Said and Sartre

farmelantj at farmelantj at
Sat May 27 06:34:16 MDT 2000

Since this is a Marxism List, I wonder if anyone here is interested in
a discussion of Sartre as a Marxist?  What do people think of
his *Critique of DIalectical Reason* and other Marxian writings?
Do people here think that Sartre was successful at reconciling
Marxism with Existentialism?  Said in his article alludes
to the shifts in French intellectual fashions that made Sartre's work
seem to be suddenly obsolete.  One of those fashions that had seemed
to cast Sartre as being out of date was the rise of  structuralism in the
1960s in the work of such diverse people as Levi-Strauss, Foucault,
and Althusser.  Levi-Strauss as I recall debated with Sartre in the
pages of Les Temps Modernes while Sartre and Althusser are
said to have held an improptu debate at  the Ecole Normale Superieure.
Regis Debray as I recall thought that Althusser gave Sartre a good
thrashing, although having been a favorite student of Althusser, his
account may have been a bit biased.

 Although, we might view these debates from the '60s and '70s as
old hat, the underlying issues such as humanism versus anti-humanism
are still of relevence to Marxism where the issue of agency versus
structure continues to be very much a live issue with profound
implications for practice.

Jim F.

On Fri, 26 May 2000 08:32:41 -0400 Louis Proyect <lnp3 at> writes:
> My Encounter with Sartre
> Edward Said
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