Jean-Paul Sartre (1905-1980) published his first novel La Nausee/Nausea in 1937, followed by the trilogy Les Chemins de la Uberte/Roads to Freedom 1944-1945, and many plays, including Huis Closlln Camera in 1944.
L'Etre et le niant/Being and Nothingness in 1943, his first major philosophical work, is important for its radical doctrine of human freedom. In the later work Critique de la raison dialectique/Critique of Dialetical Reason in 1960 he tried to produce a fusion of existentialism and Marxism.
Sartre refused the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1964 for "personal reasons", but allegedly changed his mind later, saying he wanted it, or the money.
During World War II he was a prisoner for nine months, and on his return from Germany joined the Resistance. As a
founder of modem existentialism, he edited its journal Les Temps modernes (Modem Times), and expressed its tenets in his novels and plays. According to Sartre, people's awareness of their own freedom takes the form of anxiety, and they therefore attempt to flee from this awareness into what he terms mauvaisefoi ("bad faith"); this is the theory he put forward in L'Etre et le neant/Being and Nothingness.
In Crime Passionel in 1948 he attacked aspects of communism, while remaining generally sympathetic. In his later work Sartre became more sensitive to the social constraints on people's actions.
He was born in Paris, and was the lifelong companion of the feminist writer Simone de Beauvoir.
Why is Jean-Paul Sartre famous?
Jean-Paul Sartre was a French author and philosopher, one of the leading proponents of existentialism - which takes as its starting-point the individual in the real world - in post-war philosophy.
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