Sartre's Bodies

Lawrence R. Schehr

in Subversions of Verisimilitude

Published by Fordham University Press

Published in print September 2009 | ISBN: 9780823231355
Published online September 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780823241095 | DOI:
Sartre's Bodies

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Sartre's short story entitled “Intimate” which is a part of the collection Le Mur, and his most famous prose piece, “La Nausée” is examined to perfection here. In both works, Sartre decenters the functions of realist representation from a position that is admittedly subjective, through a process of defamiliarization. Sartre also creates strange positions for his characters and makes language itself which served as the handmaiden of realism. Sartre's writing then, pointing toward 1939 as the war drums begin to sound, is a fitting closure to what we retrospectively see as that slightly displaced one hundred years of realism, from its beginning in 1830, an explanation for both modernity and history of realism's end in the heretofore unseen horrors of the Second World War. Not only was there no poetry after Auschwitz, there was not any realism either.

Keywords: Sartre; Intimate; Le Mur; La Nausée; Second World War; realism; defamiliarization

Chapter.  13686 words. 

Subjects: Literature

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