By Dominick LaCapra
Perhaps the prime Western highbrow of his time, Jean-Paul Sartre has written hugely influential works in a various variety of topic components: philosophy, literature, biography, autobiography, and the idea of historical past. The concise and lucidly-written A Preface to Sartre discusses the French philosopher's contributions in all of those fields.
Making inventive use of the insights of a few of crucial modern French thinkers (notably Jacques Derrida), Dominick LaCapra seeks to result in an lively disagreement among Sartre and his critics in phrases that go beyond the competition among existentialism and structuralism. Referring anywhere acceptable to big occasions in Sartre's existence, he illuminates such tricky works as Being and Nothingness and the Critique of Dialectical Reason, and areas Sartre relating to the traditions that he has explicitly rejected. LaCapra additionally bargains shut and delicate interpretations of Nausea, of the autobiography, The Words, and of Sartre's biographical stories of Baudelaire, Genet, and Flaubert.
"I envision highbrow history," writes laCapra, "as a serious, knowledgeable, and stimulating dialog with the earlier throughout the medium of the texts of significant thinkers. Who else in our fresh previous is a extra interesting interlocutor than Sartre?"
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