The Age of Reason by Jean-Paul Sartre ; Translated from the French by Eric Sutton
New York : Alfred A. Knopf, 1947. First American Edition. Hardcover. 397 pages ; 21 cm. $3.00 dust jacket, however, it is in tattered condition. Red cover board with minor white stain to front cover top right corner edge. Edges wear. Pages are age toned and unmarked. Binding is firm.
From the Dust Jacket :
RARELY HAS A PHILOSOPHICAL movement captured the world's imagination as Existentialism is now doing. In Jean-Paul Sartre's remarkable and long-awaited trilogy of novels, Roads to Freedom, we have the first fully Existentialist fiction. The first of these novels, The Age of Reason, shows the Europe of 1938 rushing headlong toward war. In terms of a dramatic story the author depicts the intellectual coming of age of an unhappy hero typical of his generation. He and the little group in which he moves are tormented, like their fellows all over the world, by the immediate problems of sex, overdrinking, and overthinking. Beyond the personal, however, they are also in contact with the great European problems. They debate the merits of fascism and communism ; they watch with anguish the coming World War; they struggle with the issues of individual and national liberty.
In reading this novel, you are likely to be most attentive to the exciting events, the emotional crises, and the interplay of characters. M. Sartre's dramatic power and originality combine to produce one of the key literary achievements of today.
During 1947 we shall also publish Eric Sutton's translation of The Sursis (The Reprieve), and the final novel of the trilogy will follow shortly.
Jean-Paul Sartre, one of France's leading contemporary novelists, essayists, and playwrights, is perhaps best known in the United States as the founder and leader of the new French philosophical movement called Existentialism. He was born in Paris in 1905, studied at the Ecole Normale, and received a degree of philosophy in 1929. He then taught philosophy in Havre, Laon, and Paris. After several years of teaching he took time off and traveled in Germany, Italy, Spain, England, Greece, and elsewhere. Sartre was drafted in 1939, and was stationed in Alsace as an artillery observer. In June 1940 he was taken prisoner and spent nine months in a German prison camp. To get out of the prison camp, he passed himself off as a civilian and slipped into a group headed for Paris. He was discharged in the Unoccupied Zone, and returned to teaching in 1941. He remained in Paris during the occupation and risked a concentration camp or the execution squad by playing an active role in the Resistance organization called the Front National. After the liberation, Sartre gave up teaching to devote his entire time to writing and to expounding Existentialism. In the spring of 1946 he visited the United States, lecturing here on literature and Existentialism.
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