December 30, 2018


     Sartre is one of those names that vaguely flashes through one's life if you were exposed to it and it is one of those names, like Dostoevsky, that we know we must read at some point in our lives.  I've read a few of Dostoevsky's novels and even recall the movie, 'The Brothers Karamazov' where William Shatner and Yul Brynner appeared.  Of course, the movie appeared in 1958 so Shatner hadn't yet made his name until Star Trek came out in 1966.  I did not realize that I was being exposed to philosophical ideals as they were just stories.  
     To me, philosophers were long dead people from centuries ago and it surprised me to find that Sartre died in 1980.  In reading Sartre, I knew that I was reading about a philosopher and his existentialism ideals.  This book, itself, dipped briefly into Sartre's life from childhood to death, and as a graphic novel, the first that I've read, and even more briefly on his experiences and philosophical ideas. Perhaps, the most interesting things in this book were the pictures with their portrayal of Sartre smoking endlessly, his amorous liaisons with the Beaver, his height and his dark black glasses.
      Yet, there were gleans of information, like a timeline, that touched on events from Hitler, Stalin, and the French Resistance particularly the underground newspapers and the roles that writers like Sartre had in historical events.
      Did this book inspire me to hunt for a more in-depth explanation to Sartre and his Existentialism or run out and buy the first book of philosophy I found, no.  Did it make me more aware of the events and timeline of Sartre's existence, yes.  Perhaps, I will seek out one of the books or plays that Sartre wrote and change my mind about philosophy.  Or perhaps, I will seek out more information on those historical events that occurred during Sartre's time like his visit with Fidel Castro or Ernesto "Che" Guevara.  Either choice would be educational.  We are what we do.

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