THOMAS ANDERSON COLLECTION OF JEAN-PAUL SARTRE Biographical Note, Scope and Content, and Box List

Biographical Note

A French philosopher (proponent of atheistic existentialism), writer, and political activist, who was born in Paris in 1905, Jean-Paul Sartre studied at the école Normale Supérieure from 1924-1929, and became a professor of philosophy at Le Havre in 1931. A year later he traveled to Berlin where he studied the thought of philosophers Edmund Husserl and Martin Heidegger. He returned to teaching at Le Havre, and then taught at Laon, and at the Lycée Pasteur in Paris, 1937-1939. He served in the French Army in World War II and was captured by the Germans in 1940, spending nine months as a prisoner of war. After the War he did not return to teaching, but devoted himself to writing—both philosophy and literature—and to political activism. He was the life-long companion of Simone de Beauvoir, also a philosopher and writer.

Some of his major philosophical works include Nausea (1938), Being and Nothingness (1943), and Critique of Dialectical Reason (1960). His pre-War work focuses on and defends individual human freedom and dignity premised on atheism, and his post-War work continues these themes and emphasizes social responsibility under the influence of Marxist thought. Sartre authored numerous plays and novels that incorporate his philosophical ideas, as well as works of literary biography and literary criticism. His literary output includes, among other works, The Flies, No Exit, The Age of Reason, The Chips are Down, The Devil and the Good Lord, and Flaubert. He was chosen for the 1964 Nobel Prize in Literature, but refused to accept the award. He died in 1980.

Scope and Content

The Thomas Anderson Collection of Jean-Paul Sartre consists of a photocopied typescript (in French) of the notes for Jean-Paul Sartre’s lecture at the 1964 Morale e Società Conference at the Gramsci Institute in Rome. The original typescript was prepared by the publishing house Gallimard in 1964, but was never published. Sartre’s original manuscript version of the notes is available at the Bibliothèque nationale de France. Thomas Anderson, a professor in Marquette's Department of Philosophy, annotated his copy to provide references in the margin to the original handwritten manuscript and includes some portions of text that appear to have been missed or mistyped in the typescript.

The collection also contains a color photocopy of an English translation of the same notes, prepared by an unknown individual at some point between 1964 and Anderson’s acquisition of the piece from Robert Stone at the inaugural meeting of the North American Sartre Society in the 1970s. The piece is annotated by Anderson to indicate (in red) page references to the original handwritten manuscript in the the Bibliothèque nationale de France and (in blue/black) references to the photocopied typescript (in French) that is also in the collection. Anderson indicates throughout a number of mistranslations.

Related Materials

Series II of the John Gerassi Collection of Jean-Paul Sartre at Yale University, includes notes and drafts prepared by Sartre for the lectures prepared for the Gramsci Institute in Rome in 1964. The original handwritten manuscript is held by the Bibliothèque nationale de France.

Use Restrictions

The Thomas Anderson Collection of Jean-Paul Sartre is the physical property of the Department of Special Collections and Archives, Marquette University. Literary rights, including copyright, belong to the author’s heirs and assigns, including Arlette Elkaïm-Sartre. Responsibility for copyright and obtaining necessary permissions rests with the researcher.

Use of this collection is limited to the archives reading room; it is not available via Inter-Library Loan. As a policy, we do not photocopy entire collections, so we cannot make a full reproduction of these items for patrons. A portion (up to 25%) can be reproduced for a fee.

Series 1

Box Folder Folder Title
1 1 Notes (in French) for Jean-Paul Sartre's 1964 Lecture at the Morale e Società Conference at the Gramsci Institute in Rome
1 2 English Translation of Notes for Jean-Paul Sartre's 1964 Lecture at the Morale e Società Conference at the Gramsci Institute in Rome