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  • Published: 15 January 2013
  • ISBN: 9781590174937
  • Imprint: NY Review Books
  • Format: Trade Paperback
  • Pages: 592
  • RRP: $44.99

We Have Only This Life to Live

Selected Essays



Philosopher, novelist, playwright, biographer, journalist, and activist, Jean-Paul Sartre was also—and perhaps above all—a great essayist. The essay was uniquely suited to Sartre because of its intrinsically provisional and open-ended character. It is the perfect form in which to dramatize the existential character of our deepest intellectual, artistic, and political commitments.

This new selection of Sartre’s essays, the first in English to draw on the entire ten volumes of his collected essays as well as previously unpublished work, includes extraordinarily searching appreciations of such writers and artists as Faulkner, Bataille, and Giacometti; Sartre’s great address to the French people at the end of the occupation, “The Republic of Silence”; sketches of the United States from his visit in the 1940s; reflections on politics that are both incisive and incendiary; portraits of Camus and Merleau-Ponty; and a candid reckoning with his own career from one of the interviews that ill-health made his prime mode of communication late in life.

Together they add up to an unequaled portrait of a revolutionary and sometimes reckless thinker and writer and his contentious, difficult but never less than interesting times.

  • Published: 15 January 2013
  • ISBN: 9781590174937
  • Imprint: NY Review Books
  • Format: Trade Paperback
  • Pages: 592
  • RRP: $44.99

About the author

Jean Paul Sartre

Jean-Paul Sartre – one of the best-known and most discussed modern French writers and thinkers – was born in Paris in 1905. His friendship with Simone de Beauvoir, whom he met while studying philosophy at the Sorbonne, stretched over fifty years, until his death in 1980. He is perhaps best remembered as the founder of French existentialism and as a man of passion, fighting for what he believed in. Among his best known works are La Nausee (1938), Les Mouches (1943), Huis clos (1944) and the trilogy Les Chemins de la liberté; published in Penguin as The Age of Reason, The Reprieve and The Iron in the Soul.

The Letters of Jean-Paul Sartre to Simone de Beauvoir 1926-1939 is also published by Penguin.

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