Politics and Literature

By Jean-Paul Sartre

Translated by J.A. Underwood

ISBN: 9780714549156

160 pages

RRP: £7.19

First published in French magazines in the 1960s, the essays and interviews collected in this volume tackle two of Sartre’s most enduring concerns as a philosopher: politics and literature. With regard to the former, they develop the notion of the intellectual not only as an aloof theoretician, but also as a constructive agent of change. His writings on literature explore the limitations of language as an exact vehicle for meaning, the author’s lack of ownership of his own words and the avenues that certain types of theatre such as Artaud’s open for non-verbal communication.

A useful, concise introduction to Sartre’s thinking, Politics and Literature investigates concepts and highlights conflicts, interrogations and debates that remain topical and relevant to this day.

Part of Calder Publications imprint


  • Sartre… was one of his generation’s greatest examples of the intellectual, engaged to the limit of his extraordinary resources in the moral disorder of his times.

    The Washington Post

Jean-Paul Sartre

The father of Existentialism and one of the key figures of French twentieth-century philosophy, Jean-Paul Sartre (1905–80) was equally famous for his plays, novels and political writings.