LIFE/SITUATIONS

This collection of four essays (1971-73) and three interviews (1971-75) by Sartre assumes additional, touching significance with his revelation that because of blindness his "occupation as a writer is completely destroyed." Nobel Prize winner and, in the opinion of most, the Frenchman of Letters since 1945, Sartre is not concerned in his last essays with the literary and philosophical matters upon which his reputation rests. Rather, he fulminates with unrelenting outrage at instances of political oppression—most effectively, in an impassioned jeremiad against the attempted cultural genocide of the Basques by Franco-Spain. The other essays discuss the failure of traditional electoral politics, the nature of justice and the state, and the Maoist movement—in particular as they affect the French; but Sartre's Marxist alternative clearly intends international correspondences. Of the French Maoists he writes, "they realized that the old bourgeois society was doomed and was only protecting itself from death with the clubs of policemen"; moreover, they "had shown that the only relationship possible between the ruling class and the masses was a violent one." Unfortunately such phrases are closer to pamphleteering propaganda than to the subtle formulations usually associated with Sartre. Nowhere does he plausibly demonstrate the validity of his pronouncements, or convincingly detail the means by which proletariat class-consciousness will extend to the bourgeoisie and lead eventually to the socialist end he envisions. The interviews, however, bristle with intellectual vigor: Sartre's restive preoccupations as a man and writer, autobiographical reflections and reappraisals, a tartly provocative consideration of the woman's movement with Simone de Beauvoir, his latest views of his monumental study of Flaubert, and much more—these further expose one of this century's most formidable minds.

Pub Date: April 15, 1977

ISBN: 0394734602

Page Count: 228

Publisher: Pantheon

Review Posted Online: Oct. 4, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 1977

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NUTCRACKER

This is not the Nutcracker sweet, as passed on by Tchaikovsky and Marius Petipa. No, this is the original Hoffmann tale of 1816, in which the froth of Christmas revelry occasionally parts to let the dark underside of childhood fantasies and fears peek through. The boundaries between dream and reality fade, just as Godfather Drosselmeier, the Nutcracker's creator, is seen as alternately sinister and jolly. And Italian artist Roberto Innocenti gives an errily realistic air to Marie's dreams, in richly detailed illustrations touched by a mysterious light. A beautiful version of this classic tale, which will captivate adults and children alike. (Nutcracker; $35.00; Oct. 28, 1996; 136 pp.; 0-15-100227-4)

Pub Date: Oct. 28, 1996

ISBN: 0-15-100227-4

Page Count: 136

Publisher: Harcourt

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 1996

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IN MY PLACE

From the national correspondent for PBS's MacNeil-Lehrer Newshour: a moving memoir of her youth in the Deep South and her role in desegregating the Univ. of Georgia. The eldest daughter of an army chaplain, Hunter-Gault was born in what she calls the ``first of many places that I would call `my place' ''—the small village of Due West, tucked away in a remote little corner of South Carolina. While her father served in Korea, Hunter-Gault and her mother moved first to Covington, Georgia, and then to Atlanta. In ``L.A.'' (lovely Atlanta), surrounded by her loving family and a close-knit black community, the author enjoyed a happy childhood participating in activities at church and at school, where her intellectual and leadership abilities soon were noticed by both faculty and peers. In high school, Hunter-Gault found herself studying the ``comic-strip character Brenda Starr as I might have studied a journalism textbook, had there been one.'' Determined to be a journalist, she applied to several colleges—all outside of Georgia, for ``to discourage the possibility that a black student would even think of applying to one of those white schools, the state provided money for black students'' to study out of state. Accepted at Michigan's Wayne State, the author was encouraged by local civil-rights leaders to apply, along with another classmate, to the Univ. of Georgia as well. Her application became a test of changing racial attitudes, as well as of the growing strength of the civil-rights movement in the South, and Gault became a national figure as she braved an onslaught of hostilities and harassment to become the first black woman to attend the university. A remarkably generous, fair-minded account of overcoming some of the biggest, and most intractable, obstacles ever deployed by southern racists. (Photographs—not seen.)

Pub Date: Nov. 1, 1992

ISBN: 0-374-17563-2

Page Count: 192

Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 1992

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