Biography Presents Compelling Portrait of Life, Times, and Mind of Jean-Paul Sartre
The rich flow of historical details, intellectual insights, and polBiography Presents Compelling Portrait of Life, Times, and Mind of Jean-Paul Sartre
The rich flow of historical details, intellectual insights, and political dynamics that make up the powerful pages of Annie Cohen-Solal’s “Sartre: A Life” are both is primary assets and, for some, its principle liabilities.
In the afterword to the Sartre Centennial 1905-2005 edition of the book, the authors lets us in on her adopted goals and methodology:
“I adopted from the beginning, a different perspective, that of interactionist micro-sociology, which tries to understand society from the subjective side of its actors, proposing to trace the process of intellectual creation and cultural production through an articulation of the individual with the intellectual milieu. Above all, I sought to shed light on the conditions of possibility of a subversive discourse which inversed power relationships by bringing historical and sociological interpretations together… Within this framework, I decided on the following methodological principles: I would adopt a triple approach—phenomenological, generative, and holistic…” (Cohen-Solal, p. 531)
It is a brilliant strategy superbly executed. The outstanding aspect of it for this reader was the propositions to “trace the process of intellectual creation and cultural production through an articulation of the individual with the intellectual milieu.” And: on the dynamics of possibility pertaining to a sociologically- and historically-informed subversive discourse.
Just as the intellectually-uninitiated––as well as many who have crossed said threshold––are bound to find themselves confused and frustrated attempting to hold on to the thread of Sartre’s reasoning and non-reasoning, so are they likely to experience the same clinging to the hem of Cohen-Solal’s virtuosity as she constructs, deconstructs, analyzes, reconstructs, labels, and defines the mass of public and private components that comprised her subject’s phenomenal life. None of that should discourage readers from enjoying the mind-stimulating ride.
What makes this book so mesmerizingly extraordinary is the succession of dual portraits of Sartre as a flawed and at times wounded soul in contrast to him as the emerging-and-then-dominant French intellectual of his time. He was the litterateur par excellence who could simultaneously advance is working theses in multiple formats: as journalism, plays, lectures, philosophy, novels, and movie scripts. Yet he was also the doting son who saw to his mother’s well-being, as well as, the pied-piper mentor to aspiring writers, hopeful actresses, and political activists who would follow in his footsteps.
In addition–– whereas he may have been properly lauded as a prominent member of the French resistance and unexpected author of Being and Nothingness, he was also an unlikely kind of Casanova and a borderline drug addict. Capable of deep loyalty to either an individual (as he was for a time to fellow Nobel Laureate Albert Camus) or a cause (per the Cuban Revolution) he could quickly and brutally eject them from his public and private embrace. In short, his was a unique personality unleashed during one of the most volatile periods of modern history and how the prolific author interacted with it on multiple levels is fascinating almost beyond belief. Were it not for Cohen-Solal’s insistence on balancing the great man’s achievements with his human shortcomings one would be tempted to say he was nearly larger-than-life.
It's been interesting to see the wide variety of responses to Ilan Stavan's Gabriel Garcia Marquez, The Early Years, around the Internet. I one of thoIt's been interesting to see the wide variety of responses to Ilan Stavan's Gabriel Garcia Marquez, The Early Years, around the Internet. I one of those who enjoyed both the historic perspective and the personal passion that Stavans brings to the book. My full review may be too long to post here but interested readers can find it at this url: https://www.examiner.com/african-amer...
it is not uncommon in american fiction to come across novels that thrill the reader s imagination with absorbing accounts of romantic passion. nor isit is not uncommon in american fiction to come across novels that thrill the reader s imagination with absorbing accounts of romantic passion. nor is it difficult to find one that presents an appealingly rich portrait of african-american and african culture. what is rare and a true cause for celebration is what we find in the pages of marguerite tiggs-birt s foolish pleasures: a novel that not only utilizes these elements to communicate valuable knowledge and wisdom concerning the scars and traumas we human beings often accumulate in our quest for meaningful relationships, but one that illustrates the means by which such soul-destroying pain may be healed, and damaged love restored. like the exquisite pink diamond that ambassador cedric philippe bestows upon his adored dr. bethesda vernon in this captivating read, foolish pleasures is a unique and precious kind of literary jewel.[return][return]aberjhani[return]author of visions of a skylark dressed in black[return]and encyclopedia of the harlem renaissance...more
precisely as its title so unapologetically indicates, "scarlett o hara can go to hell" is not a sunday stroll through myths of southern ladies waitingprecisely as its title so unapologetically indicates, "scarlett o hara can go to hell" is not a sunday stroll through myths of southern ladies waiting for heroic southern men to fill their lives with romance and adventure. if anything, it s the exact opposite, a mesmerizing tale of one woman s determination to re-write southern society s definition of what her life should or can be. jewish by birth but free-spirited by temperament, the novel s heroine, naomi kramer, declares her independence from tradition only to discover that freedom comes with as many challenges and demands as it does rewards and privileges. [return][return]from her immigrant grandfather s arrival in the united states in 1904 to naomi s powerful spiritual awakening in the 1980s, readers are treated to a journey through the unfoldment of one unforgettable woman s life while simultaneously bearing witness to what history would come to call the american century. in turns comically irreverent and soulfully inspiring, "scarlett o hara can go to hell" is one exceptionally enjoyable read. [return][return]aberjhani[return]author of "encyclopedia of the harlem renaissance"[return]and "visions of a skylark dressed in black"...more