in many cases from arrogance The art of autobiography can also stem from other needs such as trauma or historical recording of events etc In fact, it is for these reasons that some of my favorite literary books are autobiographies However, Sartre was 59 when he decided to write about the reasons that made him become an author Put into context, this book is the fruit of an arrogant big shot who feels the need to let people know how he became the successful man he is To this aim he invents or reformulates his childhood story because one can just feel him lying as mentioned before He fails however to overcome his arrogance at many instances starting from the moment when he starts detailing his genealogy Seriously, what s wrong with men and family trees Nothing justifies his choice of elaborating on his family tree at the very first pages of this book except extreme arrogance The other major arrogant point was him believing he had to write to save humanity Can someone be any delusional than that Please I am not sure if Sartre was self aware of the image he was giving of himself But I believe that probably he was and he found nothing wrong in being arrogant One cannot judge a literary masterpiece based on the character of its writer I agree, but I still believe that modesty in addition to the intellectual capacity makes the most captivating writers ever and probably the smartest those who brag on the opposite fall in the annoying category In conclusion, reading this book made me discover two Sartres, Sartre the man and Sartre the Great One I loved and one I hate Sartre the Great will never become one of my favorite authors because of the man I discovered behind I cannot dare to deny Sartre the Great of his rightful literary and intellectual value Then again some books influence on you just cannot be detached from their authors influence But one thing is sure, I will not forget the Sartres. I could forget my provincial loneliness in the composition of poems or in translating Horace into blank verse 99 This biography is a literary biography in the every sense of the word Sartre flits from lonely windbag with borderline delusions of grandeur, to an inward facing intellectual self analysing his obsession with his mother Sartre spent a life in books and appears to have had messianic visions from a very young age, something which appears often in young geniuses, yet his knowledge of this doesn t help him become totally self aware One is left wondering how serious Sartre actually is