Sartre, Jean-Paul, "Il a été tiré de cet ouvrage exemplaires sur vélin alma des papeteries du marais numérotés de 1 a "--Title page verso. Digital master created according to Benchmark for Faithful Digital Reproductions of Monographs and Serials, Version 1. from the French by Stuart Gilbert. DIRTY HANDS (Les Mains sales). THE RESPECTFUL PROSTITUTE (La Putain respectueuse) translated from the French by. DOWNLOAD PDF L'Existentialisme est un humanisme; La Putain respectueuse; and Descartes published. Huis-clos translated into.

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JEA N -PAUL SART /01/05 ∏dpf association pour la di{usion de la pensée français. (La putain respectueuse) translated from the French by I. Abel. I. Title. 1PQ A82H82 t ',.g', L4 ISBN a (pbk.I. Book design by . La Putain respectueuse (The Respectful Prostitute) is a French drama film from , directed Create a book · Download as PDF · Printable version.

This was the case with the cosmos of Jupiter and the order of Aegisthus in Les Mouches. At the beginning of Le Diable et le bon Dieu, the archbishop identifies himself with his currency: "Lord, the thumbs of my subjects have worn away my effigy on my gold coins. What use can you have, Lord, for a transparent servant? In Hegelian terms, the slave gives meaning to the master. When the philosophy of being-having is clothed in ethical language, being through having becomes the good; non-being through not having becomes evil.

In theological terms, the Lord, the one who is, needs a devil in order to become the "good" Lord. Sartre's dialectical games with Good and Evil may seem obsolete. But the society in which Sartre lives is obsolete. The ethical principles of the French bourgeoisie are based on being through having, and since the bourgeoisie is still the ruling class, its ideology must be taken into account.

It must, as a matter of fact, be used as a starting point, for its molds the social situation. Thus, if the philosophy of being through having does not directly apply to the main characters in Le Diable et le bon Dieu, who are "have-nots," and consequendy of the devil's party, the philosophy serves at least as a background.

Instead of turning at the start to a philosophy of doing, these have-nots linger in the roles which have been devised for them by the "haves. The bishop of Worms asks Heinrich: "Who fed you? Who brought you up? Who taught you to read? Who gave you your knowledge? Who made you a priest? His aim is to change the social situation; thus he has broken the spell of the philosophy of the haves.

But he has to bow to the ideology of the sacred which has been instilled in the have-nots, that is, in his troops. And he himself seems to need the drug of the sacred. He wants to believe that God in modern terms, historical determinism is backing his enterprise: thus he knows that he is right and that he cannot fail.

Our study of the play will be mainly concerned with the evolution of Goetz. The other protagonists Nasty, Catherine, Hilda are rather stagnant and dull. It is on Goetz, and to a lesser extent on Heinrich, his alter ego, that the play relies for its appeal. Saint Genet comedien et martyr, an introduction to Genet's work, was published at about the same time as the play and can be used as a commentary.

In both Saint Genet and Le Diable et le bon Dieu, Sartre describes what may happen when a lively and resolute have-not clings to the hieratic philosophy of the haves. Either work could be considered as a dialectical ballet, a game of hide-and-seek, a farce of travesty and metamorphoses, between the dancer Genet or Goetz and two elusive monsters: Good and Evil. Goetz does not try to change his situation: he refuses the temptation offered by the banker.

Goetz's situation has been imposed on him by society; now he wills it and thus tries to make it his own, to appropriate and justify it: "We are not inside the world. We are outside! Refuse this world which rejects you.

Choose Evil! Goetz has not, hence is not, hence is evil. In the optimistic theological scheme which is adopted by the ruling classes, evil can but be a lack and the good, plenitude.

Evil is deprived of creative power and identified with non-being. Value tends to coincide with fact and law since fact and law are favorable. It is consequently toward those whose existence has not been "clotted" with having that Sartre turns in order to keep alive the questions about value.

These anxious souls experience the nothingness to which L'Etre et le neant gives such importance. They could be called naturaliter sartrianae. Goetz is a social outcast; the Sartrean man is a metaphysical outcast.

Goetz's condition and problems are exemplary. He will be a "comedian and martyr" in the same way as Sartre's Genet. They are martyrs because they are scapegoats and witnesses. They are more fundamentally comedians than other men because of their alienated social situation.

Caught in a philosophy of being which identifies being with having, their existence is but a reflection. Like Genet, the abandoned child, Goetz, the illegitimate child, is branded by the ruling ideology with an original sin; he is made to feel his existence as stolen. Goetz's proud choice, his justification, consists in turning constraint into will.

What is said of Genet can be applied to Goetz: "He assumes and projects before him the curse which, from the depths of his past, from the past of his mother, rises to the present: It will be his future. It was imposed on him: He turns it into a mission. He needed rules, precepts, advice; he loved the constraint of the Good: He will build a black system of ethics with precepts and rules, with uncompromising restraints, a Jansenism of Evil.

But he will not reject, for all that, the crude theological morals of men of property: It is on this concept of morals that his system of values will be grafted and will grow like a cancer. The Good is the invention of God, but Evil has to be invented by man.

Goetz's mistress has to assure him, time and again, that he keeps deserving her hatred: "What I like in you is the horror you feel for me.

The action has a symbolic sparkle which delights Goetz: "Of course bastards are traitors, what else could they be? I am a double agent by birth; my mother gave herself to a peasant and I am made up of two halves which do not fit. I was a bastard by birth, but it is to myself that I owe the fair title of fratricide.

Although the morals of evil may be called inventive, they are not creative, since Evil is conceived as a mere negation of the Good. In productive ethics, negation is a necessary prelude to construction. But Goetz is fascinated by his negative situation.

He appropriates reality through destruction. He is a soldier, not an artist. His pride is Luciferian, not Promethean. His concept of morals is thus an alliance of hieratics and histrionics. At this stage, he bears some analogy to Electra in Les Mouches. He has not written the text; he prides himself on the way he interprets it. He is not an agent, but an actor, half-possessed by his role, half-inventing his role.

His actions are gestures. Here again it is relevant to quote what Sartre says of Genet: "He wants action. But he falls back at once into his obsession: He wants to do in order to be, to steal in order to be the evil-doer. An action which is accomplished in order to be, is no longer an action, but a gesture. Thus Evil is not the absolute end of his projects, it is the means which he has chosen to represent his 'nature' to himself. But if he does not do evil, he is not an evil-doer; he plays the role of the evil-doer.

Of course, objectivity, Goetz's destructions are real enough. So he is slightly jarred when Nasty tells him that far from destroying, he is a conservative: "You bring about disorder and disorder is the best servant of established order. For his concept of Evil is not social, or physical, but metaphysical. It is not men that he wants as victims, spectators, and judges, but God. An actor, he needs a spectator as well as an author. He is but a passage between text and meaning. Catherine knows it: "What would you do without an audience?

His Luciferian pride consists in making God the principle of the Good, or the Good itself "bleed. Heinrich fancies that he has been "chosen": "An elect is a man who has been nailed to the wall by the finger of God. This reaction may be labeled "infantile," but the term is equally applicable to the kind of ideology which has imposed on Goetz the situation to which he reacts.

Is not what magazine psychologists in Sartre's play, the banker call "infantile" a revealing reflection of what they call "mature"? Goetz has been cast out—he wants to be the Outcast: "Useless to men. But what do I care about men? God hears me. He is the only enemy worthy of me.

There is God, myself, and the rest is ghosts. It is God tliat I shall crucify tonight, through you and through twenty thousand men, because his suffering is infinite and it makes infinite the one who makes him suffer. Then, I shall know tliat I am a monster of perfect purity. Heinrich derides Goetz's Luciferian hybris: Goetz is but a buffoon of the devil; does he believe that he will be the only one to be damned? Besides, is he even sure to be damned? God could play the trick of forgiveness on him, thus effacing the meaning which Goetz wants his actions to have in the eyes of God.

Goetz wanted to be exceptional and efficacious. But since, in his own scheme, God, not men, not Goetz, is supposed to be the judge of Goetz, he has to recognize tliat God is his invention he is not yet ready for that , or that the meaning that God will give to Goetz's life may be far different from his assumptions.

Goetz may appear to God as a banal sinner. Alienated at the start in his social situation, Goetz is alienated at the end in the meaning of his gestures. It is then that the first metamorphosis occurs. Goetz had wanted to be the hero of Evil, but in so for as it possible for man to add something to the world, every man in the hero of Evil, since only Evil can be added to the perfection of the divine creation.

Goetz had wanted to do Evil, but Evil cannot be taken as an end in a theological type of morals, since God can always turn it into good: the ways of God are beyond our understanding, and He can forgive whomever He pleases. Heinrich has just contended that "to do the good" was impossible. Goetz accepts the challenge of his alter ego. The brutal metamorphosis of the character raises a question of psychological likelihood to which we shall return later.

Jean-Paul Sartre

Let us note for the moment that the metamorphosis of soldier onto saint has historical precedents: "Saint Martin, Saint George, Saint Ignatius, in our time Father de Foucauld, who will probably be canonized, show how easily one can pass from the military condition to sainthood. Inequality of condition, servitude and poverty. Unfortunately, if he seems to escape metaphysical alienation, the meaning and value of his action remain alienated from him in an inescapable fashion.

Sartre's analysis of bad faith in L'Etre et le neant points out a category of possession, of alienation through possession, which can be avoided. It affects the man who cuts himself in two, thus creating an imaginary Other, both convenient and dangerous, to whom the name of God or the devil: see Heinrich's devil in the play is sometimes given. There is, however, a category of alienation which cannot be avoided by man as man: it is the alienation imposed on man by the presence of other men.

In so far as we are, it is other people as well as ourselves who decide on what we are.

In L'Etre et le neant and in the short essay Visages the appearance of the other is given a magic quality. In Esquisse d'une theorie des emotions, one could already read: "Man is always a sorcerer for man and the social world is first of all magic.

It is this eminently theatrical atmosphere which is the subject of Huis clos, the basis of the often misinterpreted aphorism: "Hell is the others. It contributes to making morals a perpetually renewed question instead of a set of wise formulas. Goetz is not prepared to cope with this kind of alienation. When the peasants to whom he gives his lands prove unable or unwilling to interpret this action in the light in which Goetz likes to see it, the latter exclaims: "The Good will be done against all.

Man cannot coincide with being, he can but play at "being. His spectator had been God, but now that he wants to be the hero of the good, he is obliged to commit himself with reference to other men. His good has somehow to be recognized as good by the peasants: "No one can choose the good of others for them.

He is rejected by the peasants as he was rejected by the ruling classes.


He is not one of the poor, but a former rich man. He tries to do good through charity, but fraternal love is the sanction of a good action, and as a giver, Goetz cannot be fraternally loved.

The class-consciousness which frustrates Goetz's intention is an obvious allusion to the contemporary French situation. The answer to the social problem, in Sartre's opinion, is not charitable gestures, but revolutionary action.

Goetz's difficulty is reminiscent of that of Orestes at the beginning of Les Mouches. They are both emerging from the morals of non-being: esthetic wisdom in the case of Orestes, evil in the case of Goetz.

But the situation is far more intricate this time, and Sartre will not let Goetz off as easily as Orestes. He will make his character enter two blind alleys before he is allowed to "find his way.

La Putain respectueuse, suivi de Morts sans sépulture

The act of giving has not established satisfactory relations between Goetz and the peasants. Goetz might perhaps become a peasant himself, but then he would not be the-one-who-does-good. He is not thinking of a solidarity through work, of a solidarity based on reality; he is longing for a fraternity through love, for a fraternity based on magic. Tetzel, the seller of indulgences, is loved by the peasants through religious magic.

And the only person who has ever loved Goetz, who still loves him, is the dying Catherine. Goetz has been loved through fleshly magic, not as a brother but as a master. He takes advantage of these two lessons: he pierces his hands and presents his wounds to the peasants as divine stigmata.

The directly narcissistic aspect of this gesture has been commented upon. By inflicting a wound on his own flesh, Goetz's tries to appropriate symbolically his existence and cancel its contingency. But Goetz's intention is first of all to incarnate himself in the eyes of others, through the ultimate goal remains to possess himself and the others through his sacred incarnation.

Incarnation, not embodiment. It seems relevant at this point to recall the distinction which has been made between flesh and body. Embodiment implies realization. It is the necessary instrument of the morals of doing. Incarnation permits exhibition, a certain category of gestures: those of the priest, of the actor.

It is therefore not surprising that Goetz chooses incarnation. By wounding himself, Goetz not only chooses his incarnation, but through his theatrical gesture, he fascinates the peasants: "At last! They are mine! He has apparently reached his goal: he is loved. Doing was but the means: to be was the end.

He may even think that he has "recuperated" his being. He has become an idol, he has given away his lands—but in order to possess the souls and hearts of the peasants. Let us compare the situation which has been reached in Le Diable et le bon Dieu with the situation at the end of Les Mouches. The denouement of the latter is a question: How will the Argives react to Orestes' speech? Orestes' project has been conceived in the light of freedom: he has assumed his responsibility, he has chosen his good, and his action has been meant to help the Argives assume their moral freedom.

But a more probable result is that the Argives will turn Orestes into a scapegoat, reduce his action to a gesture. And in his speech Orestes himself encourages this interpretation. But he leaves, the play ends, and we are left with a question. In Le Diable et le bon Dieu, Goetz's desire "to do the Good" does not take moral freedom either as a basis or as an end.

Unlike Orestes, Goetz is caught in the web of theological morals. With him, we have no hesitation: he deliberately assumes the role of scapegoat and prophet.

For Goetz will not be permitted to leave. He will remain to the end caught in a social context. Les Mouches tells us what the reaction of the Argives will probably be after the speech and departure of Orestes; it tells us what the reaction of most French people was to the myth of the Resistance, once the occupation was over. Goetz's conversion to the morals of doing for the sake of freedom is not so quick as Orestes' conversion. But it involves a more realistic commitment.

Goetz's triumph brings about his downfall. The play illustrates the tragic irony which is already present in the description of the magic dialectics of love in L'Etre et le neant. First of all, Goetz has sacrificed the means to the end. In order to make the peasants recognize his good as their good, he has assumed the role of the prophet. As far as he is concerned, he has abandoned the morals of purity, since his gesture is designed to deceive, to fascinate, to subjugate.

Moreover, the end attained by Goetz does not justify the means. At the beginning of Act III, the spectator witnesses an example of mass-education which might more aptly be called catechism, propaganda, or "brain-washing.

A certain abstract concept of the good has been set up as an absolute, without consideration for the actual situation, and all that man has to do is to learn the recipes by heart and apply them mechanically. Goetz's reign of sweet tyranny could perhaps be defended from the point of view of sedate wisdom: at least, the peasants enjoy a life of material and psychological peace, or slumber. But Sartre soon denies even this matter-of-fact success. A group of armed peasants, angered by the refusal of Goetz's people to join them in their struggle, destroy the village and slaughter its peaceful inhabitants.

Here again the allusion to the modern situation is obvious: no group of men can now achieve material happiness and spiritual peace, or sleep, in complete isolation from the rest of mankind. However intended it may be, the policy of the ostrich becomes every day less effective and less innocent. Humanity is no longer an abstract or sentimental, literary or scientific, myth; humanity has become, so to speak, a human concern.

Sartre, always anxious to think in relation to his time, rather than sub specie aeternitatis, has pointed out this advent of the human age.

It bolsters, on the objective side, the subjective statement that "in choosing myself, I choose man. Unlike Gabriel Marcel, whose point of view on morals is somewhat obsolete, Sartre focuses his attention on the collectivity rather than on private relations e. The destruction of Goetz's paradise on earth, the refusal of Nasty's army to listen to Goetz when he urges them not to fight, make the hero abandon the role of prophet and paternalistic tyrant. By now, the actor has acquired enough suppleness and resiliency to snap into the new role which the relendess dramatist has kept in store for him: that of the masochistic hermit.

Goetz's dialogue with men has proved a failure, either through the perversity of circumstances, or through the actor's unwillingness to let anyone steal the show from him. Goetz returns to his old ways: a dialogue with God. God is a much more agreeable interlocutor. He remains absent from the stage, and one can make Him say whatever one wishes Him to: "There we are, Lord: We are face to face again, as in the good old days when I was doing evil.

I should never have meddled with them: They are a nuisance. They are the brushwood one must push aside in order to come to you. I am coming to you, Lord, I am coming; I am walking in your night; lend me your hand. Tell me: the night, it is you, isn't it? Night, the harrowing absence of everything!

The Respectful Prostitute by Jean-Paul Sartre ()

For you are the one who is present in universal absence, the one who is heard when all is silence. Until I am everything, I shall be nothing.

Also read: BBA BOOKS PDF

In both cases, the apparent goal is not to be through not having. But this time, God is supposed not to condemn, but to reward.

Goetz had been against God and man. Now he sides with God against man Since he is a man, he must punish himself: "I asked you, Lord, and you answered me. Blessed be Thou for Thou hast revealed to me the wickedness of men. I shall punish their sins through my own flesh.

I shall torment this body. The Publican cuts himself in two: he is the breast which is beaten, but he is also the hand which beats the breast. Goetz still plays the scapegoat and the prophet. But he now tries to play these roles to himself.

He thus avoids the alienation imposed by other men. Goetz tries to recuperate his being by tormenting his flesh, and at the same time to posses the whole of mankind symbolically through his flesh. The Publican presents himself as a sinner: he has a body, he is a sinner. But in so far as it is he who presents himself as a sinner, he is not a sinner.

His passive flesh is but a symbol of man and of his wickedness. Thus, though this thought remains lost in a smoke-screen of bad faith, the Publican ceases to be a sinner and becomes a judge. Yet, since God, and no man, can be the judge, the Publican can but play the role of the judge. The Publican and the masochist try to transform the ambiguity of human condition into a duality: sinner and judge, breast and hand. But it is the others who hold the key to our objectivity: "I need someone to judge me.

Every day, every hour, I condemn myself, but I cannot manage to convince myself because I know myself too well to trust myself. I do not see my soul because it is right under my nose.

I need someone who would lend me his eyes. But Hilda refuses to enter this theatrical scheme, she refuses "to play the game. His hatred for Goetz seems to guarantee a satisfactory duo between judge and sinner. Unfortunately, Heinrich is still Goetz's alter ego. Hilda has refused to play the role of judge as Goetz would have liked, and Heinrich, as a judge, resembles Goetz too closely for the comfort of bad faith. Goetz pretends to be conversing with God a god who reveals himself only through silence ; for Heinrich, he has managed to pretend to himself that a devil is his constant companion, without, however, being quite able to believe in the existence of this devil.

Under these conditions, the judgment scene achieves a result contrary to Goetz's apparent purpose. Heinrich, embarrassed by Goetz's exhibitionism, which so closely resembles his own, forgets his lines, so that Goetz is obliged to prompt him and himself assume the role of the judge. The dialogue becomes a monologue. This brings about the "conversion" of Goetz, in terms which remind us of Orestes' conversion: "I wondered at every moment what I could be in the eyes of God.

Now I know the answer: nothing. God does not hear me, God does not know me. God is the solitude of men. There was only myself: I alone decided on evil; I alone invented the good. The judgment scene has the effect of an exorcism.

The travestied monsters disappear from the ballet. The presence of Heinrich does not act as a screen, but as a mirror, with a cathartic result: Goetz kills Heinrich, the symbol of his theatrical possession, proclaims the death of God. The naive enthusiasm of Goetz as he awakes from self-hypnosis and announces to Hilda that "God is dead" should not be construed as indicative of the author's mood.

A more adequate echo of this mood may be found in Hilda's answer: "Dead or alive, what do I care? I have not bothered about Him for a long time. She would say: 'Lizzie MacKay? I shall not forget that name'. And I who have no family, relegated by cruel fate to social banishment, I would know that a dear little old lady was thinking of me in her great house; that an American mother had taken me to her heart'" The Respectful Prostitute "Je vois clair en vous, mon enfant.

Not only does the Senator create the figure of his sister, he, like Jupiter did to Aegis- theus, creates a Lizzie who has downloadd the myth being spun before her; however, while Jupiter made his argument in simple words in the guise of a man, the Senator's ultimate success stems not only from his use of the mythic mode to wield his argument, but also from the mythic quality of his own character as a paragon of the values of the dominant mode of white US-American superiority.

Even more successfully, the Senator takes on the voice of Uncle Sam, using his arguments, creating his image of who America is to influence Lizzie's decision. He pulls Lizzie into a scene of imagining so convincing that she loses track of what is really going on.

Speaking for Uncle Sam, the Senator says: "'Lizzie, you have reached a point where you must choose between two of my boys.

One of them must go. What can you do in a case like this? Well, you keep the better man. Il faut que l'un ou l'autre disparaisse.

Que fait-on dans des cas pareils? On garde le meilleur. Eh bien, cherchons quel est le meilleur. The Senator is not only playing up Lizzie's self- importance by insisting that she has a crucial decision to make, he is asserting her consequence in America itself by creating for her an audience with Uncle Sam.

Moreover, in installing this myth, in underlining the notion of the US-American ideal, the myth of the truly US-American man, the Senator has changed the nature of Lizzie's decision. Peters writes, "According to the senator, blacks do not lead the life of men, serious men, since they are not rooted in American soil. They cannot claim tradi- tion, culture, history, or ancestry; their origin is questionable, as they lack the weight and legitimacy of white America" As a result of this mythic disparity, where Lizzie's initial decision was con- cerned with which version of events is true, the Senator's personification of the myth makes the new decision about who has more value as a person.

Like Jupiter, so, too, is the Senator himself an example of the extent to which the myth that he himself maintains suffuses his own existence. In convincing Lizzie to sign, he asks, "Do you suppose a whole town could be mistaken? A whole town, with its ministers and its priests, its doctors, its law- yers, its artists, its mayor and his aides, with all its charities?

Do you think that could happen? Est-ce que tu le crois? Through this list, the Senator indi- cates the pervasiveness of this myth of the US-American ideal. While this is Lizzie's first exposure to it, the myth of white American superiority is one that suffuses the consciousness of the US-American South in the world of the play; indeed, it is what guides, legitimates, and indeed permits the Senator's own actions.

Peters argues that "Sartre shows the white Southerners' belief that their whiteness is a sign of superiority.

They believe that they are the only true Americans, the descendants of the oldest families of the country, and they consider themselves to be the intellectual, political, and military elite" To the same extent that it perpetuates this myth, the Senator's power depends on it. Just as it comes to govern Lizzie's actions, the myth structure he employs governs the Senator's own, thus evi- dencing the universal might of myth in the subjection of individuals, in the wielding of power, and in the maintenance of political regimes.

By dialoguing in myth paradigms, Sartre illustrates that nothing we ever do is fully our own; we interact within ancient yet prevailing universal structures of thought, identification, and belief. Less emphasis is usually placed on the fact that it proposed and spread new power relations through the ancient world" "Subject and Power" Thus, in that Orestes is actually marking the movement from one myth structure to another, he is not, contrary to his own belief, liberating the Argives; he is merely imposing upon them a new form of subjectivity by prompting a change in regime.

A common misreading of the end of the play is that "The decision to act leads Orestes to freedom: instead of remaining in Argos, he leaves the city, for he has conquered a new citizenship, that of MAN, because he has grown conscious of his own freedom" Debusscher ; emphasis in original.

How- ever, while he has perhaps achieved more agency than he had before and become more conscious of the personal power Jupiter and Aegistheus sought to hide from the Argives for so long, he has in effect merely shifted from one tradition to the next, abandoning the role of the mythic hero in favour of that of the Christian messiah.

It is at this point, this transition from one myth structure to another, that the two plays diverge. In ignoring the pleas of his sister, claiming responsibility for murdering the king and queen, and assuming the throne of Argos, Orestes becomes this political power. Conversely, by ignoring the interests of the Negro, Lizzie succumbs to this power, rather than becoming it. Both Ores- tes and Lizzie are tied up in thoughts of salvation, but Orestes's desire to save his populace and Lizzie's decision to save herself respectively symbolise progression and stagnancy in systems of power.

Throughout La Putain respectueuse, it appears that, much like the Argives, Lizzie is acting out a personal drama of punishment and remorse, characterised by the bracelet she wears on her wrist. She inscribes the bracelet with a certain mythical quality, as though it is an instrument that, like an oracle in a classical myth, decides her fate. When first faced with the choice between Thomas and the Negro, Lizzie exclaims, "So there we are! Here's me in it up to my neck -- just for a change.

Je suis dans la crotte jusqu'au cou; pour changer. Elle le jette par terre" []. Her sarcasm implies that she is often in trou- ble and that she is somehow fated to experience such situations by circumstances beyond her control. Furthermore, when the police arrive with the Senator a few minutes later, she says, "I knew it had to happen. While wearing the bracelet brings Lizzie trouble, removing it, apparently, only makes matters worse.

This rela- tionship with the mythic governs Lizzie's inability to join Orestes in acting out the salvation myth. While she is displeased with the situation her place in the myth structure implies, she firmly believes that extrication from that structure will condemn, not save, her. Furthermore, contrary to Orestes's move through systems of power, Lizzie's relationship with her bracelet comes to symbolise stasis in non-developing traditions as opposed to progression through systems of power structures.

Lizzie seals her fate and halts the progression of power through her secession from the salvation myth that, as we saw in Les Mouches, is the natural next step in the evolution of mythological tradition and, indeed, political systems. Again, when faced with adversity, Lizzie blames her bracelet, crying, "It's all your fault! You pig of a snake! The snake shape of the bracelet recalls the pre-Christian myth of temptation and original sin, the result of which was the creation of a hierarchy of power, the effects of which she blames on the bracelet.

Lizzie signals her desire for salvation, her yearning for transition in the myth structure that gov- erns her: "For twenty-five years I have had to take their crap about old mothers with white hair, about war heroes, about Uncle Sam.

But now I've caught on … I'll open the door and say to them: 'He's in- side. He's here, but he's done nothing: I was forced to sign a false statement. Mais j'ai compris. Ils ne m'auront pas jusqu'au bout. J'ouvrirai la porte et je leur dirai: 'Il est la. Je jure sur le bon Dieu qu'il n'a rien fait" [La Putain respec- tueuse ].

In this speech, Lizzie asserts her intention to assume responsibility for her actions, as did Orestes, and work toward the salvation of the person at the absolute bottom of the play's spec- trum of power, the Negro.

Furthermore, this assertion, along with the words "by Christ" "sur le bon Dieu" , follows her throwing down of the bracelet, thereby situating her at the cusp of a regime change, a movement in myth structures.

However, when the time comes for Lizzie to make her sacri- fice, to perform penance for her crime against the Negro and, in that signing the statement contra- dicted her own values, against herself, she falls short of the shift and reclaims her familiar myth, thereby reinstalling the same system of power. On her way to answer the door, "She crosses herself, picks up the bracelet, and goes to open the door" "Elle se signe, ramasse le bracelet et va ouvrir" [].

In other words, she takes a step towards the salvation myth but, in picking up the bracelet and chatting up the lynch mob at her door instead of confessing to them, she marks her in- ability to change and her surrender to the power structure that has governed her throughout.

Her ini- tial disgust with and rejection of the bracelet appear to indicate Lizzie's preparedness and willingness to move into the next mythic process and, as Orestes did, kick-start a change in regime; however, unlike her classical counterpart, Lizzie is unable to navigate this progression, thereby installing a state of stasis in the myth of white American superiority and the political structure that myth implies.

Fred's reappearance shortly thereafter confirms the stasis of the myth structure and relationship of power in that not only does he weave the familiar myth of white American superiority, he does so with an important development. At the beginning of the play Fred was just a regular man who, like Jupiter in his human form, could not convince Lizzie of anything; however, after Lizzie's inaction rein- stalls the myth that maintains the superiority of his dominant group, he suddenly takes on the mythic Martha Evans, "Myth-Making and Power Structures in Sartre's Les Mouches and La Putain respectueuse" page 10 of 11 CLCWeb: Comparative Literature and Culture In convincing her to disarm, after recounting a long history of the place of he and his family in US-American history, Fred asks, "Can you dare to shoot all of America?

Whereas in earlier conversations Fred could only communicate the myth of white US-American superi- ority, he now, like the Senator before him, embodies it. It is as though in not rising up against this subjugating regime, in not seeking out a new mythic structure, even if it is only to inscribe a new mode of power, Lizzie has in fact allowed the current dominant mode to become more powerful both as a myth and as a political regime.

In that neither Orestes nor Lizzie were ultimately able to escape subjugating forces of power constructs in their societies, their grappling with their respective salvation myths can ultimately be deemed unsuccessful. In this way, while perhaps neither Orestes nor Lizzie was successful, only Lizzie can be deemed to have really failed. While, despite his intentions, Orestes did not liberate the Argives from a system of power, he did successfully maintain what Nietzsche deems to be the natural procession from domination to domination.

Lizzie, on the other hand, halted this process. With no delusions about having arrived at a point of "universal reciprocity," it is not that Lizzie has not found an alternative to the violence installed in a system of rules; rather, she has suc- cumbed to them, a fact that is further underlined by her submission to Fred at the end of the play.

In conclusion, the layers of myth in Les Mouches and La Putain respectueuse mirror the complexi- ties of the relationship of subject and power and the movement of myth structures within the two plays mirrors the progression of power from one system of dominance to the next. Already beginning in the period immediately following his first visit, the revolutionary process had set off, in his opinion, a dangerous process of institutionalization that threatened the utopian spaces and innovative contents of the initial period Garzia The idyll, therefore, did not last long, and this can perhaps explain the missing publication of the Cuban texts in book form in France, which has caused them to be almost entirely disregarded in general.

Even the shrewdest of critics have only very rarely taken the texts into consideration. He believed that his visit could help the revolution in some way, at a time when it seemed to be negatively perceived abroad and the serious consequences of American hostility began to be felt Contat and Rybalka , Arcocha The face of Havana and the entire island, which had been the exclusive territory of American yacht clubs, private beaches, casinos, brothels, and exclusive white neighborhoods until shortly before his arrival, had changed radically.

Some of the most significant revolutionary measures were in the 5 As far as I know, neither the critical nor the bibliographical literature in French has ever carefully considered these texts, with the exception of the work of Contat and Rybalka ; nor does the Anglo-Saxon literature, which even includes the previously cited English edition of the majority of the Cuban writings Sartre c , appear to have ever dedicated much attention to the texts.

One exception is Aronson , who dedicates several pages to the matter in his book on Jean-Paul Sartre. He had black hair and a moustache and looked typically Spanish; he told me with authority that it was our duty to go and see a revolution on the march with our own eyes. In reality, our apathy had another cause: the Algerian War blocked our view. But the rest of the world existed, and we should have taken notice. The book also includes a collection of texts on Sartre written by Cuban intellectuals.

Fidel Castro, whose role in the leadership of the island had already emerged in the midst of the conflicts between the moderate and radical trends of the revolution, headed the new government.

It was also the moment when clashes with the United States started to take shape. Sartre embraced the Cuban experience without reservation. In his eyes, Cuba represented new hope in the face of the dramatic failures of the Eastern bloc countries. On every page, we read the political passion of an intellectual activist who had finally found a place where his own political convictions were being materialized: Cuba appeared to strengthen his own revolutionary commitment and political philosophy.

Cuba offered concrete proof that the Third World could win out against imperialism. This was a theme to which Sartre dedicated a great deal of his political and intellectual commitment, from the French involvement in Indochina onward. None today is ignorant of the fact that we have ruined, starved, and massacred a country of poor people, trying to force it to its knees.

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It has remained standing. But at what price! In his calls to internationalism, he condemned colonialism and unmasked the false democratic conscience. It forces our young people to die against their will for Nazi principles that we fought against 10 years ago Sartre On the contrary, it helped him to highlight a fracture that already existed and would grow even deeper shortly thereafter with the Russian intervention in Hungary. After Sartre signed the Manifesto of the , 6th September the PCF launched a no-holds-barred attack against him and the other French intellectuals who signed it.

Among other things, this re-evaluation would lead him to discover a new historical subject that was even more radical than the proletariat of the capitalist metropolis: the peoples fighting colonialism in order to liberate their countries from imperialism. Sacks, rapes, and retaliations exercised at the expense of the civil population, summary executions, and recourse to torture to extract confessions or information. Do we still dare to condemn them?

Do we still dare to absolve ourselves? The more forcefully he attacked colonial domination, the starker the contradiction became between the abstract values proclaimed loudly by the democracies of imperialist metropolises and the reality of colonialism.

None of this stopped them from making racist remarks at the same time: dirty Negro, dirty Jew, dirty rat. The only thing that we can and must attempt — and today it is essential — is to fight beside [the colonized] to liberate [them and us] from colonial tyranny, with respect to which we are in any case guilty of connivance.

Since the fight for national liberation in every underdeveloped country is also, inevitably, a fight against colonialism and imperialism, it needs to be supported, politically and materially, by parties that call themselves communist and states that call themselves socialist. This position is generalized here together with the struggles of underdeveloped countries and it can be said that [ That of man.

Sartre would make constant reference to this internationalist tradition in every battle that he fought against imperialism: from Indochina to Tunisia, from Algeria to Vietnam.

He feared it was impossible for the proletariat of the First and Second World to direct the course of history in its favor, harnessed as it was by Communist Parties of Stalinist observance and subjugated to the dictates of the Cold War and the hegemony of the Soviet Union, as he wrote when recalling that period in his article on Merleau-Ponty Sartre b.

For Sartre, that could only happen by way of existentialism. The events that mark the complicated relations between Sartre and the communist organizations-above all the PCF — need to be understood within this political and philosophical frame.

It is a political drama about the murder of a leading politician set in a fictional Country, Illiria, between and The major point is not about finding the killer, which is known from the beginning, but his real motivations. The writings of these years are an excellent testimony to these numerous and sudden turns.

After barely 4 years, Sartre was forced to change radically his perspective again, as witnessed by his writings from that period.

And it would be for good. These were fundamental themes for an intellectual with no intentions of abandoning the field, yet refusing to accept the simplifications of Stalinist dogmatism.

It was during this phase that he visited Cuba for the first time.

The experience that ended in the double conversion of the s might be the reason he was able to perceive the novelty and originality of the Cuban revolution in all its scope; a revolution that had appeared, at least initially, to avoid the ideological fossilizations of official communism. Yet Sartre also sought to distinguish his position from the unbridled anti-communist campaign of the press and bourgeois intellectuals. He declared that while one must condemn Stalinism and spare no effort in building a socialism that recaptures the humanist calling of authentic Marxism, it would still be a mistake to equate a capitalist society with a socialist state.

The latter needs to be defended against the attacks of capitalism because it remains the only historical-human enterprise objectively committed to 14 The only exception would be the relationship between Sartre and the Partito Comunista Italiano the Italian Communist Party , which he cultivated in the following years, above all through habitual visits with the intellectuals of that party, such as Alicata and Rossanda.

Theor Soc — the abolition of exploitation. Sartre dedicated many fascinating pages to analyzing what he saw as the encrustations that had distorted the meaning and function of Marxism.

Socialism, the vision of human liberation, democracy and plenty, was realized in partial, primitive social forms whose progressive content was nearly cancelled by their features. There are undoubtedly some ambiguities in the complex relationship between Sartre and Marxism and between Sartre and the communist organizations, above all before It was with this store of reflections that Sartre found himself immersed in one of the most fervid moments of the Cuban revolution. Having worked through his grief over his separation from official communism, he was now seeking an alternative path towards freedom and socialism.

His discovery of the Third World and his newfound autonomy from the PCF permitted him to adopt a more open perspective on the Cuban experience, freeing him from the political use of tactics as in Les Communistes et la Paix Sartre that had impeded his theoretical coherence in the past. Theor Soc — established as agent, both on the basis of his social-historical determinations and in view of the ends that tend to transcend those determinations rather than be contained by them. It is here that individuals can discover themselves to be free members of an organic intersubjectivity.

This operation does not transform me into an object, because the totalisation by the third party only reveals a free praxis as a common unity that is already present and already qualifies him.

In practise, this means that I am integrated into the common action when the common praxis of the third party posits itself as regulatory. For that matter, we can discern the empirical realization of the ideal type that found its theorization in Critique within the reports that Sartre sent to France-Soir from Havana. In his foreshadowing of the bureaucratic fossilization of group dynamics in Critique, we can also read a philosophical interpretation of the historical matters that distorted the aims of the Russian revolution.

Given the predominantly journalistic character of the Cuban papers, there are no specific passages where Sartre 19 The question also has precise methodological consequences that go beyond the analytical intents of this article.

Such a study must take place instead as comprehension, according to the lesson of phenomenology and Gestalt psychology Sartre c, and later in a. Five hundred thousand men. Castro was speaking I looked at them, somber, heads held high, trying to understand everything, not wanting to neglect a link in the chain. I saw the day sinking, shadows extending over these immobile faces which changed form brown to gray and then to black, while a sad, gray clearness abover them gave way to night.

The instant they were lit, the lampposts tore a half- million faces from the shadows. A useless vestige of the interrupted traffic, the red and green traffic lights swept these upturned faces with their colors. It was in the middle of the night, by the light of the Yankee electricity company Sartre c: — As we will see, this is how the Cuban revolution found a reason for its own originality, precisely in its not having — or so it appeared to Sartre — a theoretical or ideological reason for building a rational and durable path towards a free society.

He opened the first report by bringing the reader right to the center of the strident contradictions of Cuban society.Catherine, Goetz's mistress, discovers an officer who has been lying in ambush for Goetz. Goetz leaves the camp and decides to forget about saving men. In any case, given the tones of the plays' end- ings, Les Mouches's charged optimism and La Putain respectueuse's resigned despair, it is clear that the alignment of political regimes with myth structures in the two plays advocates the concept of evo- lution in the progression of power.

Sartre's "concept of the self" is examined by Hazel E. Do you think I leave Olympus with- out good reason? His being is at the mercy of the other characters and of himself; it depends on situation and action. Not men. During his absence, a troop of peasants, incensed by the refusal of Goetz's people to join them in their revolt, have killed everyone in sight.