Jean-Paul Charles Aymard
Sartre (/ˈsɑːrtrə/, US also
/ˈsɑːrt/; French: [saʁtʁ]; 21 June 1905 – 15
April 1980) was a French philosopher, playwright, novelist, political
activist, biographer, and literary critic. He was one of the key
figures in the philosophy of existentialism and phenomenology, and one
of the leading figures in 20th-century French philosophy and Marxism.
His work has also influenced sociology, critical theory, post-colonial
theory, and literary studies, and continues to influence these
Sartre was also noted for his open relationship with prominent
feminist and fellow existentialist philosopher and writer Simone de
Sartre and de Beauvoir challenged the cultural and
social assumptions and expectations of their upbringings, which they
considered bourgeois, in both lifestyle and thought. The conflict
between oppressive, spiritually destructive conformity (mauvaise foi,
literally, "bad faith") and an "authentic" way of "being" became the
dominant theme of Sartre's early work, a theme embodied in his
principal philosophical work
Being and Nothingness (L'Être et le
Néant, 1943). Sartre's introduction to his philosophy is
Existentialism Is a Humanism (L'existentialisme est un
humanisme, 1946), originally presented as a lecture.
He was awarded the 1964 Nobel Prize in
Literature despite attempting
to refuse it, saying that he always declined official honours and that
"a writer should not allow himself to be turned into an
1.1 Early life
War politics and anticolonialism
1.4 Late life and death
3 Career as public intellectual
7 See also
10 Further reading
11 External links
11.1 By Sartre
11.2 On Sartre
Sartre was born on 21 June 1905 in
Paris as the only child
of Jean-Baptiste Sartre, an officer of the French Navy, and Anne-Marie
(Schweitzer). His mother was of Alsatian origin and the
first cousin of Nobel Prize laureate Albert Schweitzer, whose father
Louis Théophile was the younger brother of Anne-Marie's
Sartre was two years old, his father died of an illness, which he
most likely contracted in Indochina. Anne-Marie moved back to her
parents' house in Meudon, where she raised
Sartre with help from her
father Charles Schweitzer, a teacher of German who taught Sartre
mathematics and introduced him to classical literature at a very early
age. When he was twelve, Sartre's mother remarried, and
the family moved to La Rochelle, where he was frequently
As a teenager in the 1920s,
Sartre became attracted to philosophy upon
reading Henri Bergson's essay
Time and Free Will: An
Essay on the
Immediate Data of Consciousness. He attended the Cours
Hattemer, a private school in Paris. He studied and earned
certificates in psychology, history of philosophy, logic, general
philosophy, ethics and sociology, and physics, as well as his diplôme
d'études supérieures [fr] (roughly equivalent to an MA
Paris at the École Normale Supérieure, an institution of
higher education that was the alma mater for several prominent French
thinkers and intellectuals. (His 1928 MA thesis under the
title "L'Image dans la vie psychologique: rôle et nature" ["Image in
Psychological Life: Role and Nature"] was supervised by Henri
Delacroix.) It was at ENS that
Sartre began his lifelong,
sometimes fractious, friendship with Raymond Aron. Perhaps
the most decisive influence on Sartre's philosophical development was
his weekly attendance at Alexandre Kojève's seminars, which continued
for a number of years.
From his first years in the École Normale,
Sartre was one of its
fiercest pranksters. In 1927, his
antimilitarist satirical cartoon in the revue of the school,
coauthored with Georges Canguilhem, particularly upset the director
Gustave Lanson. In the same year, with his comrades Nizan,
Larroutis, Baillou and Herland, he organized a media prank
following Charles Lindbergh's successful New York City–
Sartre & Co. called newspapers and informed them that Lindbergh
was going to be awarded an honorary École degree. Many newspapers,
including Le Petit Parisien, announced the event on 25 May. Thousands,
including journalists and curious spectators, showed up, unaware that
what they were witnessing was a stunt involving a Lindbergh
look-alike. The public's resultant
outcry[need quotation to verify] forced Lanson to
In 1929 at the École Normale, he met Simone de Beauvoir, who studied
at the Sorbonne and later went on to become a noted philosopher,
writer, and feminist. The two became inseparable and lifelong
companions, initiating a romantic relationship, though
they were not monogamous. The first time
Sartre took the
agrégation, he failed. He took it a second time and virtually tied
for first place with Beauvoir, although
Sartre was eventually awarded
first place, with Beauvoir second.
Sartre was drafted into the
French Army from 1939 to 1941 and served
as a meteorologist for some time. He later argued in 1959
that each French person was responsible for the collective crimes
Algerian War of Independence.
From 1931 until 1945,
Sartre taught at various lycées of
Le Havre (at
the Lycée de Le Havre, the present-day Lycée François-Ier (Le
Havre) [fr], 1931–36),
Laon (at the Lycée de Laon,
1936–37), and, finally,
Paris (at the Lycée Pasteur, 1937–39, and
at the Lycée Condorcet, 1941–44; see below).
Voyage au bout de la nuit
Voyage au bout de la nuit by
Louis-Ferdinand Céline, a book that had a remarkable influence on
In 1933–34, he succeeded
Raymond Aron at the Institut français
Berlin where he studied Edmund Husserl's
phenomenological philosophy. Aron had already advised him in 1930 to
read Emmanuel Levinas's Théorie de l'intuition dans la
Husserl (The Theory of Intuition in Husserl's
The Neo-Hegelian revival led by
Alexandre Kojève and Jean Hyppolite
in the 1930s inspired a whole generation of French thinkers, including
Sartre, to discover Hegel's Phenomenology of Spirit.
Sartre was drafted into the French army, where he served as a
meteorologist. He was captured by German troops in 1940 in
Padoux, and he spent nine months as a prisoner of war—in
Nancy and finally in Stalag XII-D [fr], Trier, where he
wrote his first theatrical piece, Barionà, fils du tonnerre, a drama
concerning Christmas. It was during this period of confinement that
Sartre read Martin Heidegger's
Being and Time, later to become a major
influence on his own essay on phenomenological ontology. Because of
poor health (he claimed that his poor eyesight and exotropia affected
Sartre was released in April 1941. According to other
sources, he escaped after a medical visit to the
ophthalmologist. Given civilian status, he recovered his
teaching position at Lycée Pasteur near
Paris and settled at the
Hotel Mistral. In October 1941 he was given a position, previously
held by a Jewish teacher who had been forbidden to teach by Vichy law,
Lycée Condorcet in Paris.
Sartre (third from left) and other French journalists visit General
George C. Marshall in the Pentagon, 1945
After coming back to
Paris in May 1941, he participated in the
founding of the underground group Socialisme et Liberté ("Socialism
and Liberty") with other writers Simone de Beauvoir, Maurice
Merleau-Ponty, Jean-Toussaint Desanti, Dominique Desanti, Jean Kanapa,
and École Normale students. In spring of 1941,
Sartre suggested with
"cheerful ferocity" at a meeting that the Socialisme et Liberté
assassinate prominent war collaborators like Marcel Déat, but de
Beauvoir noted his idea was rejected as "none of us felt qualified to
make bombs or hurl grenades". The British historian Ian
Ousby observed that the French always had far more hatred for
collaborators than they did for the Germans, noting it was French
people like Déat that
Sartre wanted to assassinate rather than the
military governor of France, General Otto von Stülpnagel, and the
popular slogan always was "Death to Laval!" rather than "Death to
Hitler!". In August
Sartre and de Beauvoir went to the
French Riviera seeking the support of
André Gide and André Malraux.
However, both Gide and Malraux were undecided, and this may have been
the cause of Sartre's disappointment and discouragement. Socialisme et
liberté soon dissolved and
Sartre decided to write instead of being
involved in active resistance. He then wrote
Being and Nothingness,
The Flies, and No Exit, none of which were censored by the Germans,
and also contributed to both legal and illegal literary magazines.
In his essay "
Paris under the Occupation",
Sartre wrote that the
"correct" behaviour of the Germans had entrapped too many Parisians
into complicity with the occupation, accepting what was unnatural as
The Germans did not stride, revolver in hand, through the streets.
They did not force civilians to make way for them on the pavement.
They would offer seats to old ladies on the Metro. They showed great
fondness for children and would pat them on the cheek. They had been
told to behave correctly and being well-disciplined, they tried shyly
and conscientiously to do so. Some of them even displayed a naive
kindness which could find no practical expression.
Sartre noted when Wehrmacht soldiers asked Parisians politely in their
German-accented French for directions, people usually felt embarrassed
and ashamed as they tried their best to help out the Wehrmacht which
Sartre to remark "We could not be natural". French was
a language widely taught in German schools and most Germans could
speak at least some French.
Sartre himself always found it difficult
when a Wehrmacht soldier asked him for directions, usually saying he
did not know where it was that the soldier wanted to go, but still
felt uncomfortable as the very act of speaking to the Wehrmacht meant
he had been complicit in the Occupation. Ousby wrote:
"But, in however humble a fashion, everyone still had to decide how
they were going to cope with life in a fragmenting society ... So
Sartre's worries ... about how to react when a German soldier stopped
him in the street and asked politely for directions were not as
fussily inconsequential as they might sound at first. They were
emblematic of how the dilemmas of the Occupation presented themselves
in daily life".
Sartre wrote the very "correctness" of the
Germans caused moral corruption in many people who used the "correct"
behavior of the Germans as an excuse for passivity, and the very act
of simply trying to live one's day-to-day existence without
challenging the occupation aided the "New Order in Europe", which
depended upon the passivity of ordinary people to accomplish its
Throughout the occupation, it was German policy to plunder France and
food shortages were always a major problem as the majority of food
from the French countryside went to Germany.
about the "languid existence" of the Parisians as people waited
obsessively for the one weekly arrival of trucks bringing food from
the countryside that the Germans allowed, writing: "
Paris would grow
peaked and yawn with hunger under the empty sky. Cut off from the rest
of the world, fed only through the pity or some ulterior motive, the
town led a purely abstract and symbolic life". Sartre
himself lived on a diet of rabbits sent to him by a friend of de
Beauvior living in Anjou. The rabbits were usually in an
advanced state of decay full of maggots, and despite being hungry,
Sartre once threw out one rabbit as uneatable, saying it had more
maggots in it than meat.
Sartre also remarked that
conversations at the
Café de Flore
Café de Flore between intellectuals had changed,
as the fear that one of them might be a mouche (informer) or a writer
of the corbeau (anonymous denunciatory letters) meant that noone
really said what they meant anymore, imposing
Sartre and his friends at the Café de
Flore had reasons for their fear; by September 1940, the Abwehr alone
had already recruited 32,000 French people to work as mouches while by
Paris Kommandantur was receiving an average of 1,500
letters/per day sent by the corbeaux.
Sartre wrote under the occupation
Paris had become a "sham",
resembling the empty wine bottles displayed in shop windows as all of
the wine had been exported to Germany, looking like the old Paris, but
hollowed out, as what had made
Paris special was gone.
Paris had almost no cars on the streets during the occupation as the
oil went to Germany while the Germans imposed a nightly curfew, which
Sartre to remark that
Paris "was peopled by the
Sartre also noted that people began to disappear
under the occupation, writing:
One day you might phone a friend and the phone would ring for a long
time in an empty flat. You would go round and ring the doorbell, but
no-one would answer it. If the concierge forced the door, you would
find two chairs standing close together in the hall with the fag-ends
of German cigarettes on the floor between their legs. If the wife or
mother of the man who had vanished had been present at his arrest, she
would tell you that he had been taken away by very polite Germans,
like those who asked the way in the street. And when she went to ask
what had happened to them at the offices in the Avenue Foch or the Rue
des Saussaies she would be politely received and sent away with
comforting words" [No. 11 Rue des Saussaies was the headquarters of
the Gestapo in Paris].
Sartre wrote the feldgrau ("field grey") uniforms of the Wehrmacht and
the green uniforms of the Order Police which had seemed so alien in
1940 had become accepted, as people were numbed into accepting what
Sartre called "a pale, dull green, unobtrusive strain, which the eye
almost expected to find among the dark clothes of the
civilians". Under the occupation, the French often called
the Germans les autres ("the others"), which inspired Sartre's
aphorism in his play Huis clos ("No Exit") of "l'enfer, c'est les
Autres" ("Hell is other people").
Sartre intended the line
"l'enfer, c'est les Autres" at least in part to be a dig at the
After August 1944 and the Liberation of Paris, he wrote Anti-Semite
and Jew. In the book he tries to explain the etiology of "hate" by
analyzing antisemitic hate.
Sartre was a very active contributor to
Combat, a newspaper created during the clandestine period by Albert
Camus, a philosopher and author who held similar beliefs.
de Beauvoir remained friends with Camus until 1951, with the
publication of Camus's The Rebel. Later, while
Sartre was labeled by
some authors as a resistant, the French philosopher and resistant
Vladimir Jankelevitch criticized Sartre's lack of political commitment
during the German occupation, and interpreted his further struggles
for liberty as an attempt to redeem himself. According to Camus,
Sartre was a writer who resisted; not a resister who wrote.
In 1945, after the war ended,
Sartre moved to an apartment on the rue
Bonaparte which was where he was to produce most of his subsequent
work, and where he lived until 1962. It was from there that he helped
establish a quarterly literary and political review, Les Temps
modernes (Modern Times), in part to popularize his
thought. He ceased teaching and devoted his time to
writing and political activism. He would draw on his war experiences
for his great trilogy of novels, Les Chemins de la Liberté (The Roads
to Freedom) (1945–1949).
War politics and anticolonialism
Sartre (middle) and
Simone de Beauvoir
Simone de Beauvoir (left) meeting with
Che Guevara (right) in Cuba, 1960
The first period of Sartre's career, defined in large part by Being
and Nothingness (1943), gave way to a second period—when the world
was perceived as split into communist and capitalist blocs—of highly
publicized political involvement.
Sartre tended to glorify the
Resistance after the war as the uncompromising expression of morality
in action, and recalled that the résistants were a "band of brothers"
who had enjoyed "real freedom" in a way that did not exist before nor
after the war.
Sartre was "merciless" in attacking anyone
who had collaborated or remained passive during the German occupation;
for instance, criticizing Camus for signing an appeal to spare the
Robert Brasillach from being
executed. His 1948 play Les mains sales (Dirty Hands) in
particular explored the problem of being a politically "engaged"
intellectual. He embraced
Marxism but did not join the Communist
Party. For a time in the late 1940s,
Sartre described French
nationalism as "provincial" and in a 1949 essay called for a "United
States of Europe". In an essay published in the June 1949
edition of the journal Politique étrangère,
If we want French civilization to survive, it must be fitted into the
framework of a great European civilization. Why? I have said that
civilization is the reflection on a shared situation. In Italy, in
France, in Benelux, in Sweden, in Norway, in Germany, in Greece, in
Austria, everywhere we find the same problems and the same dangers ...
But this cultural polity has prospects only as elements of a policy
which defends Europe's cultural autonomy vis-à-vis America and the
Soviet Union, but also its political and economic autonomy, with the
aim of making Europe a single force between the blocs, not a third
bloc, but an autonomous force which will refuse to allow itself to be
torn into shreds between American optimism and Russian
About the Korean War,
Sartre wrote: "I have no doubt that the South
Korean feudalists and the American imperialists have promoted this
war. But I do not doubt either that it was begun by the North
Koreans". In July 1950,
Sartre wrote in Les Temps Modernes
about his and de Beauvoir's attitude to the Soviet Union:
As we were neither members of the [Communist] party nor its avowed
sympathizers, it was not our duty to write about Soviet labor camps;
we were free to remain aloof from the quarrel over the nature of this
system, provided that no events of sociological significance had
Sartre held that the Soviet Union was a "revolutionary" state working
for the betterment of humanity and could be criticized only for
failing to live up to its own ideals, but that critics had to take in
mind that the Soviet state needed to defend itself against a hostile
world; by contrast
Sartre held that the failures of "bourgeois" states
were due to their innate shortcomings. The Swiss
François Bondy wrote that, based on a reading of Sartre's
numerous essays, speeches and interviews "a simple basic pattern never
fails to emerge: social change must be comprehensive and
revolutionary" and the parties that promote the revolutionary charges
"may be criticized, but only by those who completely identify
themselves with its purpose, its struggle and its road to power",
deeming Sartre's position to be "existentialist".
While a Marxist,
Sartre attacked what he saw as abuses of freedom and
human rights by the Soviet Union. In 1954,
Sartre visited the Soviet
Union, which he stated he found a "complete freedom of criticism"
while condemning the United States for sinking into
Sartre wrote about those Soviet writers
expelled from the Soviet Writers' Union "still had the opportunity of
rehabilitating themselves by writing better books". He was
one of the first French journalists to expose the existence of the
labor camps, and vehemently opposed the invasion of Hungary, Russian
anti-Semitism, and the execution of dissidents[citation
needed]. About the Hungarian revolt of 1956,
Sartre wrote: "In
spite of everything, the Rakosi regime stood for socialization. Only
it did it badly and that is worse than not to do so at
Sartre came to admire the Polish leader Władysław
Gomułka, a man who favored a "Polish road to socialism" and wanted
more independence for Poland, but was loyal to the Soviet Union
because of the Oder-Neisse line issue. Sartre's newspaper
Les Temps Modernes devoted a number of special issues in 1957 and 1958
to Poland under Gomułka, praising him for his reforms.
Bondy wrote of the notable contradiction between Sarte's "ultra
Bolshevism" as he expressed admiration for the Chinese leader Mao
Zedong as the man who lead the oppressed masses of the Third World
into revolution while also praising more moderate Communist leaders
As an anti-colonialist,
Sartre took a prominent role in the struggle
against French rule in Algeria, and the use of torture and
concentration camps by the French in Algeria. He became an eminent
supporter of the FLN in the
Algerian War and was one of the
signatories of the Manifeste des 121. Consequently,
Sartre became a
domestic target of the paramilitary Organisation armée secrète
(OAS), escaping two bomb attacks in the early '60s. (He
had an Algerian mistress, Arlette Elkaïm, who became his adopted
daughter in 1965.) He opposed U.S. involvement in the
Vietnam War and,
Bertrand Russell and others, organized a tribunal intended
to expose U.S. war crimes, which became known as the Russell Tribunal
Sartre for the New York Times by Reginald Gray, 1965
His work after Stalin's death, the Critique de la raison dialectique
(Critique of Dialectical Reason), appeared in 1960 (a second volume
appearing posthumously). In the Critique
Sartre set out to give
Marxism a more vigorous intellectual defense than it had received
until then; he ended by concluding that Marx's notion of "class" as an
objective entity was fallacious. Sartre's emphasis on the humanist
values in the early works of Marx led to a dispute with a leading
leftist intellectual in France in the 1960s, Louis Althusser, who
claimed that the ideas of the young Marx were decisively superseded by
the "scientific" system of the later Marx. In the late 1950s, Sartre
began to argue that the European working classes were too apolitical
to carry out the revolution predicated by Marx, and influenced by
Frantz Fanon stated to argue it was the impoverished masses of the
Third World, the "real damned of the earth", who would carry out the
revolution. A major theme of Sarte's political essays in
the 1960s was of his disgust with the "Americanization" of the French
working class who would much rather watch American TV shows dubbed
into French than agitate for a revolution.
Sartre went to
Cuba in the 1960s to meet
Fidel Castro and spoke with
Ernesto "Che" Guevara. After Guevara's death,
Sartre would declare him
to be "not only an intellectual but also the most complete human being
of our age" and the "era's most perfect man".
Sartre would also compliment Guevara by professing that "he lived his
words, spoke his own actions and his story and the story of the world
ran parallel". However he stood against the persecution of
gays by Castro's régime, which he compared to Nazi persecution of the
Jews, and said: "In
Cuba there are no Jews, but there are
During a collective hunger strike in 1974,
Sartre visited Red Army
Andreas Baader in
Stammheim Prison and criticized the
harsh conditions of imprisonment.
Towards the end of his life,
Sartre became an
Late life and death
Hélène de Beauvoir's house in Goxwiller, where
Sartre tried to
hide from the media after being awarded the Nobel Prize.
Sartre renounced literature in a witty and sardonic account of
the first ten years of his life, Les Mots (The Words). The book is an
ironic counterblast to Marcel Proust, whose reputation had
unexpectedly eclipsed that of
André Gide (who had provided the model
of littérature engagée for Sartre's generation). Literature, Sartre
concluded, functioned ultimately as a bourgeois substitute for real
commitment in the world. In October 1964,
Sartre was awarded the Nobel
Literature but he declined it. He was the first Nobel
laureate to voluntarily decline the prize, and remains one
of only two laureates to do so. According to Lars
Gyllensten, in the book Minnen, bara minnen ("Memories, Only
Memories") published in 2000,
Sartre himself or someone close to him
got in touch with the Swedish Academy in 1975 with a request for the
prize money, but was refused. In 1945, he had refused the
Légion d'honneur. The Nobel prize was announced on 22
October 1964; on 14 October,
Sartre had written a letter to the Nobel
Institute, asking to be removed from the list of nominees, and warning
that he would not accept the prize if awarded, but the letter went
unread; on 23 October,
Le Figaro published a statement by
Sartre explaining his refusal. He said he did not wish to be
"transformed" by such an award, and did not want to take sides in an
East vs. West cultural struggle by accepting an award from a prominent
Western cultural institution. Nevertheless, he was that
year's prizewinner. After being awarded the prize he tried
to escape the media by hiding in the house of Simone's sister Hélène
de Beauvoir in Goxwiller, Alsace.
Sartre in Venice in 1967
Though his name was then a household word (as was "existentialism"
during the tumultuous 1960s),
Sartre remained a simple man with few
possessions, actively committed to causes until the end of his life,
such as the May 1968 strikes in
Paris during the summer of 1968 during
which he was arrested for civil disobedience. President Charles de
Gaulle intervened and pardoned him, commenting that "you don't arrest
Sartre's and de Beauvoir's grave in the Cimetière de Montparnasse
In 1975, when asked how he would like to be remembered, Sartre
I would like [people] to remember Nausea, [my plays]
No Exit and The
Devil and the Good Lord, and then my two philosophical works, more
particularly the second one, Critique of Dialectical Reason. Then my
essay on Genet, Saint Genet. ... If these are remembered, that would
be quite an achievement, and I don't ask for more. As a man, if a
Sartre is remembered, I would like people to
remember the milieu or historical situation in which I lived, ... how
I lived in it, in terms of all the aspirations which I tried to gather
up within myself.
Sartre's physical condition deteriorated, partially because of the
merciless pace of work (and the use of amphetamine) he put
himself through during the writing of the Critique and a massive
analytical biography of
Gustave Flaubert (The Family Idiot), both of
which remained unfinished. He suffered from hypertension,
and became almost completely blind in 1973.
Sartre was a notorious
chain smoker, which could also have contributed to the deterioration
of his health.
Sartre died on 15 April 1980 in
Paris from edema of the lung. He had
not wanted to be buried at
Père-Lachaise Cemetery between his mother
and stepfather, so it was arranged that he be buried at Montparnasse
Cemetery. At his funeral on Saturday, 19 April, 50,000 Parisians
descended onto Boulevard Montparnasse to accompany Sartre's
cortege. The funeral started at "the hospital
at 2:00 p.m., then filed through the fourteenth arrondissement, past
all Sartre's haunts, and entered the cemetery through the gate on the
Boulevard Edgar Quinet".
Sartre was initially buried in a temporary
grave to the left of the cemetery gate. Four days later
the body was disinterred for cremation at Père-Lachaise Cemetery, and
his ashes were reburied at the permanent site in Montparnasse
Cemetery, to the right of the cemetery gate.
Being and Nothingness
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Sartre's primary idea is that people, as humans, are "condemned to be
free".[full citation needed] This theory relies
upon his position that there is no creator, and is illustrated using
the example of the paper cutter.
Sartre says that if one considered a
paper cutter, one would assume that the creator would have had a plan
for it: an essence.
Sartre said that human beings have no essence
before their existence because there is no Creator. Thus: "existence
precedes essence". This forms the basis for his assertion
that because one cannot explain one's own actions and behavior by
referring to any specific human nature, they are necessarily fully
responsible for those actions. "We are left alone, without excuse."
"We can act without being determined by our past which is always
separated from us."
Sartre maintained that the concepts of authenticity and individuality
have to be earned but not learned. We need to experience "death
consciousness" so as to wake up ourselves as to what is really
important; the authentic in our lives which is life experience, not
knowledge. Death draws the final point when we as beings
cease to live for ourselves and permanently become objects that exist
only for the outside world. In this way death emphasizes
the burden of our free, individual existence.
As a junior lecturer at the Lycée du Havre in 1938,
Sartre wrote the
novel La Nausée (Nausea), which serves in some ways as a manifesto of
existentialism and remains one of his most famous books. Taking a page
from the German phenomenological movement, he believed that our ideas
are the product of experiences of real-life situations, and that
novels and plays can well describe such fundamental experiences,
having equal value to discursive essays for the elaboration of
philosophical theories such as existentialism. With such purpose, this
novel concerns a dejected researcher (Roquentin) in a town similar to
Le Havre who becomes starkly conscious of the fact that inanimate
objects and situations remain absolutely indifferent to his existence.
As such, they show themselves to be resistant to whatever significance
human consciousness might perceive in them.
He also took inspiration from phenomenologist epistemology, explained
by Franz Adler in this way: "Man chooses and makes himself by acting.
Any action implies the judgment that he is right under the
circumstances not only for the actor, but also for everybody else in
This indifference of "things in themselves" (closely linked with the
later notion of "being-in-itself" in his
Being and Nothingness) has
the effect of highlighting all the more the freedom Roquentin has to
perceive and act in the world; everywhere he looks, he finds
situations imbued with meanings which bear the stamp of his existence.
Hence the "nausea" referred to in the title of the book; all that he
encounters in his everyday life is suffused with a pervasive, even
horrible, taste—specifically, his freedom. The book takes the term
from Friedrich Nietzsche's Thus Spoke Zarathustra, where it is used in
the context of the often nauseating quality of existence. No matter
how much Roquentin longs for something else or something different, he
cannot get away from this harrowing evidence of his engagement with
The novel also acts as a terrifying realization of some of Immanuel
Kant's fundamental ideas about freedom;
Sartre uses the idea of the
autonomy of the will (that morality is derived from our ability to
choose in reality; the ability to choose being derived from human
freedom; embodied in the famous saying "Condemned to be free") as a
way to show the world's indifference to the individual. The freedom
that Kant exposed is here a strong burden, for the freedom to act
towards objects is ultimately useless, and the practical application
of Kant's ideas proves to be bitterly rejected.
Also important is Sartre's analysis of psychological concepts,
including his suggestion that consciousness exists as something other
than itself, and that the conscious awareness of things is not limited
to their knowledge: for
Sartre intentionality applies to the emotions
as well as to cognitions, to desires as well as to
perceptions. "When an external object is perceived,
consciousness is also conscious of itself, even if consciousness is
not its own object: it is a non-positional consciousness of
Career as public intellectual
Simone de Beauvoir
Simone de Beauvoir at the Balzac Memorial
While the broad focus of Sartre's life revolved around the notion of
human freedom, he began a sustained intellectual participation in more
public matters towards the end of the
Second World War, around
1944-45. Before World
War II, he was content with the role
of an apolitical liberal intellectual: "Now teaching at a lycée in
Sartre made his headquarters the Dome café at the crossing
of Montparnasse and Raspail boulevards. He attended plays, read
novels, and dined [with] women. He wrote. And he was
Sartre and his lifelong companion, de
Beauvoir, existed, in her words, where "the world about us was a mere
backdrop against which our private lives were played
out".[full citation needed]
Sartre portrayed his own pre-war situation in the character Mathieu,
chief protagonist in The Age of Reason, which was completed during
Sartre's first year as a soldier in the
Second World War. By forging
Mathieu as an absolute rationalist, analyzing every situation, and
functioning entirely on reason, he removed any strands of authentic
content from his character and as a result, Mathieu could "recognize
no allegiance except to [him]self",[full citation
needed] though he realized that without "responsibility for my own
existence, it would seem utterly absurd to go on
existing".[full citation needed] Mathieu's
commitment was only to himself, never to the outside world. Mathieu
was restrained from action each time because he had no reasons for
Sartre then, for these reasons, was not compelled to
participate in the Spanish Civil War, and it took the invasion of his
own country to motivate him into action and to provide a
crystallization of these ideas. It was the war that gave him a purpose
beyond himself, and the atrocities of the war can be seen as the
turning point in his public stance.
The war opened Sartre's eyes to a political reality he had not yet
understood until forced into continual engagement with it: "the world
itself destroyed Sartre's illusions about isolated self-determining
individuals and made clear his own personal stake in the events of the
time." Returning to
Paris in 1941 he formed the
"Socialisme et Liberté" resistance group. In 1943, after the group
Sartre joined a writers' Resistance group, in
which he remained an active participant until the end of the war. He
continued to write ferociously, and it was due to this "crucial
experience of war and captivity that
Sartre began to try to build up a
positive moral system and to express it through
The symbolic initiation of this new phase in Sartre's work is packaged
in the introduction he wrote for a new journal, Les Temps modernes, in
October 1945. Here he aligned the journal, and thus himself, with the
Left and called for writers to express their political
commitment. Yet, this alignment was indefinite, directed
more to the concept of the Left than a specific party of the Left.
Sartre's philosophy lent itself to his being a public intellectual. He
envisaged culture as a very fluid concept; neither pre-determined, nor
definitely finished; instead, in true existential fashion, "culture
was always conceived as a process of continual invention and
re-invention." This marks Sartre, the intellectual, as a pragmatist,
willing to move and shift stance along with events. He did not
dogmatically follow a cause other than the belief in human freedom,
preferring to retain a pacifist's objectivity. It is this overarching
theme of freedom that means his work "subverts the bases for
distinctions among the disciplines". Therefore, he was
able to hold knowledge across a vast array of subjects: "the
international world order, the political and economic organisation of
contemporary society, especially France, the institutional and legal
frameworks that regulate the lives of ordinary citizens, the
educational system, the media networks that control and disseminate
Sartre systematically refused to keep quiet about what he
saw as inequalities and injustices in the world."
Sartre always sympathized with the Left, and supported the French
Communist Party (PCF) until the 1956 Soviet invasion of Hungary.
Following the Liberation the PCF were infuriated by Sartre's
philosophy, which appeared to lure young French men and women away
from the ideology of communism and into Sartre's own
existentialism. From 1956 onwards
Sartre rejected the
claims of the PCF to represent the French working classes, objecting
to its "authoritarian tendencies". In the late 1960s
the Maoists, a movement that rejected the authority of established
communist parties. However, despite aligning with the
Sartre said after the May events: "If one rereads all my
books, one will realize that I have not changed profoundly, and that I
have always remained an anarchist." He would later
explicitly allow himself to be called an
In the aftermath of a war that had for the first time properly engaged
Sartre in political matters, he set forth a body of work which
"reflected on virtually every important theme of his early thought and
began to explore alternative solutions to the problems posed
there". The greatest difficulties that he and all public
intellectuals of the time faced were the increasing technological
aspects of the world that were outdating the printed word as a form of
expression. In Sartre's opinion, the "traditional bourgeois literary
forms remain innately superior", but there is "a recognition that the
new technological 'mass media' forms must be embraced" if Sartre's
ethical and political goals as an authentic, committed intellectual
are to be achieved: the demystification of bourgeois political
practices and the raising of the consciousness, both political and
cultural, of the working class.
The struggle for
Sartre was against the monopolising moguls who were
beginning to take over the media and destroy the role of the
intellectual. His attempts to reach a public were mediated by these
powers, and it was often these powers he had to campaign against. He
was skilled enough, however, to circumvent some of these issues by his
interactive approach to the various forms of media, advertising his
radio interviews in a newspaper column for example, and vice
The role of a public intellectual can lead to the individual placing
himself in danger as he engages with disputed topics. In Sartre's
case, this was witnessed in June 1961, when a plastic bomb exploded in
the entrance of his apartment building. His public support of Algerian
self-determination at the time had led
Sartre to become a target of
the campaign of terror that mounted as the colonists' position
deteriorated. A similar occurrence took place the next year and he had
begun to receive threatening letters from Oran, Algeria.
This section needs expansion. You can help by adding to it. (July
Sartre wrote successfully in a number of literary modes and made major
contributions to literary criticism and literary biography. His plays
are richly symbolic and serve as a means of conveying his philosophy.
The best-known, Huis-clos (No Exit), contains the famous line
"L'enfer, c'est les autres", usually translated as "Hell is other
people." Aside from the impact of Nausea, Sartre's major
work of fiction was
The Roads to Freedom
The Roads to Freedom trilogy which charts the
progression of how World
War II affected Sartre's ideas. In this way,
Roads to Freedom
Roads to Freedom presents a less theoretical and more practical
approach to existentialism.
John Huston got
Sartre to script his film Freud: The Secret
Passion.[full citation needed] However it was too
Sartre withdrew his name from the film's
credits. Nevertheless, many key elements from Sartre's
script survive in the finished film.
Despite their similarities as polemicists, novelists, adapters, and
playwrights, Sartre's literary work has been counterposed, often
pejoratively, to that of Camus in the popular imagination. In 1948 the
Roman Catholic Church
Roman Catholic Church placed Sartre's oeuvre on the Index Librorum
Prohibitorum (List of Prohibited Books).
Some philosophers argue that Sartre's thought is contradictory.
Specifically, they believe that
Sartre makes metaphysical arguments
despite his claim that his philosophical views ignore metaphysics.
Herbert Marcuse criticized
Being and Nothingness for projecting
anxiety and meaninglessness onto the nature of existence itself:
Existentialism is a philosophical doctrine, it remains an
idealistic doctrine: it hypostatizes specific historical conditions of
human existence into ontological and metaphysical characteristics.
Existentialism thus becomes part of the very ideology which it
attacks, and its radicalism is illusory." In Letter on
Humanism, Heidegger criticized Sartre's existentialism:
Existentialism says existence precedes essence. In this statement he
is taking existentia and essentia according to their metaphysical
meaning, which, from Plato's time on, has said that essentia precedes
Sartre reverses this statement. But the reversal of a
metaphysical statement remains a metaphysical statement. With it, he
stays with metaphysics, in oblivion of the truth of
Richard Wollheim and Thomas Baldwin have argued that
Sartre's attempt to show that Sigmund Freud's theory of the
unconscious is mistaken was based on a misinterpretation of
Freud. Richard Webster considers
of many modern thinkers who have reconstructed Judaeo-Christian
orthodoxies in secular form.
Intellectuals associated with the political right allege that Sartre's
politics are indicative of authoritarianism. Brian C. Anderson
Sartre as an apologist for tyranny and terror and a
supporter of Stalinism, Maoism, and Castro's regime in
Cuba. The historian Paul Johnson asserted that Sartre's
ideas had inspired the
Khmer Rouge leadership: "The events in
Cambodia in the 1970s, in which between one-fifth and one-third of the
nation was starved to death or murdered, were entirely the work of a
group of intellectuals, who were for the most part pupils and admirers
Sartre – 'Sartre's Children' as I call
Sartre, who stated in his preface to Frantz Fanon's The Wretched of
the Earth that, "To shoot down a European is to kill two birds with
one stone, to destroy an oppressor and the man he oppresses at the
same time: there remains a dead man and a free man", has been
criticized by Anderson and
Michael Walzer for supporting the killing
of European civilians by the FLN during the Algerian War. Walzer
suggests that Sartre, a European, was a hypocrite for not volunteering
to be killed.
The critic, poet, essayist and philosopher
Clive James excoriated
Sartre in his book of mini biographies Cultural Amnesia (2007). James
attacks Sartre's philosophy as being "all a pose".
Plays, screenplays, novels, and short stories
Nausea / La nausée (1938)
The Wall / Le mur (1939)
Bariona / Bariona, ou le fils du tonnerre (1940)
The Flies / Les mouches (1943)
No Exit / Huis clos (1944)
Typhus, wr. '44, pub. '07; adapted as The Proud and the Beautiful
The Age of Reason / L'âge de raison (1945)
The Reprieve / Le sursis (1945)
The Respectful Prostitute
The Respectful Prostitute / La putain respectueuse (1946)
The Victors / Morts sans sépulture (1946)
The Chips Are Down / Les jeux sont faits (screenplay, dir. Jean
In the Mesh / L'engrénage (1948)
Dirty Hands / Les mains sales (1948)
Troubled Sleep (London ed. (Hamilton) has title: Iron in the soul) /
La mort dans l'âme (1949)
The Devil and the Good Lord / Le diable et le bon dieu (1951)
The Crucible (screenplay, 1957; dir. Raymond Rouleau)
The Condemned of Altona
The Condemned of Altona / Les séquestrés d'Altona (1959)
Cuba / written and printed in 1961 in Brazil, along
Rubem Braga and
Fernando Sabino (1961)
Freud: The Secret Passion (screenplay, 1962; dir. John Huston)
The Trojan Women / Les Troyennes (1965)
Freud Scenario / Le scénario
Imagination: A Psychological Critique / L'imagination (1936)
The Transcendence of the Ego / La transcendance de l'égo (1937)
Sketch for a Theory of the Emotions
Sketch for a Theory of the Emotions / Esquisse d'une théorie des
The Imaginary / L'imaginaire (1940)
Being and Nothingness / L'être et le néant (1943)
Existentialism is a Humanism / L'existentialisme est un humanisme
Existentialism and Human Emotions / Existentialisme et émotions
Search for a Method / Question de méthode (1957)
Critique of Dialectical Reason / Critique de la raison dialectique
Notebooks for an
Ethics / Cahiers pour une morale (1983)
Existence / Vérité et existence (1989)
Anti-Semite and Jew
Anti-Semite and Jew / Réflexions sur la question juive (wr. 1944,
Situations I: Literary Critiques / Critiques littéraires
What Is Literature? / Qu'est-ce que la
littérature ? (1947)
"Black Orpheus" / "Orphée noir" (1948)
Situations III (1949)
Saint Genet, Actor and Martyr / S.G., comédien et martyr
The Henri Martin Affair / L'affaire Henri Martin (1953)
Situations IV: Portraits (1964)
Colonialism and Neocolonialism (1964)
Situations VI: Problems of Marxism, Part 1 (1966)
Situations VII: Problems of Marxism, Part 2 (1967)
The Family Idiot / L'idiot de la famille (1971–72)
Situations VIII: Autour de 1968 (1972)
Situations IX: Mélanges (1972)
Situations X: Life/Situations: Essays Written and Spoken / Politique
et Autobiographie (1976)
Sartre By Himself /
Sartre par lui-mème (1959)
The Words / Les Mots (1964)
Witness to My Life & Quiet Moments in a
War / Lettres au Castor et
à quelques autres (1983)
War Diaries: Notebooks from a Phony
War / Les carnets de la drole de
Roads to Freedom
Roads to Freedom Trilogy
^ At the time, the ENS was part of the University of
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Sartre and the Media. London: MacMillan Press
Scriven, Michael (1999). Jean-Paul Sartre: Politics and
Postwar France. London: MacMillan Press Ltd.
Thody, Philip (1964). Jean-Paul Sartre. London: Hamish Hamilton.
Allen, James Sloan, "Condemned to Be Free", Worldly Wisdom: Great
Books and the Meanings of Life, Savannah: Frederic C. Beil, 2008.
Joseph S. Catalano, A Commentary on Jean-Paul Sartre's Critique of
Dialectical Reason, University of Chicago Press, 1987.
Steven Churchill and Jack Reynolds (eds.), Jean-Paul Sartre: Key
Concepts, London/NewYork: Routledge, 2014.
Wilfrid Desan, The Tragic Finale: An
Essay on the philosophy of
Robert Doran, "Sartre's
Critique of Dialectical Reason and the Debate
with Lévi-Strauss", Yale French Studies 123 (2013): 41–62.
Sartre and Marxist Existentialism: The Test Case of
Collective Responsibility, Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1984.
Judaken, Jonathan (2006) Jean-Paul
Sartre and the Jewish Question:
Anti-antisemitism and the Politics of the French Intellectual.
Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press.
R. D. Laing
R. D. Laing and D. G. Cooper, Reason and Violence: A Decade of
Sartre's Philosophy, 1950–1960, New York: Pantheon, 1971.
Suzanne Lilar, A propos de
Sartre et de l'amour, Paris: Grasset, 1967.
Axel Madsen, Hearts and Minds: The Common Journey of Simone de
Beauvoir and Jean-Paul Sartre, William Morrow & Co, 1977.
Élisabeth Roudinesco, Philosophy in Turbulent Times: Canguilhem,
Sartre, Foucault, Althusser, Deleuze, Derrida, Columbia University
Press, New York, 2008.
Sartre and Benny Levy, Hope Now: The 1980 Interviews,
translated by Adrian van den Hoven, Chicago: University of Chicago
P.V. Spade, Class Lecture Notes on Jean-Paul Sartre's
Gianluca Vagnarelli, La democrazia tumultuaria. Sulla filosofia
politica di Jean-Paul Sartre, Macerata, EUM, 2010.
Jonathan Webber, The
Existentialism of Jean-Paul Sartre, London:
Sartre und die Kunst. Die Porträtstudien von Tintoretto
bis Flaubert, Tübingen: Gunter Narr Verlag, 1996.
H. Wittmann, L'esthétique de Sartre. Artistes et intellectuels,
translated from German by N. Weitemeier and J. Yacar, Éditions
L'Harmattan (Collection L'ouverture philosophique),
Sartre and Camus in Aesthetics. The Challenge of Freedom,
edited by Dirk Hoeges. Dialoghi/Dialogues. Literatur und Kultur
Italiens und Frankreichs, vol. 13, Frankfurt/M: Peter Lang 2009.
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Jean-Paul Sartreat's sister projects
Media from Wikimedia Commons
Quotations from Wikiquote
Data from Wikidata
Sartre at Curlie
Works by or about Jean-Paul
Sartre at Internet Archive
"Americans and Their Myths"—Sartre's essay in The Nation (18 October
Sartre Texts on Philosophy Archive
Internet Archive on Marxists.org
Works by Jean-Paul
Sartre at Open Library
Alfredo Gomez-Muller: Sartre, de la nausée à l'engagement. Paris,
éditions du Félin, 2014.
Groupe d'études sartriennes, Paris
Critique of Dialectical Reason essay by Andy Blunden
"Jean Paul Sartre: Existentialism", Internet Encyclopedia of
"Sartre's Political Philosophy", Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy
"Jean-Paul Sartre"—Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy
Sartre.org—Articles, archives, and forum
Critique and Engagement: Jean-Paul
Sartre (1905–2015), Labyrinth
1/2015, edited by Yvanka B. Raynova
History and Choice: Jean-Paul
Sartre (1905–2015), Labyrinth 2/2015,
edited by Yvanka B. Raynova
"The Second Coming of Sartre", John Lichfield, The Independent, 17
"The World According to Sartre"—essay by Roger Kimball
Sartre A review of Ian Birchall,
Sartre Against Stalinism
Marxism and the Quest for Humanistic
Authenticity"—essay by Daniel Jakopovich in the journal Synthesis
Biography and quotes of Sartre
Living with Mother.
Sartre and the problem of maternity, Benedict
O'Donohoe, International WebjournalSens Public.
"L'image de la femme dans le théâtre de Jean-Paul
Jean-Paul Sartre: sexiste?" by Stephanie Rupert
Pierre Michel, Jean-Paul
Sartre et Octave Mirbeau.
Time on Radio 4 (RealAudio)
Sartre: philosophy, literature, politics (articles), Sens Public
(international Web journal)
Buddhists, Existentialists and Situationists: Waking up in Waking Life
Louis Menand (26 September 2005). "Stand By Your Man: The strange
Sartre and Beauvoir (Book review of the republished The
Second Sex by Simone de Beauvoir)". The New Yorker. Retrieved 9 June
Newspaper clippings about Jean-Paul
Sartre in the 20th Century Press
Archives of the ZBW
vteJean-Paul SartreNovels and short stories
The Wall (1939) including
The Childhood of a Leader
The Roads to Freedom
The Age of Reason (1945)
The Reprieve (1945)
Troubled Sleep (1949)
In the Mesh (1948)
Plays and screenplays
The Flies (1943)
No Exit (1944)
Morts sans sépulture (1945)
The Respectful Prostitute
The Respectful Prostitute (1946)
The Chips Are Down (1947)
Dirty Hands (1948)
The Devil and the Good Lord (1951)
The Condemned of Altona
The Condemned of Altona (1959)
The Trojan Woman (1965)
Freud Scenario (1984)
"Imagination: A Psychological Critique" (1936)
"The Transcendence of the Ego" (1936)
"Sketch for a Theory of the Emotions" (1939)
"The Imaginary" (1940)
Being and Nothingness (1943)
Existentialism Is a Humanism (1946)
"Search for a Method" (1957)
"Critique of Dialectical Reason" (1960, 1985)
"Notebooks for an Ethics" (1983)
Truth and Existence" (1989)
"Anti-Semite and Jew" (1946)
"Situations I - X (1947–1976)
"Black Orpheus" (1948)
"Saint Genet, Actor and Martyr" (1952)
"The Henri Martin Affair" (1953)
"The Family Idiot" (1971–2)
Sartre by Himself (1959)
The Words (1964)
Witness to My Life & Quiet Moments in a
War Diaries: Notebooks from a Phony
Bad faith (mauvaise foi)
Existence precedes essence
Les Temps modernes
Articles related to Jean-Paul Sartre
Theodor W. Adorno
Simone de Beauvoir
Paul de Man
Hubert L. Dreyfus
Johann Gottlieb Fichte
Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel
José Ortega y Gasset
Friedrich Wilhelm Joseph Schelling
Apollonian and Dionysian
Being in itself
Death of God
Existence precedes essence
Leap of faith
Transvaluation of values
Will to power
Being in itself
Existence precedes essence
Abdel Rahman Badawi
Jane Welsh Carlyle
Walter A. Davis
Simone de Beauvoir
William A. Earle
James Anthony Froude
José Ortega y Gasset
Joseph B. Soloveitchik
Miguel de Unamuno
John Daniel Wild
Peter Wessel Zapffe
Georg W. F. Hegel
Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz
Charles Sanders Peirce
Alfred N. Whitehead
G. E. Moore
P. F. Strawson
R. G. Collingwood
Willard V. O. Quine
G. E. M. Anscombe
David Malet Armstrong
Peter van Inwagen
Abstract object theory
Meaning of life
Metaphysics of Quality
Category of being
Cogito, ergo sum
Interpretations of quantum mechanics
Philosophy of mind
Philosophy of psychology
Philosophy of self
Philosophy of space and time
vteSocial and political philosophyAncientphilosophers
Feminist political theory
Mandate of Heaven
Philosophy and economics
Philosophy of education
Philosophy of history
Philosophy of love
Philosophy of sex
Philosophy of social science
vteLaureates of the Nobel Prize in Literature1901–1925
1901: Sully Prudhomme
1902: Theodor Mommsen
1903: Bjørnstjerne Bjørnson
Frédéric Mistral / José Echegaray
1905: Henryk Sienkiewicz
1906: Giosuè Carducci
1907: Rudyard Kipling
1908: Rudolf Eucken
1909: Selma Lagerlöf
1910: Paul Heyse
1911: Maurice Maeterlinck
1912: Gerhart Hauptmann
1913: Rabindranath Tagore
1915: Romain Rolland
1916: Verner von Heidenstam
1917: Karl Gjellerup / Henrik Pontoppidan
1919: Carl Spitteler
1920: Knut Hamsun
1921: Anatole France
1922: Jacinto Benavente
1923: W. B. Yeats
1924: Władysław Reymont
1925: George Bernard Shaw
1926: Grazia Deledda
1927: Henri Bergson
1928: Sigrid Undset
1929: Thomas Mann
1930: Sinclair Lewis
1931: Erik Axel Karlfeldt
1932: John Galsworthy
1933: Ivan Bunin
1934: Luigi Pirandello
1936: Eugene O'Neill
1937: Roger Martin du Gard
1938: Pearl S. Buck
1939: Frans Eemil Sillanpää
1944: Johannes V. Jensen
1945: Gabriela Mistral
1946: Hermann Hesse
1947: André Gide
1948: T. S. Eliot
1949: William Faulkner
1950: Bertrand Russell
1951: Pär Lagerkvist
1952: François Mauriac
1953: Winston Churchill
1954: Ernest Hemingway
1955: Halldór Laxness
1956: Juan Ramón Jiménez
1957: Albert Camus
1958: Boris Pasternak
1959: Salvatore Quasimodo
1960: Saint-John Perse
1961: Ivo Andrić
1962: John Steinbeck
1963: Giorgos Seferis
Sartre (declined award)
1965: Mikhail Sholokhov
Shmuel Yosef Agnon
Shmuel Yosef Agnon / Nelly Sachs
1967: Miguel Ángel Asturias
1968: Yasunari Kawabata
1969: Samuel Beckett
1970: Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn
1971: Pablo Neruda
1972: Heinrich Böll
1973: Patrick White
Eyvind Johnson / Harry Martinson
1975: Eugenio Montale
1976: Saul Bellow
1977: Vicente Aleixandre
1978: Isaac Bashevis Singer
1979: Odysseas Elytis
1980: Czesław Miłosz
1981: Elias Canetti
1982: Gabriel García Márquez
1983: William Golding
1984: Jaroslav Seifert
1985: Claude Simon
1986: Wole Soyinka
1987: Joseph Brodsky
1988: Naguib Mahfouz
1989: Camilo José Cela
1990: Octavio Paz
1991: Nadine Gordimer
1992: Derek Walcott
1993: Toni Morrison
1994: Kenzaburō Ōe
1995: Seamus Heaney
1996: Wisława Szymborska
1997: Dario Fo
1998: José Saramago
1999: Günter Grass
2000: Gao Xingjian
2001: V. S. Naipaul
2002: Imre Kertész
2003: J. M. Coetzee
2004: Elfriede Jelinek
2005: Harold Pinter
2006: Orhan Pamuk
2007: Doris Lessing
2008: J. M. G. Le Clézio
2009: Herta Müller
2010: Mario Vargas Llosa
2011: Tomas Tranströmer
2012: Mo Yan
2013: Alice Munro
2014: Patrick Modiano
2015: Svetlana Alexievich
2016: Bob Dylan
2017: Kazuo Ishiguro
vteCommunismTheory and practice
Commune (model of government)
From each according to his ability, to each according to his needs
History of communism
List of communist ideologies
List of communist parties
Sacco and Vanzetti
Ho Chi Minh
Josip Broz Tito
Simone de Beauvoir
Pier Paolo Pasolini
Anti-communist mass killings
Crimes against humanity under communist regimes
Criticisms of communist party rule
Socialist mode of production
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