Sartre, as the formulator and exponent of existentialism, has received considerable critical attention in recent months. This, the first volume of a trilogy, will introduce Sartre as a novelist to a wider American market. Even with the stimulus of interest in the author, one questions his appeal for that market; the negativistic, fatalistic philosophy narrows down to a concern for men and women in physically distasteful detail which some will find unpleasant. This first volume is a leisurely introduction to Mathieu Delarue, Mathieu who wants to be a free man, who believes that if he didn't try to assume responsibility for his own existence, it would be absurd to go on existing, who has renounced all political affiliations to be free, and has refused marriage for the same reason. Dictating his own life, he is trapped for the first time when Marcelle, mistress of seven years, becomes pregnant. Trying to raise money for an abortion and failing, Mathieu finally steals 4000 francs only to find that Marcelle has determined to have the child, and will marry Daniel, homosexual, to give it a name....The novel is interesting as full evidence of existentialism, and will assuredly receive critical and intellectual notice.
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