Most Read... Rebecca WattsThe Cult of the Noble Amateur
(PN Review 239)
John McAuliffeBill Manhire in Conversation with John McAuliffe
(PN Review 259)
Eavan BolandA Lyric Voice at Bay
(PN Review 121)
Patricia CraigVal Warner: A Reminiscence
(PN Review 259)
Vahni CapildeoOn Judging Prizes, & Reading More than Six Really Good Books
(PN Review 237)
Tim Parksin conversation with Natalia Ginzburg
(PN Review 49)
Next Issue Gwyneth Lewis ‘Spiderings’ Ian Thomson ‘Fires were started: Tallinn, 1944’ Adrian May ‘Traditionalism and Tradition’ Judith Herzberg ‘Poems’ translated by Margitt Helbert Horatio Morpurgo ‘What is a Book?’
Poems Articles Interviews Reports Reviews Contributors
PN Review 276
PN Review Substack

This review is taken from PN Review 67, Volume 15 Number 5, May - June 1989.

Lives & Letters
Howard Davies, Sartre and 'Les Temps Modernes' (Cambridge) £27.50
Claude Francis and Fernande Gontier, Simone de Beauvoir, translated by Lisa Nesselson (Sidgwick & Jackson) £15.00

'Un come-back funéraire'. This was Sartre's mordant, delighted comment at a time of renewed interest in his work in the 1970s. In the 1980s, after his physical demise, that comeback gathered momentum. As Annette Lavers has pointed out, Sartre seems to have been undefeated by the radical event of death. His posthumous output has been considerable in bulk and quality, and secondary biographical and critical material has proliferated. Howard Davies's book is especially interesting in that it resurrects a relatively neglected area: Sartre's involvement with Les Temps Modernes (hereafter TM), the magazine he helped to found in 1945, and his and TM's attempts to develop a 'synthetic anthropology'. Davies offers, not only a well-researched and perceptive biography of a magazine and contribution to the cultural and political history of post-war France, but what we might call, employing Sartrean terms, a new totalization that could - for those who share Sartre's concerns - lead to productive praxis.

Though TM, inevitably, is closely identified with Sartre - some of his most important works first appeared there - the magazine was never, Davies stresses, a one-man band, but a dynamic and often internally tense collective venture in which Sartre moved between background and foreground, modifying and modified. In a sense, 'TM is Sartre's greatest creation, by virtue of the extent to which it ...

Searching, please wait... animated waiting image