Jean Paul Sartre

Novelist, essayist, playwright, and founder of a new school of thought which would become known as Existentialism; Jean Paul Sartre’s philosophical influences can clearly be felt even today. Like us in the South Asia, Algeria had won independence after a long struggle. Sartre sitting in Paris cafes used to write in favour of Algerians’ struggle sending his articles to the foreign publications.

“Algerians have as equal rights to liberty as the French,” he viewed. This was of course against the interests of France hence they did not approve of his views. Sartre was advised to refrain from such commentary but he did not take any notice and public opinion kept building against the writer with time. Demand was that Sartre should be arrested and tried for treason and punished.

President De Gaul of France did not subscribe to the public opinion, nor wanted Sartre to be tried so kept ignoring the widely held assertions against him.

“Why are you hesitant to take action against Sartre,” prominent activists went to the President and demanded? They wanted to know the truth. “You want that I should take France in captivity and try her. It will never happen as long as I am here,” De Gaul spoke his heart out and sent them back unsuccessful. Sartre is Nobel laureate but the President’s remarks are more valuable than the Nobel Prize. It was a prize perhaps no scholar or writer has ever got.


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