|Birth Day:||June 21, 1905|
|Death Date:||Apr 15, 1980 (age 74)|
|Birth Place:||Paris, France|
|Height:||in centimeters - N/A|
|Weight:||in kg - N/A|
As per our current Database, Jean-Paul Sartre died on Apr 15, 1980 (age 74).
He was a big prankster in his school, and he forced the resignation of its director with a cartoon that he drew.
Jean-Paul 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 father. When 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 bullied, in part due to the wandering of his blind right eye (sensory exotropia).
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–Paris flight; 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 forced Lanson to resign.
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.
In 1933–34, he succeeded Raymond Aron at the Institut français d'Allemagne in 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 phénoménologie de Husserl (The Theory of Intuition in Husserl's Phenomenology).
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], 1931–1936), Laon (at the Lycée de Laon, 1936–37), and, finally, Paris (at the Lycée Pasteur, 1937–1939, and at the Lycée Condorcet, 1941–1944; see below).
In 1932, Sartre discovered Voyage au bout de la nuit by Louis-Ferdinand Céline, a book that had a remarkable influence on him.
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.
In 1939 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 Sein und Zeit, 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 his balance) 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, at Lycée Condorcet 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 German occupiers.
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.
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 disbanded, 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 literature".
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. Sartre and 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).
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.
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 placed Sartre's oeuvre on the Index Librorum Prohibitorum (List of Prohibited Books).
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 collaborationist writer 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, Sartre wrote:
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:
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 "prefascism". Sartre wrote about those Soviet writers expelled from the Soviet Writers' Union "still had the opportunity of rehabilitating themselves by writing better books". Sartre's comments on Hungarian revolution of 1956 are quite representative to his frequently contradictory and changing views. On one hand, Sartre saw in Hungary a true reunification between intellectuals and workers only to criticize it for "losing socialist base". He condemned the Soviet invasion of Hungary in November 1956.
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 led the oppressed masses of the Third World into revolution while also praising more moderate Communist leaders like Gomułka.
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 later argued in 1959 that each French person was responsible for the collective crimes during the Algerian War of Independence. (He had an Algerian mistress, Arlette Elkaïm, who became his adopted daughter in 1965.) He opposed U.S. involvement in the Vietnam War and, along with Bertrand Russell and others, organized a tribunal intended to expose U.S. war crimes, which became known as the Russell Tribunal in 1967.
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.
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.
In 1964 after the death of Stalin, Sartre attacked Khrushchev's "Secret Speech" which condemned the Stalinist repressions and purges. Sartre argued that "the masses were not ready to receive the truth".
In 1964 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 Prize in 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.
In 1973 he argued that "revolutionary authority always needs to get rid of some people that threaten it, and their death is the only way". A number of people, starting from Frank Gibney in 1961, classified Sartre as a "useful idiot" due to his uncritical position.
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.
During a collective hunger strike in 1974, Sartre visited Red Army Faction member Andreas Baader in Stammheim Prison and criticized the harsh conditions of imprisonment.
In 1975, when asked how he would like to be remembered, Sartre replied:
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 du 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.
Jean-Paul had a lifelong open relationship with fellow philosopher and writer Simone de Beauvoir. Jean-Paul's mother was Albert Schweitzer's first cousin.
Currently, Jean-Paul Sartre is 117 years, 9 months and 6 days old. Jean-Paul Sartre will celebrate 118th birthday on a Wednesday 21st of June 2023. Below we countdown to Jean-Paul Sartre upcoming birthday.
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