By Jean-Paul Sartre
In the course of the phoney struggle that preceded the invasion of France, among past due 1939 and the summer time of 1940, the younger Jean-Paul Sartre was once stationed in his local Alsace as a part of a meteorological unit. He used his substantial sessions of spare time, among mundane tasks like observing climate balloons, to make a sequence of notes on philosophy, literature, politics and autobiography that count on the topics of his later masterpieces, and sometimes surpass them in literary verve and directness. those warfare Diaries shape a portrait of Sartre in his so much excessive and really good part. With them the 20th century's such a lot impressive and public thinker has supplied us with a becoming posthumous monument to his honesty and creativity.
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Extra resources for War Diaries: Notebooks from a Phony War, 1939-40
Paul's has a sourish smell, as I had already noticed . He himself is colourless and grey, but his bodily humours have a certain pungency . Monday 20 The whole morning Hang and Sergeant Naudin have been reproach1 7 . The d og was i n fact a pood le (Pudel) : see Goet he, Faust, Part One, Harmonds 1 98 3 , p. 68 . Sartre was relying on Nerval's famous early t ranslatio n . wort h Notebook 3 2 1 ing each other for not being at the front, and calling each other shirkers. Cassou, 48 : speaking of the atmosphere before '48 : 'What must be taken into consideration here , at the movement's outset, is belief or the religious act.
The discovery of the century is that species evolve. Ballanche is the first to use this expres sion. Human progress will stem from the most silent and organic forces of the species ; it now relies upon transformism. The human species, rather than being poor an d static as it had been in Linnaeus's day, thus bears within itself a future still undifferentiated and un knowable, but of immense richness . Thereby we recover the adorably undifferentiated character of the mystics' God, that we were losing through the degradation and inauthenticity of the former notions.
Only, when the gendarmes came last year to change my call-up papers, I wasn't at home. It's my wife who took them. What a time she gave me when I got home l ' All o f which says a great deal about his sly nature and his relations with his wife. He has just asked me for the NRF's address, so that his wife can order Le Mur and La NaUSee ; 1 3 but this embarrasses me horribly, because I detect in it a colleague's courtesy. I say awk wardly : 'You know, you shouldn't feel obliged . . ', and he says, very much at his ease : 'Oh, yes, I insist, I shall be delighted for my wife to read you, and I myself as well, next time I'm on leave .