Crossroads of Literature: Sartre versus the New Novelists

Wesley F. Gunter


The following article aims to present the debate around the question "Que peut la littérature?" between the partisans of commited litterature like Sartre, on the one side, and some defenders of Nouevau Roman like Ricardou, on the other. Some of the major arguments of the debate will be outlined in order to show that it essentially ends up being a conversation between Ricardou and Sartre, with the intent to sort out what issues are really at stake. Also the question will be elucaded why Sartre felt the need to return to some of his earliest arguments when he had evolved on so many points.


Jean-Paul Sartre, Jean-Paul Sartre, Jean Ricardou, literature, commitment, work of art, language, writer, reader

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Louette, Jean-François. "La littérature, du pouvoir au besoin," La Nouvelle Revue Fran-çaise, no. 609, September 11 (2014): 35-44.

Moi, Toril. "What Can Literature Do? Simone de Beauvoir as a Literary Theorist," PMLA (The Journal of the Modern Language Association of America), 124, no. 1 (2009): 189-197.

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Sartre, Jean-Paul. "Que peut la littérature?," La Nouvelle Revue Française, no. 609 (Sep-tember 11, 2014): 30.




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PRINTED ISSN: 2410-4817

ONLINE ISSN: 1561-8927


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The online edition of Labyrinth is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

Published with the suppport of the Cultural Department of the City of Vienna 

Referat Wissenschafts- und Forschungsförderung der Kulturabteilung (MA 7) der Stadt Wien