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128

Situation of the Writer in 1947

4
terms
7
notes

Sartre, J. (2001). Situation of the Writer in 1947. In Sartre, J. What is Literature?. Routledge, pp. 128-242

161

When we were still schoolboys on the lycée benches or in the Sorbonne amphitheatres, the leafy shadow of the beyond spread itself over literature. We knew the bitter and deceptive taste of the impossible, of purity, of impossible purity. We felt ourselves to be in turn the unsatisfied and the Ariels of accomplishment. We believed that one could save one's life by art, and then, the following term, that one never saved anything and that art was the lucid and desperate balance sheet of our perdition. We swung between terror and rhetoric, between literature-as-martrydom and literature-as-profession. [...]

again weirdly pretty

—p.161 by Jean-Paul Sartre 3 years ago

When we were still schoolboys on the lycée benches or in the Sorbonne amphitheatres, the leafy shadow of the beyond spread itself over literature. We knew the bitter and deceptive taste of the impossible, of purity, of impossible purity. We felt ourselves to be in turn the unsatisfied and the Ariels of accomplishment. We believed that one could save one's life by art, and then, the following term, that one never saved anything and that art was the lucid and desperate balance sheet of our perdition. We swung between terror and rhetoric, between literature-as-martrydom and literature-as-profession. [...]

again weirdly pretty

—p.161 by Jean-Paul Sartre 3 years ago
170

[...] they no longer felt humanity as a limitless milieu. It was a thin flame within them which they alone kept alive. It kept itself going in the silence which they opposed to their executioners. About them was nothing but the great polar night of the inhuman and of unknowingness, which they did not even see, which they guessed in the glacial cold which pierced them.

on (French) writers during the Vichy years (I think)

—p.170 by Jean-Paul Sartre 3 years ago

[...] they no longer felt humanity as a limitless milieu. It was a thin flame within them which they alone kept alive. It kept itself going in the silence which they opposed to their executioners. About them was nothing but the great polar night of the inhuman and of unknowingness, which they did not even see, which they guessed in the glacial cold which pierced them.

on (French) writers during the Vichy years (I think)

—p.170 by Jean-Paul Sartre 3 years ago
174

We did not want to delight our public with its superiority to a dead world--we wanted to take it by the throat. Let every character be a trap, let the reader be caught in it, and let him be tossed from one consciousness to another as from one absolute and irremediable universe to another similarly absolute; let him be uncertain of the very uncertainty of the heroes, disturbed by their disturbance, flooded with their present, docile beneath the weight of their future, invested with their perceptions and feelings as by high insurmountable cliffs. [...] As for Kafka, everything has been said: that he wanted to paint a picture of bureaucracy, the progress of disease, the condition of the Jews in Eastern Europe, the quest for inaccessible transcendence, and the world of grace when grace is lacking. This is all true. Let me say that he wanted to describe the human condition. But what we were particularly sensitive to was that this trial perpetually in session, which ends abruptly and evilly, whose judges are unknown and out of reach, in the vain efforts of the accused to know the leaders of the prosecution, in this defence patiently assembled which turns against the defender and figures in the evidence for the prosecution, in this absurd present which the characters live with great earnestness and whose keys are elsewhere, we recognize history and ourselves in history.

—p.174 by Jean-Paul Sartre 3 years ago

We did not want to delight our public with its superiority to a dead world--we wanted to take it by the throat. Let every character be a trap, let the reader be caught in it, and let him be tossed from one consciousness to another as from one absolute and irremediable universe to another similarly absolute; let him be uncertain of the very uncertainty of the heroes, disturbed by their disturbance, flooded with their present, docile beneath the weight of their future, invested with their perceptions and feelings as by high insurmountable cliffs. [...] As for Kafka, everything has been said: that he wanted to paint a picture of bureaucracy, the progress of disease, the condition of the Jews in Eastern Europe, the quest for inaccessible transcendence, and the world of grace when grace is lacking. This is all true. Let me say that he wanted to describe the human condition. But what we were particularly sensitive to was that this trial perpetually in session, which ends abruptly and evilly, whose judges are unknown and out of reach, in the vain efforts of the accused to know the leaders of the prosecution, in this defence patiently assembled which turns against the defender and figures in the evidence for the prosecution, in this absurd present which the characters live with great earnestness and whose keys are elsewhere, we recognize history and ourselves in history.

—p.174 by Jean-Paul Sartre 3 years ago
176

[...] We hope that our books remain in the air all by themselves and that their words, instead of pointing backwards towards the one who has designed them, will be toboggans, forgotten, unnoticed, and solitary, which will hurl the reader into the midst of a universe where there are no witnesses; in short, that our books may exist in the manner of things, of plants, of events, and not at first like products of man. We want to drive providence from our works as we have driven it from our world. [...]

—p.176 by Jean-Paul Sartre 3 years ago

[...] We hope that our books remain in the air all by themselves and that their words, instead of pointing backwards towards the one who has designed them, will be toboggans, forgotten, unnoticed, and solitary, which will hurl the reader into the midst of a universe where there are no witnesses; in short, that our books may exist in the manner of things, of plants, of events, and not at first like products of man. We want to drive providence from our works as we have driven it from our world. [...]

—p.176 by Jean-Paul Sartre 3 years ago
182

[...] The writer, in opposition to bourgeois ideology, chose to speak to us of things at the privileged moment when all the concrete relations which united him with the objects were broken, save the slender thread of his gaze, and when they gently undid themselves to his eyes, untied sheaves of exquisite sensations.

—p.182 by Jean-Paul Sartre 3 years ago

[...] The writer, in opposition to bourgeois ideology, chose to speak to us of things at the privileged moment when all the concrete relations which united him with the objects were broken, save the slender thread of his gaze, and when they gently undid themselves to his eyes, untied sheaves of exquisite sensations.

—p.182 by Jean-Paul Sartre 3 years ago

(noun) ; action practice; as / (noun) exercise or practice of an art, science, or skill / (noun) customary practice or conduct / (noun) practical application of a theory

194

as a producer and revolutionary, he is par excellence, the subject of a literature of praxis

—p.194 by Jean-Paul Sartre
notable
3 years ago

as a producer and revolutionary, he is par excellence, the subject of a literature of praxis

—p.194 by Jean-Paul Sartre
notable
3 years ago

(adjective) requiring immediate aid or action / (adjective) requiring or calling for much; demanding

203

the freedom of man and the coming of the classless society are likewise absolute goals, unconditioned exigencies which literature can reflect in its own exigency

—p.203 by Jean-Paul Sartre
notable
3 years ago

the freedom of man and the coming of the classless society are likewise absolute goals, unconditioned exigencies which literature can reflect in its own exigency

—p.203 by Jean-Paul Sartre
notable
3 years ago
205

[...] In the event of a Soviet victory, we will be passed over in silence until we die a second time; in the event of an American victory, the best of us will be put into the jars of literary history and won't be taken out again.

something about this really works for me idk

—p.205 by Jean-Paul Sartre 3 years ago

[...] In the event of a Soviet victory, we will be passed over in silence until we die a second time; in the event of an American victory, the best of us will be put into the jars of literary history and won't be taken out again.

something about this really works for me idk

—p.205 by Jean-Paul Sartre 3 years ago
212

[...] Such is the present paradox of ethics; if I am absorbed in treating a few chosen persons as absolute ends, for example, my wife, my son, my friends, the needy person I happen to come across, if I am bent upon fulfilling all my duties towards them, I shall spend my life doing so; I shall be led to pass over in silence the injustices of the age, the class struggle, colonialism, Anti-Semitism, etc., and, finally, to take advantage of oppression in order to do good. [...] if I throw myself into the revolutionary enterprise I risk having no more leisure for personal relations--worse still, of being led by the logic of the action into treating most men, and even my friends, as means. But if we start with the moral exigence which the aesthetic feeling envelops without meaning to do so, we are starting on the right foot. We must historicize the reader's goodwill, that is, by the formal agency of our work, we must, if possible provoke his intention of treating men, in every case, as an absolute end and, by the subject of our writing, direct his intention upon his neighbours, that is, upon the oppressed of the world. But we shall have accomplished if, in addition, we do not show him--and in the very warp and weft of the work--that it is quite impossible to treat concrete men as ends in contemporary society. Thus, he will be led by the hand until he is made to see that, in effect, what he wants is to eliminate the exploitation of man by man and that the city of ends which, with one stroke, he has set up in the aesthetic intuition is an ideal which we shall approach only at the end of a long historical evolution. In other words, we must transform his formal goodwill into a concrete and material will to change this world by specific means in order to help the coming of the concrete society of ends.

—p.212 by Jean-Paul Sartre 3 years ago

[...] Such is the present paradox of ethics; if I am absorbed in treating a few chosen persons as absolute ends, for example, my wife, my son, my friends, the needy person I happen to come across, if I am bent upon fulfilling all my duties towards them, I shall spend my life doing so; I shall be led to pass over in silence the injustices of the age, the class struggle, colonialism, Anti-Semitism, etc., and, finally, to take advantage of oppression in order to do good. [...] if I throw myself into the revolutionary enterprise I risk having no more leisure for personal relations--worse still, of being led by the logic of the action into treating most men, and even my friends, as means. But if we start with the moral exigence which the aesthetic feeling envelops without meaning to do so, we are starting on the right foot. We must historicize the reader's goodwill, that is, by the formal agency of our work, we must, if possible provoke his intention of treating men, in every case, as an absolute end and, by the subject of our writing, direct his intention upon his neighbours, that is, upon the oppressed of the world. But we shall have accomplished if, in addition, we do not show him--and in the very warp and weft of the work--that it is quite impossible to treat concrete men as ends in contemporary society. Thus, he will be led by the hand until he is made to see that, in effect, what he wants is to eliminate the exploitation of man by man and that the city of ends which, with one stroke, he has set up in the aesthetic intuition is an ideal which we shall approach only at the end of a long historical evolution. In other words, we must transform his formal goodwill into a concrete and material will to change this world by specific means in order to help the coming of the concrete society of ends.

—p.212 by Jean-Paul Sartre 3 years ago

(verb) to make faulty or defective; impair / (verb) to debase in moral or aesthetic status / (verb) to make ineffective

212

The good that I try to do will be vitiated at the roots

—p.212 by Jean-Paul Sartre
notable
3 years ago

The good that I try to do will be vitiated at the roots

—p.212 by Jean-Paul Sartre
notable
3 years ago

(noun) a misrepresentation intended to harm another's reputation / (noun) the act of uttering false charges or misrepresentations maliciously calculated to harm another's reputation

222

the politics of the Communist Party, which consists of lying to its own troops, of calumniating

—p.222 by Jean-Paul Sartre
notable
3 years ago

the politics of the Communist Party, which consists of lying to its own troops, of calumniating

—p.222 by Jean-Paul Sartre
notable
3 years ago