Winter 1946 • Vol. VIII No. 1 Nonfiction |

Jean-Paul Sartre, Dramatist: The Thinker as Playwright

From The Playwright as Thinker  The question for some years has been: Can the non-naturalistic drama of Paris, for all its charms, grow into something more mature? If Jean Cocteau is the prophet, the Zola of this school of drama, and The Infernal Machine is his Thérèse Raquin, where is the master, the Henry Becque? Without such a man the first-rank importance of French non-naturalism would not be apparent. During the late Thirties the man did not appear. Then came 1940. Wiseacres whispered that, far from being fruitful, sophistication had caused the fall of France. It was not till 1945 that news came out of a liberated France that she had again a serious theatre and that it was again a non-naturalistic theatre, a theatre of the soul and the inner eye, a subjectivist theatre—nay, so one reporter announced, an EXISTENTIAL THEATRE. Under the influence of existential philosophy, which is particularly concerned with the individual, his inner nature, and his fate, two men, Al

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By Eric Bentley

From The Playwright as Thinker  The question for some years has been: Can the non-naturalistic drama of Paris, for all its charms, grow into something more mature? If Jean Cocteau […]

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