The Book, Cat, & Cat Book Lovers Almanac

of historical trivia regarding books, cats, and other animals. Actually this blog has evolved so that it is described better as a blog about cats in history and culture. And we take as a theme the advice of Aldous Huxley: If you want to be a writer, get some cats. Don't forget to see the archived articles linked at the bottom of the page.

October 22, 2012

October 22, 1964

On October 22, 1964, Jean-Paul Sartre (June 21, 1905 to April 15, 1980) was awarded the Nobel for literature. Sartre declined saying, "a writer should not allow himself to be turned into an institution". Unfortunately Sartre himself had the standard issue institutionalized mind, and though he could discuss mauvaise foi, he in fact, could not distinguish it from anything authentic. The idea that without god there could be no essence to precede existence, is shallow. By shallow I mean deriving from binary thought-- there is a god / there is no god--this is to limit a question to two answers, and framed in this crippling manner is to predetermine the outcome.

 And Sartre's conclusions, that man is responsible for his actions, merely compresses human nature with a deification which distorts his thoughts and deeds. As a survey of Sartre's life demonstrates. That Sartre liked cats, merely confirms that he was French, not that he had any delicacy of apprehension. His fame was symptomatic of the times.

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