The Existentialists and Jean-Paul Sartre

The Existentialists and Jean-Paul Sartre

The Existentialists and Jean-Paul Sartre

The Existentialists and Jean-Paul Sartre

Excerpt

This book contains the text of two long programmes, The Existentialists and Jean-Paul Sartre, broadcast on the Australian Broadcasting Commission's Radio 2 early in 1975.

My aim in the programmes was to provide the listener with an easy entry into that very complex and various tradition of thought known as Existentialism, and to introduce some of the main figures in the movement. I have, inevitably, been compelled to simplify; however, I do not think that I have bowdlerised or falsified the ideas of the Existentialists.

The first part of this book deals with the Existentialist movement in general, while the second part is concerned with the extraordinary life and career, and equally extraordinary work and achievement, of Jean- Paul Sartre, undoubtedly the best known and the most central (with perhaps Martin Heidegger) Existentialist thinker.

I have as far as possible let the Existentialists speak in their own words by using liberal quotations from their writings and interviews. In the same way I have let their critics have their say, both for and against, and I have only rarely put my own critical oar in.

I owe my thanks to the many scholars and writers who participated in the programmes, in particular to Monsieur Jean-Paul Sartre and Madame Simone de Beauvoir who both gave generously long and important interviews. And I owe a special debt of gratitude to Julie-Anne Ford of the A.B.C. Drama Department who invited me to write the programmes and eventually realized them so splendidly as pieces of radio drama. I also have to thank Richard Connolly, Director of A.B.C. Drama, for his support, moral and otherwise, and Pierre Vicary who with great expertise arranged and conducted the interviews done in Paris.

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