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Sartre: Generating Generations1

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A striking sentence among so many in his work that strike. In the 1960 book Questions de me├ęthode, Sartre writes: "Today's Marxists care only about adults; when reading them, one would think that we are born at the age at which we earn our .first salary. Marxists have forgotten their own childhood. When reading them, it is as if human beings .first experienced their alienation and their rei.cation in their own work, whereas everyone experiences it .first, as a child, in their parents' work."2 Questions de me├ęthode-Search for Method-included as a tentative introduction to the Critique de la raison dialectique, is in fact the real introduction to Sartre's three volume study of Flaubert-a study written through the spectrum of the author's childhood. Readers of Sartre already know his fascination with childhood and that was explicitly so in his autobiography, Les Mots, written in the early 1950s. This can only lead us to stop and question Stanley Cavell who, when regarding the initial stages of Wittgenstein's Philosophical Investigations, writes: "the .gure of the child is present in this portrait of civilization more prominently and decisively than in any other work of philosophy I can think of (with the exception, if you grant that it is philosophy, of Emile.) (...) The child demands consent of its culture, attention from it; it may never forgive the cost of exacting it, or of failing to."
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2003-12-01

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