Sartrean Mauvaise foi in Edward Upward's Journey to the Border

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Abstract:

This article brings together the Sartrean concept of bad faith and Edward Upward's novel, Journey to the Border, first published in 1938. The aim is to provide an overtly political reading that challenges the surreal obscurity of Upward's psychological narrative, while at the same time showing the continuing relevance of Sartre's understanding of the psychological tensions and existential dilemmas of the modern condition. Upward's novel has been the focus of much critical debate as to the meaning of the story – the descent of the main character towards madness in the context of the 1930s threat of fascism and war – as well as the generic characterisation of the text in terms of satire, fable, fantasy or political parable. The article argues in contrast a more unequivocally ideological reading of the series of existential choices, both personal and political, of the main character as a struggle for individual freedom and authenticity through a radical commitment to socialism and responsibility for the Other.

Keywords: BAD FAITH; EDWARD UPWARD; JOURNEY TO THE BORDER; MADNESS; POLITICAL COMMITMENT; SOCIALISM

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.3167/ssi.2012.180105

Publication date: March 1, 2012

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