Sartre as Levinas?


From Sartre’s (notorious?) interviews/discussion with Benny Levy, collected in Hope Now:

The Jewish religion imples that this world will end and, at the same time, another world will appear–another world that will be made of this one but in which things will be made of htis one but in which things will be differently arranged.  There is another theme I like: the Jewish dead–and others too, for that matter, will come back to life, they will return to earth.  Contrary to the Christian conception, they–the present Jewish dead–have nno existence other than that of the grave, but they will be reborn as living beings in this new world.  This new world is the end. Continue reading

Levinas and Sartre


I was re-reading some interviews with Levinas today and I came across an odd encounter he had with Sartre.  In 1964 Levinas wrote a letter to Jean Paul Sartre congratulating him for refusing the Noble Prize for Literature.  In an interivew in Is it Righteious to Be? Levinas wrote that Sartre:

perhaps was the only man who had the right to speak, and maybe this was the moment where he had to speak: to go to Nasser in Egypt to propose peace with Israel. Crazy Idea! But I told him, “You’re the only man Nasser will listen to (43).

Upon receipt of the letter Sartre, allegedly, asked: “Who is this Levinas anyway?”  Levinas was somewhat offended.  For, over twenty years before this episode, Sartre had stumbled across an early publication by Levinas on Husserl and declared “All this I wanted to say myself, but Husserl has already said it.”  Regardless, the offense dissipated shortly thereafter when Sartre invited Levinas to contribute to an issue of Les temps modernes about the Palestinian question.  Levinas, I believe, wrote “Poltics After!”( in either New Talmudic Readings or Nine Talmudic Readings), which is about the meeting between Sadat and Begin and the ensuing hope for a peaceful resolution.

Sartre The Perverse Egalitarian


Jackie Wullschlager reviews some books, including one about Sartre:

But soon after it appeared, a stash of de Beauvoir’s letters to Sartre, which she had claimed lost, revealed the celebrated partnership as a web of lies and manipulation, sustained by de Beauvoir’s role as pimp and procurer, supplying the icy Sartre with young girls to deflower – the only aspect of sex he really enjoyed – and engaging in erotic triangles that led third parties to breakdown or suicide.

Read more (if you should) here.