4 plays about an existential portrayal of Hell, the reworking of the Electra-Orestes story, the conflict of a young intellectual torn between theory and conflict and an arresting attack on American racism.
About the Author
Jean-Paul Sartre (1905-80) French existentialist philosopher, novelist, and playwright who, with Jean Anouilh, dominated the postwar French theatre. In 1964 he refused the Nobel Prize for literature. In 1929 Sartre graduated from the cole Normale Sup rieure, where he formed a lifelong partnership with his fellow student Simone de Beauvoir, the writer and feminist. His melodramatic plays explore moral conflicts with a deep Gallic pessimism, while also expounding the philosophical existentialism he popularized in the 1940s. The first, "Les Mouches", an interpretation of the Orestes story, opened in 1943 in Paris. As "The Flies" it was produced in New York in 1947 and in London in 1951. The one-act "Huis-Clos" opened in Paris in 1944 and was subsequently produced in London as "Vicious Circle" and in New York as "No Exit". "Morts sans s pultures" (1946), about a group of captured Resistance fighters, was seen in London as "Men Without Shadows" (1947) and in New York as "The Victors" (1948). "Le Diable et le bon dieu" (1951), based on the Faust of Goethe, is often regarded as Sartre's best dramatic work. His other plays include "Nekrassov "(1955), about a confidence trickster who assumes the identity of the Soviet ambassador, and the wartime drama "Les S questr s d'Altona" (1959), produced in 1961 in London as "Loser Wins "and in 1965 in New York as "The Condemned of Altona". Sartre's adaptation of the elder Dumas's "Kean "was seen in 1953 in Paris, reworked as a US musical in 1961, and produced at the Oxford Playhouse in 1970 (later transferring to London).