Jean-Paul Sartre's famous autobiography of his first ten years has been widely compared to Rousseau's Confessions. Written when he was fifty-nine years old, The Words is a masterpiece of self-analysis. Sartre the philosopher, novelist and playwright brings to his own childhood the same rigor of honesty and insight he applied so brilliantly to other authors. Born into a gentle, book-loving family and raised by a widowed mother and doting grandparents, he had a childhood which might be described as one long love affair with the printed word. Ultimately, this book explores and evaluates the whole use of books and language in human experience.
About Jean-Paul Sartre
JEAN-PAUL SARTREwas born in Paris in 1905. Educated at the Ecole Normale, he then taught philosophy in provincial lycées, and in 1938 published his first novel, Nausea. During the war he completed the major work that eventually established his reputation as an existential philosopher—Being and Nothingness (1943). After the Liberation, he founded the socialist journal Les Temps Modernes. He was a prolific playwright, producing, among other works No Exit, The Devil and the Good Lord, and The Condemned of Altona. In 1960, he published his second basic philosophical work, Critique of Dialectical Reason. In 1964, his account of his childhood, Words, received worldwide acclaim. That same year he was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature, which he refused. In 1971–1972, the first three volumes of his ambitious study of Flaubert’s life and work appeared. He died in 1980.