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Sartre Notes

This is a sample of our (approximately) 3 page long Sartre notes, which we sell as part of the French Literary Theory Notes collection, a Upper 2.1 package written at Oxford University in 2007 that contains (approximately) 23 pages of notes across 9 different documents.

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Sartre Revision

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Sartre

Asks what is literature, as a contribution to a debate, sets out to answer his critics by saying what they're attacking him for - 'puisque les critiques me condamnent au nom de la littérature, sans jamais dire qu'ils entendent par là, la meilleure réponse à leur faire, c'est d'examiner l'art d'écrire, sans préjugés.' (pg12) 'Littérature' before the 18 th century meant 'well read', so the modern usage of the word = a relatively recent coinage  inherent problem with definition Focus not so much on literature as on prose (as opposed to poetry) 
Sartre defines lit. by defining prose, and does this in polemical opposition to lit. defined as poetry Context  1st published as a series of articles/collected 'essais' called 'situations' in 'le temps moderne' (1947)  'essai' rather than book suggests he was trying an idea out  42 years old, had founded 'le temps moderne' 2 years earlier, already an established writer/philosopher/critic/dramatist The way S. presents arguments  1, the text; 2, the author; 3, the reader; 4, the world in which the reading takes place  all connected

Strategies used to define lit. o Divided into prose (alongside lit.) and poetry (alongside fine arts and music) o An opposition, treated as 'deux univers incommunicables', because of the function of language that distinguishes them o Poetry - words = objects, 'l'attitude poétique qui considère les mots commes des choses et non commes des signes' (pg19) o Prose - words = signs/actions/utilitarian, 'la prose est utilitaire pas essence' (pg25)  but this is not a bad thing, though this goes against typical views, S. associates it with speech, 'l'écrivain est un parleur: il désigne, démontre, ordonne, refuse, interpelle, supplie, insulte, persuade, insinue' (pg25)  prose should be thought of as a kind of speech, and thus as an action o The way language acts in prose is by naming, 'parler c'est agir: toute chose qu'on nomme n'est déjà plus tout à fait la même, elle a perdu son innocence' (pg27)  transforms the object by giving it a name and thus a meaning  language becomes substitute for the object and so becomes an object in itself, '[les poètes] ne songent pas à nommer le monde, et par le fait, ils ne nomment rien du tout, car la nomination implique un perpetual sacrifice du nom à l'objet nommé' (pg18) o Object in poetry = physical, 'sa sonorité, sa longueur, ses désinences masculines ou féminines, son aspect visuel lui composent un visage de

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