1964 : Jean-Paul Sartre

1964 : Jean-Paul Sartre

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“for his work which, rich in ideas and filled with the spirit of freedom and the quest for truth, has exerted a far-reaching influence on our age”



June 21, 1905

Place of birth


Paris, France



April 15, 1980

Place of death


Paris, France







Notable award(s)


Nobel Prize in Literature 1964


Childhood and school:Sartre was in Paris as the son of the naval officer, Jean-Baptiste Sartre (1874-1906) was born. The father has died 15 months after his birth on yellow fever, a tropical disease. His mother, Anne-Marie (1882-1969), born Schweitzer, the German-vaterlicherseits alsatian descent and a cousin, Albert Schweitzer was a young widow moved back to their parents. There is growing Sartre under the influence of his grandfather Charles Schweitzer on. The high school professor (agrege) for the German specialist advised his grandchildren at home. Thus Sartre began very early to read (also in German). He already as a boy suffered a lens opacity in the right eye, which gradually went blind and wandered outside, so that with time he increasingly squinted. Until the age of 10 years, he had little social contact outside his family, in which he was the only child and stayed. Except he was taught by his grandfather by changing private teachers until he was 10-year-old high school at the prestigious Lycee Henri IV came. With nearly sixty will Sartre these childhood in Les mots (The words) describe. 1917 his mother married again and moved with him to her new husband to La Rochelle – two changes to the Twelve-year-old is difficult to cope. Added to this was that his grandfather outraged broke with him when he learned that the boy money from the cash budget had to deal with sweets in his new classmates einzuschmeicheln. 1920, Sartre returned to Paris and visited – now a boarding school students – back to the Henri IV. Here he is befriended by a classmate, who later became a writer colleague Paul Nizan, of him in contemporary literature introduced. 1922 he completed the Baccalaureat and decided, together with Nizan, a study at the Ecole Normale Superieure (ENS) individually, the elite School for the Teaching of subjects. Both therefore changed to the Lycee Louis-le-Grand, whose preparatory classes (classes preparatoires) for the ENS were considered better than that of Henri IV Studies, career and war:1923 Sartre was a novel and some novel small chapter in magazines say, at the same time he began to be interested in philosophy. 1924, he occupied the sixth rank in the entrance examination (concours) for the ENS. His dorm room there, he also recorded with the Nizan. The four years at the ENS were a happy time for Sartre: He read a lot and worked regularly every day from 9 to 13 and 15 to 19 clock, which he throughout his life maintained. He completed courses and exams in psychology, moral philosophy, sociology, logic, metaphysics and Latin, was interested in the new film art form and for the Jazz imported from America. He also took Boxunterricht, because “le petit homme” (the man), as he called his friends was measured only 1.56 m. During Sunday visits his parents, who now also lived in Paris, he led heated debates with his father, stepmother of him as “Communist patent” (with communist letter and seal) apostrophized. While Sartre was, unlike his friend Nizan, no member of the Communist Party of France, but he was a sympathizer and refused, for example, together with the Nizan for students of the ENS quasi-mandatory training program for reserve officer. According to age, he tried it with love, and although at a young distant relatives from Toulouse, he met at a funeral and had it in their brief meeting fairly rare frustrated (like his alter-ego later in the novel La roquentin Nausee (The Disgust) by Anny girlfriend is frustrated). Philosophically began Sartre, who in the family of his grandfather and then his father, stepmother always “supernumerary” or superfluous (etre de trop) had felt a “contingency theory” to develop, according to human life product was a coincidence and not necessarily one of the higher powers had guaranteed sense. 1928, he received in the recruitment examination (Agregation) for the Office of the only secondary school professor for his 50th setting is not sufficient Place. After Nizan are married had also said Sartre, so we have to and let his parents at the hands of a young woman pause, he had met, but he was dismissed. Shortly afterwards, in preparation for the second start on “l’agrege”, he met his future Weggefahrtin Simone de Beauvoir. Both were adopted, this time on Sartre 1, Beauvoir ranked 2nd While it with 21 as a high school professor was sent to Marseille, met Sartre in his military meteorologists in Tours on. His trainer was one year old Raymond Aron, who later significant sociologist and philosopher. Since the service is little Sartre claimed, he wrote a lot: poems, the beginning of a novel designs for plays. 1931, with 26, he was a high school professor of philosophy sent to Le Havre. He and Beauvoir also met regularly in Paris, the center of their lives remained. Both made the first major trip to Spain, the young heir of Sartre’s grandmother Schweitzer paid. In his school, he worked for the students as soon interesting popular teacher, but with colleagues as arrogant verschrien. He started at a Factum sur la contingence (on the Streitschrift chance) to work, a satirical polemic, against which it feels is overly optimistic and positive school philosophy, which he referred to in its curriculum classes had to administer. 1932, he traveled with Beauvoir in Brittany, after Spain and Spanish Morocco. At school she was changing into more Rouen moved so that they could make more convenient. Together they are interested Sigmund Freud and psychoanalysis. Sartre discovered the Edmund Husserl’s phenomenology, but also the Hemingway novels. 1933 we undertook joint travel again, this time to London and Italy. In autumn 1933 Sartre went for a year as a fellow at the French Institute in Berlin. Here he read Husserl and Heidegger, Kafka and Faulkner and started from the factum to develop a novel, the subsequent La Nausee (The disgust). The politics interested him only marginally, which was just Hitler’s takeover of power, he, like many leftist intellectuals, for a temporary spook. After the expiry of the fellowship, he traveled by Beauvoir through Germany, Austria and the newly created Czechoslovakia in 1918. From autumn 1934, he taught again at Le Havre, where he felt lonely and misplaced, and finally was depressed, especially as the general mood was bad in the port city that is particularly strong among the global economic crisis suffered, with three, four years late now France had taken. Sartre depression increased by delusion and panic phases, because he was in 1935, after a thesis on the imagination had begun to write, from a friendly doctor had used the drug mescaline can squirt. This experiment had him even in a drug psychosis toppled what him a two-week stay in a psychiatric revenue. Nevertheless, he took on 14 July 1935 with Beauvoir at the big anti-fascist rally in Paris with the French left-wing parties and unions together to the growing pressure from the fascist forces in France responded. 1936 Sartre finished the novel on which he had worked since Berlin. He was very disappointed when the Gallimard publishing house rejected the manuscript. Nevertheless, he wrote now more narrative texts. In his own eyes, he seems to have become fiction author, and he was encouraged by Beauvoir, which now also wrote a novel. In May and June 1936 they were both out of principle, not choose, but were thrilled when the left “Popular” (Popular Front) won the elections. The outbreak of the Spanish Civil War in July Sartre also deeply moving, the thought of itself as the anti-fascist volunteer International Brigades anzuschlie?en, but he rejected, especially since he was a post in Laon, that is closer to Paris, had received. After a trip to Italy with Beauvoir, he processed the Spanish Civil War theme in the novella Le Mur (The Wall), a small masterpiece, which attracted attention when it in July 1937 in the Nouvelle Revue Francaise appeared in print. Also 1937, finally accepted his novel, with the publisher Gallimard suggested that the text and to shorten the originally planned title in La Melancholia Nausee (actually: the nausea, the nausea) decision. For the 1937/38 school year was Sartre in the Paris suburb of Neuilly; including Beauvoir got a job in Paris. They now lived in two rooms of a small hotel (Hotel Mistral) in the XIV arrondissement; to the marriages she thought not: Beauvoir wanted to live emancipated, and this was one that neither mother nor his wife liked. In April 1938 came with the success of La Nausee out: a novel whose narrator I roquentin similar sense of self and problems, as they also Sartre in the years of Le Havre had, and as such the crisis finally resolves not by suicide, but with the decision to become a novelist. Even an anthology with stories from the past three years, the Sartre 1939 under the title Le Mur issued, was gratifying attention. At the same time instructed him Andre Gide, a series of articles on modern authors for the Nouvelle Revue Francaise to write: Sartre had his breakthrough. He is now on a larger novel project and started his first band L’Age de raison (The Age of Reason). He and Beauvoir were previously almost arrogant “free-floating intellectuals” have been (a coinage of the sociologist Karl Mannheim), so they started now, given the increasing expansion of Hitler’s drive to engage politically. As France on 3 September 1939 Germany declared war, Sartre was confiscated. “La drole de guerre”, the war that initially none was spent in Alsace, where he was diligent in his novel, and wrote notes for a philosophical treatise made. In April 1940, he was on a vacation in Paris, the “prix du roman populists” accept. While after 10 May 1940 the German attack, “le lightning anglais”, France plunged into chaos, Sartre wrote feverishly in the last pages of L’Age de raison. At the end of June, shortly before the ceasefire, he with his unit in captivity. It took him a German officer in the finished manuscript from a custodian but it and let it send him back later. While in France, the new head of state, Marshal Petain a rechtsautoritares, by the vast majority of French people but accepted regime built, Sartre spent in prisoner of war camp in almost Approval happy months. He concluded friendships, for example, the Jesuit Father Paul Feller (1913-1979), and wrote a hidden political piece, Bariona ou le fils du Tonnerre (or as the son of Thunder), with which he performed at Christmas comrades. Unlike other prisoners, which gradually as forced laborers in German factories and farms were distributed, Sartre came with the help of a false certificate (part of the right eye blindness) in the March 1941 release. Beauvoir, who have no contact with the Resistance was striking from the “rigidity of his moralism”, which he brought from the camp. Both capitalized now old acquaintances and formed a resistance group Socialisme et liberte (Socialism and Freedom), which is more against the Vichy regime as directed against the German occupiers (the one at this time in France does not wahrnahm anytime). Sartre attempts to contacts with communist connections and acquaintances with them, fail. The Communists, which were already in an anti-German underground resistance organization, and after the German attack on the Soviet Union on 22 June 1941 with attacks on German soldiers began, kept him for a petty-bourgeois anarcho-left intellectuals, for similar actions were useless as the character Hugo in the play Les Mains Sales (Dirty Hands). They also distrusted him because of his unusually speedy release from captivity and spread the rumor that he was an agent of the German Gestapo. In the summer of Beauvoir, Sartre made by bicycle as an equally strenuous adventurous journey into the vacant South of France to establish contacts with politically left to look for authors who had pulled back there. The action remained unsuccessful. After all, he developed on this trip for the design of his play Les Mouches (The Flight), what constitutes a similar Oreste him myself to the Head of State Petain Egisthe erschlagt similar tyrants, but by the people that he wants to liberate, is rejected and disappointed about his political immaturity leaving the country. Even Sartre himself frustrated 1942 sparked his resistance group and was limited to the letter. He finished Les Mouches and wrote his philosophical masterpiece, L’Etre et le Neant (Being and Nothingness). In October he was in one of the best Parisian high schools puts the Lycee Condorcet, where he was the most attractive items in a high school professor of preparatory classes for ENS received. 1942 he finished L’Etre et le Neant and began the second volume of his trilogy novel, Le Sursis (The delay). As after the landing of the British and Americans in North Africa in November 1942 and especially after the disaster of German forces at Stalingrad in January / February 1943 defeat of Germany during the war no longer seemed impossible, reinforced the resistance in France. Sartre was also now active and operated in the Comite national des ecrivains (National Committee of the writer). In spring 1943 paper published despite shortages L’Etre et le Neant and Les Mouches. The latter was on 2 June even premiered – with approval of the German censorship, but only moderate success. Later in the year Sartre wrote his first film screenplay Les jeux sont faits (The game is made) and in a few days probably his best piece: Huis Clos (Closed Society), a drama about a man and two women who deal with all tricks the psycho-terror mutually life to hell, where they are already under fiction. As Huis Clos, 27 May 1944 two weeks before the Allied landing in Normandy was successfully listed, it confirmed Sartre as a central figure in the intellectual Paris time. Indeed, he now knew all the people there were of relevance or it should be, as Jean Cocteau, Michel Leiris, Albert Camus, Raymond Queneau, Georges Bataille, Boris Vian, Jean Genet, Armand Salacrou and Jacques Lacan. After the Allied landing in Normandy on 6 June Beauvoir and he withdrew it before, to leave Paris. They returned only after the beginning of the withdrawal of German troops (August 19) back. As Sartre now well on its author could live activity, he obtained leave from teaching, and this finally quit altogether. As early 1945 his stepfather died, he moved to his mother. Temporary marriage plans with a Frenchwoman, which he in winter 1944-45 during a U.S. visit met had he not realized.


Works in French:

  • L’imagination – Paris : Alcan, 1936

  • La nausee – Paris : Gallimard, 1938

  • Esquisse d’une theorie des emotions – Paris : Hermann, 1939

  • Le mur – Paris : Gallimard, 1939

  • L’imaginaire : psychologie phenomenologique de l’imagination – Paris : Gallimard, 1940

  • L’etre et le neant : Essai d’ontologie phenomenologique – Paris : Gallimard, 1943

  • Les mouches – Paris : Gallimard, 1943

  • L’age de raison – Paris : Gallimard, 1945

  • Huis clos – Paris : Gallimard, 1945

  • Le sursis – Paris : Gallimard, 1945

  • L’existentialisme est un humanisme – Paris : Nagel, 1946

  • Explication de L’etranger – Paris : Aux depens du Palimugre, 1946

  • Morts sans sepulture – Lausanne : Marguerat, 1946

  • La putain respectueuse – Paris : Nagel, 1946

  • Reflexions sur la question juive – Paris : Morihien, 1946

  • Baudelaire, precede d’une note de Michel Leiris – Paris : Gallimard, 1947

  • L’homme et les choses – Paris : Seghers, 1947

  • Les jeux sont faits – Paris : Nagel, 1947

  • Situations, I – Paris : Gallimard, 1947

  • Les mains sales – Paris : Gallimard, 1948

  • Situations, II : qu’est-ce que la litterature? – Paris : Gallimard, 1948

  • Visages ; precede de Portraits officiels – Paris : Seghers, 1948

  • La mort dans l’ame – Paris : Gallimard, 1949

  • Nourritures ; suivi d’extraits de La Nausee– Paris : Damase, 1949

  • Situations, III – Paris : Gallimard, 1949

  • Le Diable et le Bon Dieu. – Paris : Gallimard, 1951

  • Saint Genet, comedien et martyr. – Paris : Gallimard, 1952

  • Kean – Paris : Gallimard, 1954

  • Critique de la raison dialectique – T. 1. Theorie des ensembles pratiques – Paris : Gallimard, 1960

  • Les sequestres d’Altona – Paris : Gallimard, 1960

  • Bariona, ou Le Fils du tonnerre – Paris : Anjou-Copies, 1962

  • La transcendance de l’ego : esquisse d’une description phenomenologique – Paris : Vrin, 1965

  • Les mots – Paris : Gallimard, 1964

  • Situations, IV : portraits – Paris : Gallimard, 1964

  • Situations, V : colonialisme et neo-colonialisme – Paris : Gallimard, 1964

  • Situations, VI : problemes du marxisme – Paris : Gallimard, 1964

  • Situations, VII : problemes du marxisme, II – Paris : Gallimard, 1965

  • Les troyennes – Paris : Gallimard, 1965

  • Les communistes ont peur de la revolution – Paris : Didier, 1969

  • L’idiot de la famille : Gustave Flaubert de 1821-1857 – Paris : Gallimard, 1971-1972. – 3 vol.

  • Plaidoyer pour les intellectuels – Paris : Gallimard, 1972

  • Situations, VIII : autour de 68 – Paris : Gallimard, 1972

  • Situations, IX : melanges – Paris : Gallimard, 1972

  • Un theatre de situations – Paris : Gallimard, 1973 – Rev. and enl. ed. 1992

  • Situations, X : Politique et autobiographie – Paris : Gallimard, 1976

  • Oeuvres romanesques / ed. etablie par Michel Contat et Michel Rybalka – Paris : Gallimard, 1981

  • Cahiers pour une morale – Paris : Gallimard, 1983

  • Les carnets de la drole de guerre : Novembre 1939-mars 1940 – Paris : Gallimard, 1983

  • Le Scenario Freud – Paris : Gallimard, 1984

  • Critique de la raison dialectique – T. 2. L’intelligibilite de l’histoire / Sous la direction de Arlette Elkaim-Sartre – Paris : Gallimard, 1985

  • Mallarme : la Lucidite et sa face d’ombre / sous la direction de Arlette Elkaim-Sartre – Paris : Gallimard, 1986

  • Verite et existence / sous la direction de Arlette Elkaim-Sartre – Paris : Gallimard, 1989

Translations into English:

  • The Age of Reason / translated by Eric Sutton – New York : Knopf, 1947

  • The Reprieve / translated by Eric Sutton – New York : Knopf, 1947

  • Existentialism / translated by Bernard Frechtman – New York : Philosophical Library, 1947

  • The Flies ; and In Camera / translated by Stuart Gilbert – London : Hamilton, 1946 – Republished as No Exit (Huis clos), a Play in One Act, and The Flies (Les Mouches), a Play in Three Acts – New York : Knopf, 1947

  • Anti-Semite and Jew / translated by George J. Becker – New York : Schocken, 1948

  • The Chips Are Down / translated by Louise Varese – New York : Lear, 1948

  • Portrait of the Anti-Semite / translated by Erik de Mauny – London : Secker & Warburg, 1948

  • The Emotions : Outline of a Theory / translated by Bernard Frechtman – New York : Philosophical Library, 1948

  • Existentialism and Humanism / translated by Philip Mairet – London : Methuen, 1948

  • The Psychology of Imagination / translated by Bernard Frechtman – New York : Philosophical Library, 1948

  • The Wall, and Other Stories / translated by Lloyd Alexander – New York : New Directions, 1948 – Republished as Intimacy, and Other Stories – New York : New Directions, 1948

  • Baudelaire / translated by Martin Turnell – London : Horizon, 1949

  • Nausea / translated by Lloyd Alexander – Norfolk, Conn. : New Directions, 1949 – Republished as The Diary of Antoine Roquentin – London : Lehmann, 1949

  • Three Plays / translated by Lionel Abel – New York : Knopf, 1949

  • Three Plays / translated by Kitty Black – London : Hamilton, 1949

  • What is Literature? / translated by Bernard Frechtman – New York : Philosophical Library, 1949

  • Iron in the Soul / translated by Gerard Hopkins – London : Hamilton, 1950 – Republished as Troubled Sleep – New York : Knopf, 1951

  • Existential Psychoanalysis / translated in part by Hazel E. Barnes – New York : Philosophical Library, 1953

  • Literary and Philosophical Essays / translated by Annette Michelson – New York : Criterion, 1955

  • Being and Nothingness : an Essay on Phenomenological Ontology / translated by Hazel E. Barnes – New York : Philosophical Library, 1956

  • Literary Essays / translated by Annette Michelson – 1957

  • Lucifer and the Lord / translated by Kitty Black – London : Hamilton, 1952

  • Kean ; or, Disorder and Genius / translated by Kitty Black – London : Hamilton, 1954

  • The Transcendence of the Ego : an Existentialist Theory of Consciousness / edited and translated by Forrest Williams and Robert Kirkpatrick – New York : Noonday Press, 1957

  • Loser Wins / translated by Sylvia and George Leeson – London : Hamilton, 1960 – Republished as The Condemned of Altona – New York : Knopf, 1961

  • Imagination : a Psychological Critique / translated by Forrest Williams as – Ann Arbor : University of Michigan Press, 1962

  • The Devil and the Good Lord, and Two Other Plays / translated by Kitty Black – New York : Knopf, 1960

  • Saint Genet, Actor and Martyr / translated by Bernard Frechtman – New York : Braziller, 1963

  • Search for a Method / translated by Hazel E. Barnes – New York : Knopf, 1963

  • The Words / translated by Bernard Frechtman – New York : Braziller, 1964

  • Words / translated by Irene Clephane – London : Hamilton, 1964

  • Situations / translated by Benita Eisler – New York : Braziller, 1965

  • The Ghost of Stalin / translated from the french by Martha H. Fletcher with the assistance of John R. Kleinschmidt – New York : Braziller, 1968

  • The Trojan Women / translated by Ronald Duncan – New York : Knopf, 1967

  • The Communists and Peace, with a Reply to Claude Lefort – New York : Braziller, 1968

  • Between Existentialism and Marxism / translated by John Matthews – London : NLB, 1974

  • Critique of Dialectical Reason : Theory of Practical Ensembles / translated by Alan Sheridan-Smith ; edited by Jonathan Ree – London : NLB, 1976

  • Sartre on Theater / translated by Frank Jellinek – London : Quartet, 1976

  • Life/Situations : Essays Written and Spoken / translated by Paul Auster and Lydia Davis – New York : Pantheon, 1977

  • The Family Idiot: Gustave Flaubert, 1821-1857 / translated by Carol Cosman – Chicago : University of Chicago Press, 1981-1993 – 5 vol.

  • War Diaries of Jean-Paul Sartre : November 1939-March 1940 / translated by Quintin Hoare – New York : Pantheon, 1984 – Republished as War Diaries : Notebooks from a Phoney War, November 1939-March 1940 – London : Verso, 1984

  • The Freud Scenario / translated by Quintin Hoare – Chicago : University of Chicago Press, 1985

  • Critique of Dialectical Reason – Vol.2. The Intelligibility of History / translated by Quintin Hoare – New York : Verso, 199

  • Notebooks for an Ethics / translated by David Pellauer – Chicago : University of Chicago Press, 1992

  • Truth and Existence / translated by Adrian van den Hoven ; edited by Ronald Aronson – Chicago : University of Chicago Press, 1992

  • Colonialism and Neocolonialism / translated by Azzedine Haddour, Steve Brewer, and Terry McWilliams – New York : Routledge, 2001

Literature (a selection):

  • Beigbeder, Marc, L’homme Sartre : essai de devoilement preexistentiel – Paris : Bordas, 1947

  • Jeanson, Francis, Le probleme moral et la pensee de Sartre – Paris : Editions du Myrte, 1947

  • Murdoch, Iris, Sartre : Romantic Rationalist – Cambridge, 1953

  • Sartre : a Collection of Critical Essayz – Englewood Cliffs : Prentice-Hall, cop. 1962

  • Jameson, Fredric, Sartre : the Origins of a Style – New Haven, 1961

  • Fell, Joseph P., Emotion in the Thought of Sartre – New York, 1965

  • Suhl, Benjamin, Jean-Paul Sartre : the Philosopher as a Literary Critic – Columbia U.P., 1970

  • McMahon, Joseph H., Humans Being : the World of Jean-Paul Sartre – Chicago, 1971

  • Bree, Germaine, Camus and Sartre : Crisis and Commitment – London : Calder & Boyars, 1974

  • Jeanson, Francis, Sartre dans sa vie – Paris : Seuil, 1974

  • Goldthorpe, Rhiannon, Sartre : Literature and Theory – Cambridge : Cambridge Univ. Press, 1984

  • Lilar, Suzanne, A propos de Sartre et de l’amour – Paris : Gallimard, 1984

  • Lamouchi, Noureddine, Jean-Paul Sartre et le tiers monde : rhetorique d’un discours anticolonialiste – Paris : Harmattan, 1996

  • Levy, Bernard-Henri, Le siecle de Sartre : enquete philosophique – Paris : Grasset, 2000

  • Cohen-Solal, Annie, Sartre : un penseur pour le XXIe siecle – Paris : Gallimard, 2005

  • Rowley, Hazel, Tete-a-tete : Simone de Beauvoir and Jean-Paul Sartre – New York : HarperCollins, 2005


1964: The Nobel Prize in Literature.

Presentation Speech:

Address by Anders Osterling, Member of the Swedish Academy.

This year the Nobel Prize in Literature has been granted by the Swedish Academy to the French writer Jean-Paul Sartre for his work which, rich in ideas and filled with the spirit of freedom and the quest for truth, has exerted a far-reaching influence on our age.

It will be recalled that the laureate has made it known that he did not wish to accept the prize. The fact that he has declined this distinction does not in the least modify the validity of the award. Under the circumstances, however, the Academy can only state that the presentation of the prize cannot take place.


In a public announcement, printed in Le Figaro of October 23, 1964, Mr. Sartre expressed his regret that his refusal of the prize had given rise to scandal, and wished it to be known that, unaware of the irrevocability of the Swedish Academy’s decisions, he had sought by letter to prevent their choice falling upon him. In this letter, he specified that his refusal was not meant to slight the Swedish Academy but was rather based on personal and objective reasons of his own.

As to personal reasons, Mr. Sartre pointed out that due to his conception of the writer’s task he had always declined official honours and thus his present act was not unprecedented. He had similarly refused membership in the Legion of Honour and had not desired to enter the College de France, and he would refuse the Lenin Prize if it were offered to him. He stated that a writer’s accepting such an honour would be to associate his personal commitments with the awarding institution, and that, above all, a writer should not allow himself to be turned into an institution.

Among his objective reasons, Mr. Sartre listed his belief that interchange between East and West must take place between men and between cultures without the intervention of institutions. Furthermore, since the conferment of past prizes did not, in his opinion, represent equally writers of all ideologies and nations, he felt that his acceptance might be undesirably and unjustly interpreted.

Mr. Sartre closed his remarks with a message of affection for the Swedish public.

At the banquet, S. Friberg, Rector of the Caroline Institute, made the following remarks: “Mr. Sartre found himself unable to accept this year’s Prize in Literature. There is always discussion about this prize, which every one considers himself capable of judging, or which he does not understand and consequently criticizes. But I believe that Nobel would have had a great understanding of this year’s choice. The betterment of the world is the dream of every generation, and this applies particularly to the true poet and scientist. This was Nobel’s dream. This is one measure of the scientist’s significance. And this is the source and strength of Sartre’s inspiration. As an author and philosopher, Sartre has been a central figure in postwar literary and intellectual discussion – admired, debated, criticized. His explosive production, in its entirety, has the impress of a message; it has been sustained by a profoundly serious endeavour to improve the reader, the world at large. The philosophy, which his writings have served, has been hailed by youth as a liberation. Sartre’s existentialism may be understood in the sense that the degree of happiness which an individual can hope to attain is governed by his willingness to take his stand in accordance with his ethos and to accept the consequences thereof; this is a more austere interpretation of a philosophy admirably expressed by Nobel’s contemporary, Ralph Waldo Emerson: ‘Nothing is at last sacred but the integrity of your own mind.'”

The quality of human life depends not only on external conditions but also on individual happiness. In our age of standardization and complex social systems, awareness of the meaning of life for the individual has perhaps not been lost, but it has certainly been dulled; and it is as urgent for us today as it was in Nobel’s time to uphold the ideals which were his.”


No Exit

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