The Words

Front Cover
Vintage Books, 1981 - Biography & Autobiography - 255 pages
48 Reviews
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.

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The prose is perfect, beautiful and brilliant. - Goodreads
... gives insights into our own childhoods. - Goodreads
... the key here: sartre is an awesome writer. - Goodreads

Review: The Words

User Review  - Chris - Goodreads

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 ... Read full review

Review: The Words

User Review  - Andrew Olsen - Goodreads

Like Nausea, The Words gives life to it's title from the playful beginning, to the end, Jean-Paul Sartre wrote himself as a story book character in his own life. Because the beginning of his life was ... Read full review

Contents

Section 1
9
Section 2
33
Section 3
61
Copyright

10 other sections not shown

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About the author (1981)

Sartre is the dominant figure in post-war French intellectual life. A graduate of the prestigious Ecole Normale Superieure with an agregation in philosophy, Sartre has been a major figure on the literary and philosophical scenes since the late 1930s. Widely known as an atheistic proponent of existentialism, he emphasized the priority of existence over preconceived essences and the importance of human freedom. In his first and best novel, Nausea (1938), Sartre contrasted the fluidity of human consciousness with the apparent solidity of external reality and satirized the hypocrisies and pretensions of bourgeois idealism. Sartre's theater is also highly ideological, emphasizing the importance of personal freedom and the commitment of the individual to social and political goals. His first play, The Flies (1943), was produced during the German occupation, despite its underlying message of defiance. One of his most popular plays is the one-act No Exit (1944), in which the traditional theological concept of hell is redefined in existentialist terms. In Red Gloves (Les Mains Sales) (1948), Sartre examines the pragmatic implications of the individual involved in political action through the mechanism of the Communist party and a changing historical situation. His highly readable autobiography, The Words (1964), tells of his childhood in an idealistic bourgeois Protestant family and of his subsequent rejection of his upbringing. Sartre has also made significant contributions to literary criticism in his 10-volume Situations (1947--72) and in works on Baudelaire, Genet, and Flaubert. In 1964 he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature and refused it, saying that he always declined official honors.

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