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Sartre, Self-formation and Masculinities

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Volume 4

Berghahn Monographs in French Studies

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Sartre, Self-formation and Masculinities

Jean-Pierre Boulé

288 pages, bibliog., index

ISBN  978-1-57181-742-6 $135.00/£99.00 / Hb / Published (December 2004)

ISBN  978-1-57181-743-3 $34.95/£27.95 / Pb / Published (December 2004)

eISBN 978-1-78533-487-0 eBook

View CartYour country: - edit Buy the eBook from these vendorsRequest a Review or Examination Copy (in Digital Format)Recommend to your LibraryAvailable in GOBI®


"For people who study masculinities, Boulé provdes a well-rounded study of masculine identity in a complex individual, whereas Sartre scholars will also benefit from the book's original take on such a universally studied intellectual"  ·  Journal of Men's Studies

" interesting and welcome new analysis of Sartre's life and work...Boulé's book is a valuable and timely contribution to the field of French Studies and would work well in a number of undergraduate and graduate courses."  ·  SubStance

"This is a bold and provocative study which succeeds in its aim of making Sartre a still more complex and contradictory figure."  ·  Modern Language Review


"A regular feature of the chapters is the clear and well-reasoned way in which correlations are made between Sartre's psycho-social formation and the concerns of his fictional characters or narrators"  · Journal of European Studies

"...a remarkable example of the advances that have been made in contemporary Satrean criticism...This brilliant study's particularly welcome since it recovers the categories of the intellectual biography...This portrait of Sartre is extremely lively."  · L'Année Sartrienne

"It's a bold undertaking, a fascinating tour de force, unrivalled in the Sartre literature. The results are brilliant, effective, and persuasive: Sartre's deficits and compensations are made clear, but never unfeelingly or abstractly. Accordingly, this study will be must reading for Sartre specialists as well as those interested in the relationship of psychology to biography."   ·  Ronald Aronson, Wayne State University

"By using the theme of masculinity, Boul succeeds in illuminating in a fresh way well-known material from Les Mots and the various biographies. Future studies of Sartre will not be able to disregard the important new questions posed by Boulé's work."  ·  Ian H. Birchall, Independent Writer, formerly Middlesex University

"The central analysis/interpretation of Sartre is fascinating, in the very complex areas of the psychology of his childhood, its effects upon the rest of his life, and his convoluted attitudes on gender. It is penetrating, consistent, subtle and has that vital characteristic of drawing together all kinds of elements of Sartre that might otherwise have remained unconnected. Over and above all of this, there is a sense of genuine interest/curiosity as well as discovery: we actually see Professor Boulé learning things about Sartre, and sometimes changing his mind."  ·  Terry Keefe, Lancaster University


Published on the occasion of Sartre's Centenary, this book helps to understand the man behind the work, offering a psycho-social analysis of Jean-Paul Sartre with an emphasis on his masculinity. It sets out to contextualize Sartre in terms of his psycho-sexual formation and processes of self-constitution in view of his childhood. The main period under detailed study is 1905-1945, before Sartre became the Sartre. It concentrates on his early childhood, his teenage years in La Rochelle, the years at the Ecole Normale, and the first few years of his adulthood, with specific attention on the war years. An analysis of Sartre's relationships follows, with Simone de Beauvoir and other women and men (including love and sex), before a postscript covering the period 1973-1980. This essay is not a reductive account. It tells the story of Jean-Paul Sartre, from the inside out, so that the achievements of one of the major intellectuals of the 20th Century can be measured against his own internal struggles.

Jean-Pierre Boulé is Professor of Contemporary French Studies at the Nottingham Trent University. He is the author of Sartre médiatique (1992) and has also written books on Hervé Guibert Guibert and on AIDS literature in France. His last book was HIV Stories: The Archaeology of AIDS Writing in France (2002). He is the co-founder of the UK Society for Sartrean Studies, and has given papers at Sartre conferences in Canada, France, The United Kingdom, and the United States of America.

Subject: Cultural Studies (General)Gender Studies and SexualitySociology
Area: France


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