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The child is the father to the man : a structural analysis of Jean-Paul Sartre’s Les mots Stefanovich, Slobodan 1975

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THE CHILD IS THE FATHER TO THE MAN: A STRUCTURAL ANALYSIS OF JEAN-PAUL SARTRE'S LES MOTS by Slobodan Stefanovich B.A., University of British Columbia, 1972 A thesis submitted in part i a l fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Arts in the Programme of Comparative Literature We accept this thesis as conforming to the required standard THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA April , 1975 In p r e s e n t i n g t h i s t h e s i s i n p a r t i a l f u l f i l m e n t o f the r e q u i r e m e n t s f o r an advanced degree at the U n i v e r s i t y o f B r i t i s h C olumbia, I agree t h a t the L i b r a r y s h a l l make i t f r e e l y a v a i l a b l e f o r r e f e r e n c e and st u d y . I f u r t h e r agree t h a t p e r m i s s i o n f o r e x t e n s i v e c o p y i n g o f t h i s t h e s i s f o r s c h o l a r l y purposes may be g r a n t e d by the Head o f my Department o r by h i s r e p r e s e n t a t i v e s . I t i s u n d e r s t o o d t h a t c o p y i n g o r p u b l i c a t i o n o f t h i s t h e s i s f o r f i n a n c i a l g a i n s h a l l not be a l l o w e d w i t h o u t my w r i t t e n p e r m i s s i o n . Slobodan Stefanovich Department o f Comparative Literature The U n i v e r s i t y o f B r i t i s h Columbia Vancouver 8, Canada Date 11 April 1975 i ABSTRACT The thesis i t s e l f consists of the claim that Jean-Paul Sartre's autobiography, Les mots - although a l i t e r a r y work par excellence - is basically a philosophical work wherein the author has applied to himself Ms proposed synthesis of Marxist and Existentialist/psychoanalytic thought, as elaborated i n his earlier, philosophical work Critique de l a  raison dialectique. The method we proposedto employ in our analysis is a structural method, which in our opinion more than any other method, allows the c r i t i c to achieve a certain logical consistence and hence coherence, and whose result can always be validated by referring i t back to, and comparing with, the work analyzed. In an attempt to present a more detailed explanation and definition of our proposed method of analysis, i n Chapter I we discuss the most important concepts of structuralism (sign, signification, value of sign, connotative and metalanguage systems), as well as relate these to l i t e r a -ture and l i t e r a r y criticism. Chapter II analyzes the structuration of the narrative of Sartre's work. In order to classify its signifiers, functions - as the smallest narrative, syntagmatic unities - are analyzed. These are grouped into two classes, which according to Critique de l a raison dialectique re-present the two most important aspects in studying history of an individual. The f i r s t class studies the family influence on the young Sartre, whereas the second one analyzes his reactions, i n their various forms, to the social and physical environment in which he lived. After analyzing the syntagmatic unities of the narrative (Chapter II), i n Chapter III the functions are grouped into larger, this time paradigmatic unities (the level of Actions), after which the highest level of Sartre's narrative, that of Narration, is analyzed. In other words, this chapter contains an analysis "both of the main characters of Sartre's autobiography, and that of the narrative techniques employed by the author. The latter in fact represent the three main aspects of Sartre's analytico-synthetic progressive-regressive method on which the whole structure of Les mots is based. In Chapter TV Sartre's autobiography is analyzed in i t s t o t a l i t y , by showing that the meaning i s generated through the different levels of the narrative and their interrelatedness. The various levels of meaning of Les mots are analyzed by relating them to the main philo-sophical categories from Critique de l a raison dialectique: ali-enation, project, progressive-regressive method, comprehension, etc., discussing the different forms in which these have been employed in the autobiography i t s e l f . I l l CONTENTS Page CHAPTER I • • • 1 1 . 1 . 0 . Thesis 1 . 2 . 0 . Method 1 . 3 . 0 . The Sign l.i+.O. Signification 1 . 5 . 0 . The Value of the Sign 1 . 6 . 0 . • Connotative-Metalanguage Systems 1 . 7 - 0 . Literature - Literary Criticism 1 . 8 . 0 . Model CHAPTER II 2 0 Level One: Functions . . . . . . . . . . 20 1 . 0 . 0 . Family 1 . 1 . 0 . Distributional Unities 1 . 1 . 1 . Nuclei 1 . 1 . 2 . Catalysts 1 . 2 . 0 . Integrative Unities • 1 . 2 . 1 . Indices 1 . 2 . 2 . Informants 2 . 0 . 0 . Project 2 . 1 . 0 . Distributional Unities 2 . 1 . 1 . Nuclei 2 . 2 . 0 . Integrative Unities 2 . 2 . 1 . Indices 2 . 2 . 2 . Informants CHAPTER III . •. • •. . 6k Level Two: Actions • 6k ' 1 . 1 . 0 . Characters as Actants 1 . 1 . 1 . Louise 1 . 1 . 2 . Anne-Marie 1 . 1 . 3 . Charles 1.1.k. Jean-Paul Level Three: Narration • • 8 l 2 . 1 . 0 . Autobiography 2 . 2 . 0 . Giver of the Narrative i v Page 2 . 3 - 0 . Point of View 2.U.O. Time Order 2 . 5 . 0 . • Narrative Voice CHAPTER IV • . . . . . . . 102 1 . 1 . 0 . Aim 1 . 2 . 0 . Method 1 . 3 . 0 . Childhood l.lt.O. Psychoanalysis 1 . 5 - 0 . Alienation 1 . 6 . 0 . Project 1 . 7 - 0 . Regressive-Progressive Analytico-Synthetic Method 1 . 8 . 0 . Comprehension BIBLIOGRAPHY 131 1 CHAPTER I 1.1.0. Thesis. The thesis we are putting forward here is that Les mots is fundamentally a philosophical work, given in a literary form and dealing with "basically the same philosophical concepts .and postulates as the ones elaborated and developed in Sartre's Questions de methode. This latter i s in fact the introduction to his monumental philosophical work Critique de  l a raison dialectique,•published i n I960; i t i s an introduction in the sense that i t introduces theoretically Sartre's main philosophical concepts and categories, which are practically applied in the Critique de l a raison  dialectique proper. Questions de methode thus contains the theoretical exposition of Sartre's later philosophy. Les mots, on the other hand, can he said to have been written on the basis of the same mode of perceiving and explaining human re a l i t y as was Questions de methode. Put differently, this would mean that the former represents an attempt by Sartre to apply practically, and in a l i t e r a r y form, his perception of human reality and the method for studying i t as elaborated in the latter work. Therefore, we can now say that our thesis proposes to study Les mots in view of our claim that i t is basically a philosophical work couched in a l i t e r a r y form, at the same time always keeping in mind the philosophical categories, postulates and the method from Questionsdderomethode, as well as showing how these are applied in Sartre's autobiography. 1.2.0. Method. The method we propose to use in our analysis of Les mots is a structural method. What was the intention, we can ask, the general 2 aim whi-ch has led to the particular choice of a structural method over other methods and "approaches"? To "begin with, we believe i t is quite evident that a l l criticism of necessity" involves presuppositions, that is to say, our beliefs and assumptions affect our interpretative processes, regardless of whether we are ready to admit i t or not. Thus, although this may sound like a tautology in view of the above, the choice of structuralism as a method to be used in analyzing Les mots i s a consequence of a certain concept of the world, a certain philosophy. However, the intention i s , despite this seeming "relativism", to argue that not a l l c r i t i c a l interpretations have the same status vis-a-vis the works which they try to interpret. In other words, the intention is to deny the claim that differing interpretations of the same work can coexist without our being able either to confirm or dis-confirm them. Structuralism as a method, in our opinion, allows a c r i t i c to show that a lo g i c a l l y presented c r i t i c a l argument is superior to an intuitive, haphazard one. Structuralism is not to be taken as a method of li t e r a r y criticism whereby the main intention is to "prove" a certain intuition of the c r i t i c . On the contrary, i t is a method which allows the c r i t i c to achieve a certain logical consistency which can always be validated "by referring i t back to, and comparing with, the work analyzed. Literary criticism is above a l l a reflexive act, and in order to interpret a l i t e r a r y work, criticism needs to create certain regulative principles, which would allow i t to organize i t s e l f . Indother words, criticism ought to be able to provide an objective method of validation, and this can be achieved through the application of a structural method. 3 The term validation, which implies a logical criterion, is not to!"be con-fused with verification, which i s the empirical criterion. Therefore, when we speak of objective c r i t i c a l interpretation we refer to validity or invalidity of c r i t i c a l arguments in relation to the literary work analyzed. The main aim in our analysis of Sartre's autobiography would ideally be to make i t i n t e l l i g i b l e , and this we propose to try to do by creating a so-called model, by means of which our interpretation w i l l transform the work i t s e l f , precisely in order to make i t i n t e l l i g i b l e . In the structural model we w i l l apply we w i l l try to adhere to two basic principles: f i r s t , that the analysis ought to be coherent, by rigorously following the pro-posed rules of interpretation; and second, that i t ought to be complete, by explaining a l l of the important elements of which the work consists. Con-sequently, we can conclude that our interpretation of Les mots using a structural method has two c r i t e r i a : completeness and coherence. The main aim of our model is therefore to insure the validity of arguments, which can always be tested by comparing them with the work i t s e l f . If the arguments presented in the analysis are valid, then only could we claim that the interpretation (our model) can be said to have an objective relation to Les mots, could we speak of i t s being valid. As we have said earlier, total objectivity in i t s absolute sense is of course impossible. Consequently, what we hope to achieve in our analysis of Sartre's autobiography is to create a structural model which would bear a valid relationship to the work analyzed. Our interpretation through creating a model should hopefully provide us with a new and better under-standing of Sartre's work, which could not have been obtainable otherwise, by mere reading. The method i t s e l f needs a more detailed explanation and definition. We shall therefore f i r s t discuss the main concepts, such as: sign, signification, value of the sign, connotative and metalanguage systems, and relate these to literature and l i t e r a r y criticism. After that we w i l l discuss the model of structural analysis, which we w i l l use in our analysis of Les mots. 1.3.0. Sign. The l i t e r a r y text, as a specific type of signifying practice carried out through language but somehow always remaining irreducible to i t s categories, has always troubled l i t e r a r y criticism. The process of generating meaning, which can be conceived of as a process of signification, as a production which exceeds the sign, has been submitted to various at-tempts at recuperation into rationality, but has always resisted i t , always carrying a surplus of signification. Thus the literary text may be defined as a concept, the specific domain of which is one of signifying practice in which signification, or meaning, is engendered through a double relation: f i r s t l y in relation to a seemingly i n f i n i t e external reality (that i s , external to the text i t s e l f ) , and secondly in relation to the text and i t s constituents in an activity of the generation of meaning. If one accepts the premise that the organizing distinction of art -and in this art differs from other semiological structures - is that the direction toward which i t aims is not that of content only, but rather that of meaning as produced by the relationship which exists between the so-called form and content - or, translating this into semiological terms, 5 we can say that i t s direction is not toward the signified but rather toward that of the sign i t s e l f - then i t should only be logical to use semiological categories as a point of departure in l i t e r a r y analysis. However, i t s use is not as any kind of miraculous synthesis, but rather as a theory of knowledge, as an attempt at reformulation of intellection which starts with the concept which determines i t : the sign. Hence we w i l l f i r s t discuss the question of assigning notions such as sign, i t s components the signifier and the signified, and value of the sign to their, more or less, exact place in the working of the process of signification. Ferdinand de Saussure in his Course in General Linguistics has set the foundations of "a science that studies the l i f e of signs within society"^ which he named semiology. The new science undertook to show what constitutes signs and what laws or rules govern them. Linguistics, according to Saussure, would only be a part of the general science of semiology; the laws which semiology would discover, he thought, would also be applicable to linguistics. For him, language, which is a social institution, is a system of signs expressing ideas. The sign, as Saussure has postulated i t , consists of two terms, both of which are psychological and are united in the human mind by an associa-tive bond. The sign does not unite a thing and a name, he underlined, but a concept and a sound-image. This latter was not the material, physical sound, but a psychological sensation which i t makes on our senses. He named the sound-image "s i g n i f i e r " and the concept "signified", which allowed him to indicate the opposition which exists between the two terms, and which separates them from the whole (that i s , sign) of which they are parts.^ He has established the fact that the signifier and the signified are always in a very close relationship with each other, and that each recalls the other. Attempting to give a more precise analogy he says: "A better choice would be a chemical compound like water, combination of hydrogen and oxygen; taken separately, neither element has any of the properties of water." 3 Saussure has clearly stated that the signified is of the mental nature by the very fact of c a l l i n g i t a concept. For Barthes, on the other hand, the signified is "one of the two relata of the sign; the only difference which opposes i t to the si g n i f i e r is that the latter is a mediator."^ This i s , of course, a functional definition only. There is a general consensus among linguists that the signified is not a "thing a material object, but rather a mental concept, a mental representation o the object. The s i g n i f i e r i s also purely a relatum since i t s definition cannot be given separately from the signified. The main difference is that the signifier is a mediator, which is to say that some sort of matter is necessary for i t s existence. We can therefore conclude that in semiology the substance of the signifier i s of necessity of material nature (that i s , sounds, objects, images).5 in his discussion of the s i g n i f i e r Saussure has postulated his second principle of semiology - his f i r s t postulate relating to the fact that the link which holds together the sig n i f i e r and the signified is arbitrary - which starts from the premise that the s i g n i f i e r , being auditory, unfolds only in time. From this he concludes that, f i r s t l y , the signifier represents a span, and secondly, that the span can be measured in a single dimension (that i s , i t is a lin e ) . However, he makes an exception in this respect in regard to 7 visual signifiers (e.g. nautical signs, etc.) which can he structured in such a manner as to offer simultaneous groupings, whereas auditory sig-n i f i e r s have only the dimension in time. Their elements, being presented in succession, form a chain. Saussure holds this principle to be funda-mental, and i t s consequences "incalculable". The importance of i t , according to him, is easily observable and verifiable when the elements of a chain are represented in writing, where the spatial l i f e of graphic works is substituted for temporal succession.^ l.U.O. Signification. We have mentioned earlier that the sign i s com-posed of the signifier and the signified. The signification i s conceived as a process, that i s to say, i t consists of the act which binds the signi f i e r and the signified, the end result of which is the sign i t s e l f . But this distinction contains again, as in the case of the si g n i f i e r and the signified, classifying value only, since the union which binds the signifier and the signified into a sign derives, to different degrees, i t s value from the social and cultural environment from which i t stems (this we w i l l discuss later on in relation to the value of the sign). There have been various attempts at representing graphically the act which produces the sign and the signification. Saussure himself represented i t in the form of — c o n c e p t — that is ^ r. For him, in sound-image sd order to reach the signified we had to go through the si g n i f i e r , there-SI* fore the formula —- can be taken as the vertical extension of a situation sd in depth. We should also keep in mind that there is a dialectical re-lation between the signifier and the signified in Saussure, which is not 8 apparent from the formula. Lacan, on the other hand, starts off from the S Saussurian formula, which he gives as —, i.e. the si g n i f i e r over the s signified, where "over" represents the line which separates the two levels of the sign. He places the si g n i f i e r and signified as belonging to different orders, which are separated originally "by a barrier resisting signification. He considers this to have allowed an exact study of the relations proper to the si g n i f i e r , and of the relevance of their function as producing the signified.7 As we can see from this Lacan introduces a new dimension to the relationship between the signifier and the signified, which consists in giving i t s own value to the line which separates the relata of the sign. He does this in order to demonstrate that the si g n i f i e r does not simply function as representing the signified. No meaning is sustained by reference to anything but another meaning, which invalidates the notion of the parallelism of the components of the sign, where each one would be taken in i t s globality. We w i l l discuss the relevance of this claim to our proposed analysis later on in this chapter. Another example of graphic representation of the signification has been done by Hjelmslev in a purely graphic manner: the sig n i f i e r com-prises the plane of expression (E), the signified the plane of content (C), and there is a simple relation (R) between them, hence - ERC. The advantage of Hjelmslev's representation, according to Barthes, i s that i t enables us to explain metalanguages, or derivative systems, in an economic manner and without metaphorical f a l s i f i c a t i o n . 9 1.5.0. The value of the sign. Thus far in our discussion of the various attempts at representing the sign as a unity of the si g n i f i e r and the signified, verbally as well as graphically, the sign has been treated "in i t s e l f " , and as an abstract entity, which although to some extent arbitrary has nevertheless been an inevitable abstraction. We have mentioned earlier that the bond which unites the si g n i f i e r and the signified into a sign derives i t s value from the social and cultural environment which, after a l l , has produced and sustained the sign. This brings us to the problem of value of the sign, which plays a fundamental role in Saussure's linguistics. Discussingtthe interrelatedness and interdependence of the components of the sign, he says that neither thought (without language) nor phonic substance is either fixed or r i g i d in an by i t s e l f . He compares their relation with that of the air in contact with a surface of water; any change in the atmospheric pressure w i l l cause the water to break up into a number of waves, and these can be compared with the bond or union which exists between thought and phonic substance. Language i s the domain of articulations; thus each term is an articulus and member, whereby a sound becomessa sign only inasmuch as an idea is contained in a sound(§). Saussure gives an even better metaphor: language can be compared with a piece of paper whereby the thought and the sound are placed on the front and on the back of the paper respectively; by cutting the paper we could not divide the thought from the sound, nor vice versa. This, as we have already pointed out, can only be accomplished on an abstract level. Since the value which every sign has is derived from the social environment, therefore related to i t , i t would be, according 10 to Saussure, misleading to consider the sign as only the union of a certain sound with a certain concept. He f i r s t discusses the problem of value in relation to the signified, and defines a seeming paradox where the concept seems to have as i t s counterpart the sound-image, while the sign i t s e l f at the same time is also the counterpart of the other signs. He invokes his example of the sheet of paper in order to show that i f we cut the paper into different pieces A, B, C, D, etc., i t would be apparent that there definitely would be a different relation between the front pieces A. B, C, D, etc. among themselves, and the back pieces A 1, B', C , D', etc. He explains this phenomenon by claiming that a l l values, even outside l i n g -uistics^ are "governed by the same paradoxical principle",^ namely, a value, and therefore the sign also, i s composed of a dissimilar thing which can be exchanged for another thing (e.g. the s i g n i f i e r and signified), and of a similar thing which can be compared with another thing. Thus a word can be exchanged for an idea (a dissimilar thing), as well as compared with another word (a similar thing?); therefore the value of a word i s not fixed because i t can be "exchanged" for a certain concept (that i s , i t has a certain signification). In order to have i t s content fixed i t has to be compared with other words; inasmuch as a word i s a part of a certain sys-tem, i t is endowed not only with a signification but with a value as well. Consequently, we can conclude from the above that values which words have emanate from the system to which they belong. I n i t i a l l y the concept (i.e. the signified) i s nothing, and then becomes a value, which is determined by i t s relations with similar values of the same system, and the s i g n i f i c a -tion which the concept has would not exist without other similar values.-^ 11 Discussing value of the signifier Saussure says that "the conceptual side of value is made up solely of relations and differences with respect to the other terms of language, and the same can be said of i t s material side"-1"'- (i.e. the s i g n i f i e r ) . Differences produce signification, he claims, and therefore i t is the acoustic differences which render i t possible to distinguish any one word from a l l the others. Since Saussure believes that everything said about words applies equally to any term of language (e.g. grammatical entities), and i f we reverse Saussure's claim that "linguistics is only a part of general science of semiology",-^ and conclude, along with Barthes, that " i t is semiology which i s a part of linguistics: to be precise, i t is that part covering the great signifying unities of dis-course", i t w i l l logically follow that everything that has been said about the linguistic sign - i t s components, their interrelations, and signification - can be applied to any other system of signs. We shall return to this later on i n our discussion of staggered systems. 1.6.0. Connotative-Metalanguage Systems. Thus far we have discussed only the denotative semiology, which i s i n Hjelmslevian linguistics described as a semiotics in which neither the signifier (the plane of expression) nor the signified (the plane of content) is a semiotic, i.e. neither of the two is comprised of a sign. There are also systems of signification whose plane of expression i t s e l f consists of a sign of another, lower system: these are connotative systems, in which we have one semiotic system (system of significations) imposed on the other. The individual relata of the denotative system (the si g n i f i e r and the signified) and the 12 signification generated by their relation form the sign i f i e r of the con-notative system. This sig n i f i e r Hjelmslev calls connotator. From this we can define a connotative system as a system whose plane of expression (connotator) i t s e l f consists of a signifying system. Barthes points out that these connotative systems very often consist of complex systems, the f i r s t system of which is formed by language, which i s , for example, the case with literature. Several denotative signs, i f grouped together in such a way as to produce a single signified of connotation, may form a single connotator. Regardless of the mode in which a connotative system is imposed on the top of a denotative system, connotation never really ex-hausts i t because there always remains "something denoted". This i s very important because i f i t were not the case, discourse would not be possible.15 A connotative system (and literature is one) is a system which is not a language, and one whose plane of expression i s , as Hjelmslev says, "pro-vided" by the plane of content and thepplane of expression of a denotative system (e.g. language). The plane of content (the signified) of a con-notative system refers to things external to the system i t s e l f ; i t is related to different aspects of the social surrounding, such as history and culture for example. The second group of these staggered or disjointed systems are systems whose plane of content (the signified') i s i t s e l f comprised of another system; a l l metalanguages belong to this group, hence the name metalanguage systems. In Hjelmslev's terminology i t stands for a semiotic whose plane of content is another semiotic. Linguistics, for example, would be one such system, lit e r a r y criticism another; semiology in general would be yet another 13 example of metalanguage, because as a second-order system i t takes over a f i r s t language (denotative system) -which is the system studied. Although Barthes is basically reiterating what Hjelmslev has said elsewhere Barthes has nevertheless applied these basically linguistic categories to a semiological study of a definitely wider scope. The concept of metalanguage, for him, should not be limited to s c i e n t i f i c languages only; whenever ordinary language, as a denotative system, takes over and incorporates a system of signifying objects, i t i t s e l f becomes a metalanguage.If This would evidently be the case with literary criticism in relation to literature, for example, as we w i l l see later on. 1.7.0. Literature - Literary Criticism. Literature, as we have said, i s a connotative system and as such consists of the plane of expression (the signifier) which i s i t s e l f comprised of a sign of another system (i.e. -of the signifier and the signified of the denotative system) and a plane of content (the signified). Literary criticism, as a metalanguage, consists also of the plane of expression (the s i g n i f i e r ) , but i t s plane of content (the signified) i s a semiotic, i.e. the content of which is a semiotic (this being literature). Literary criticism therefore must treat a l i t e r a r y work as a sign, that i s , i t must treat the si g n i f i e r and the signified of the literary work, as well as the signification generated by the relationship which exists between them. Literary criticism i t s e l f consists of both relata of the sign, namely, of the si g n i f i e r and the signified. The former uses language as i t s means, as i t s tool, whereas the latter deals with a literary work as a semiotic (i.e. as a connotative system). Thus literary criticism deals with, and i t s plane of content Ik consists of, f i r s t l y , the plane of expression (the s i g n i f i e r ) , and secondly, the plane of content (the signified) of the literary work under scrutiny. The thrust of our argument thus far has "been to show: f i r s t , that literature i s a connotative system and that l i t e r a r y criticism has of necessity to include in i t s analysis both the plane of expression and the plane of content; second, that the relationship which exists between these two planes of the literary work analyzed is such that i t i s not meaningful, nor i n t e l l i g i b l e , to discuss either of the two separately. There have been arguments that structural analysis should concern i t s e l f only with the plane of expression (the signifier) of the work analyzed, but this, as we have seen, is impossible (I am referring to prose works only); i f the plane of content and the plane of expression are relata of the same sign, i t then becomes obvious that such an analysis would not be complete. We have mentioned earlier Lacan's formulation of the problem of the sign and the relationship of i t s components. He argues that i f his formula — (with the line bearing i t s own value) i s tenable - whereby the formula i t s e l f i s only a function of the s i g n i f i e r - then i t presents only the structure of a signifier in the transfer, and this structure i s contained in i t s articulation. The nature of the signifier is such that i t i n -cessantly anticipates meaning by gradually revealing i t s dimension before it.1 8 From this he concludes that "we can say that i t i s in the chain, of the sig n i f i e r that the meaning 'insists 1 but that none of i t s elements 'consists' i n the meaning of which i t i s at the moment capable."^ This i s very important for the structuring of our model, and at the same time 15 i t makes up the second point at which Lacan differs from the Saussurian formula in that i t claims that the signifier i t s e l f is global and consists of a multilevelled chain. In other words, we can say that l i t e r a r y dis-course aligns i t s e l f along several levels, and this is f a c i l i t a t e d by Lacan's introduction of the notion of an incessant sliding of the signified under the s i g n i f i e r , which coincide only at certain points. 1 . 8 . 0 . Model. Now, i f we accept the definition which describes literature as a system of signs, we can say that the narrative of a l i t e r a r y work (the signifier - the plane of expression) is i t s e l f global and consists of a multilevelled chain since a l l discourse aligns i t s e l f along several levels. Applied to our proposed model, this would mean that i n order to analyze Sartre's work as a system of signs we ought f i r s t to analyze the narrative of Les mots as the structure of the narrative in the transfer, and this structure is i t s articulation. In other words, in order to arrive at the meaning of the work as a whole, we w i l l have f i r s t to analyze the structure of the narrative of Sartre's autobiognaphy. However, this structure is always in i t s articulation, and the articulation i s to be understood as the generation, production of meaning of the work. From this we can con-clude that Les mots as a l i t e r a r y work i s posited as the object of our analysis as a system of production of signification, and not as a closed system with a given sense. Thus our proposed analysis w i l l start with a classification of signifiers of Les mots, and this w i l l in fact be the structuring of Sartre's narrative. The f i r s t step w i l l consist in dividing the seemingly 16 i n f i n i t e message of the narrative, which is composed of a l l the messages emitted at the level of the text, into smaller units. Thus in Chapter II we w i l l analyze the functions as the smallest narrative unities of the narrative. This w i l l mean grouping them into two groups representing the jfewo most important aspects in studying individual history, which are always present in Les mots, and which Sartre elaborates e x p l i c i t l y in his Questions  de methode. These are f i r s t the family influence on the young child, and second the various reactions of the child to the environment in which he lived. Therefore, in this chapter we w i l l analyze how young Jean-Paul grew up, that i s , we w i l l analyze not only the material conditions in which he grew up, but also the whole social, cultural and ideological spectrum of influences of a certain class, in a certain era. These are the categories and concepts from Questions de methode, which Sartre has applied to studying his own history, and which we w i l l discuss and relate to Les mots in Chapter IV. The second step in analyzing the narrative o'f Sartre's work w i l l consist in grouping the functions into larger paradigmatic unities (level of Actions), and analyzing the highest level of the narrative (level of Narration). Therefore, in Chapter III we w i l l analyze the main characters in Sartre's autobiography, as well as the narrative technique used by the author. The latte r represents i n fact three different aspects of his regressive-progressive analytico-synthetic method on which the whole structure of Les mots is based. The characters w i l l be analyzed employing the concepts of need, project and lived experience which, as Sartre argues in Questions de methode, are the three most fundamental aspects of human 17 praxis and are hence necessary for studying individual history. Our analysis of the narrative technique used in Les mots w i l l show the main forms of Sartre's regressive-progressive analytico-synthetic method by means of which he endeavours to study his own history, as an example of his proposed method for studying human history in general. Whereas Chapters II and III of our model deal with the narrative (i.e. the plane of expression) of Les mots, in Chapter IV we w i l l analyze Sartre's work in i t s to t a l i t y , the meaning of which is generated through the different, levels of the narrative and their interrelatedness. We w i l l do this by re-lating the main philosophical categories and postulates from Questions de  methode to Les mots, inasmuch, of course, as they are present in the latter. We w i l l therefore analyze each of the main philosophical categories, such as, for example: alienation, project, comprehension, regressive-progressive analytico-synthetic method, etc., always relating these to Sartre's auto-biography, endeavouring to show the extent and the forms in which these have been employed in Les mots. 18 CHAPTER I: NOTES Ferdinand de Saussure, Course in General Linguistics, trans, with an introduction and notes "by Wade Baskin (New York: McGraw-Hill Book Company, 1966) , p. 16. 2 Ibid., pp. 65-67. 3 Ibid. , p. 68.-^ Roland Barthes, Elements of Semiology, trans. Annette Lavers and Colin Smith ^ Saussure, p. 70. 6 Ibid. , p. -75-' Jacques Lacan, "The insistence of the Letter in the Unconscious," The Structuralists from Marx to Levi-Strauss, ed. Richard and Fernande De George (Garden City, New York: Doubleday and Company, Inc., 1972) , p. 291. 8 Saussure, pp. 112-113. 9 Ibid., p. Ilk. 1 0 Ibid., pp. 115-117. 1 1 Ibid., p. 118. 1 2 Ibid., p. 16. ^-3 Barthes, p. 11. EouissHgelmslev, Prolegomena to a Theory of Language, trans. Francis J. Whitfield (Madison: The University of Wisconsin Press, 1 9 6 9 ) , pp. l l U - 1 1 9 . x 5 Barthes, p. 91 . 1 6 Hjelmslev, pp. ll l * - 1 2 5 . 1 ^ Barthes, p. 92.-1 8 Lacan, pp. 291-296. 1 9 I b i d . , p. 297-20 CHAPTER II To state that the narrative of a li t e r a r y text is not a simple sum of propositions, but rather a complex structured unity in which we can distinguish different levels of meaning, is not to state yet another com-monplace of literary criticism but rather to pose a fundamental question which every analysis of the narrative of a literary text must take as i t s point of departure. In order to classify the enormous mass of elements which every literary text contains and presents to the reader, we have f i r s t of a l l to delineate the levels of the narrative of the text. These levels always stand in a hierarchical relationship to each other, which is made f a i r l y obvious by the fact that none of them can by i t s e l f produce the meaning generated by the text. Accepting Roland Barthes' basic division of description of the narrative in his "introduction a 1'analyse structurale des recits",-'- I propose to analyze Les mots by Jean-Paul Sartre on three different levels: (l) that of functions, (-2) that of actions, and ( 3 ) that of narration. LEVEL ONE: FUNCTIONS Barthes defines basic narrative unities of the text as functions in the sense that "c'est le caractere fonctionnel de certains segments de l'histoire qui en fa i t des unites: d'ou le nom de 'fonctions'. Every part of the story which presents i t s e l f as a term of the same correlation in the narrative (i.e. of the same causal, complementary or reciprocal 21 relationship in which there exists a functional, structural or qualitative correspondence between various comparable entities) forms a narrative unity. The essence of a function i s , " s i l'on peut dire, son germe, ce qui l u i permet d'ensemencer le recit d'un element qui murira plus tard, sur l e meme niveau, o u a i l l e u r s , sur un autre niveau." 3 From this we can conclude that a function is "une unite de contenu: c'est 'ce que veut dire' un enonce qui le constitue en unite fonctionnelle, non l a facon dont cela est d i t . " ^ Every li t e r a r y text contains in i t s e l f several different types of correlation, and since we have described functions (as narrative unities) as terms of the same correlation in the narrative, we can thus conclude that there are also several different types of function as well. These can be divided into two major groups: f i r s t , the family and second, the project functions. The group of the family functions contains a l l the narrative unities of the text dealing with the various crucial influences which the family, through i t s many forms of mediation, exerted on young Jean-Paul. The second group, that of the project functions, contains a l l the narrative unities which have as their subject the most important pro-jects which Sartre undertook, consciously or unconsciously, in his reacting to the family influence and in order to f u l f i l l his needs and desires as well as overcome his anxieties and frustrations. 1.0.0. Family. The family functions are at the very basis of the whole structure of functions i n Les mots. The internal structuring of a function is complex; there are two main classes of functional structures or narrative unities: "certaines unites ont pour correlats des unites de meme niveau; 22 au contraire, pour saturer les autres, i l faut passer a un autre niveau."5 The f i r s t group is distributional - these are functions proper.- and the second is integrative - these are indices. What Barthes means is that each distributional narrative unity has as i t s • correlative another unity of the same level o-f the narrative. An integrative unity, however, refers back not to an act or event complementary and consequent to the unity i t s e l f , as is the case with the distributional unities, but rather refers back to a concept more or less diffused, necessary to the meaning of the story. Here the relation of the unity and its'corre-late i s not distributional any more, i.e. on the same level as the narrative, but integrative, i.e. on a different narrative level, thereby integrating, connecting different narrative levels. 1.1.0. Distributional Unities. Distributional unities themselves can be divided into two groups: one group is cardinal functions, or nuclei, and the second group i s catalysts. Nuclei and catalysts 'are functional unities of unequal importance: the latter serve only to " f i l l i i n " the narrative spaces which separate the nuclei, whereas the former are the most important functional unities. 1.1.1. • Nuclei. We shall therefore begin our analysis by tracing the nuclei of the family functions. But f i r s t we ought to define a nucleus and i t s functionality. This, again, is based on Barthes' proposed analysis of the narrative, although, I should add, with many changes as to the practical usage and the level of the application of his concepts. 23 The sanction of a nucleus, as w e l l as that of a catalyst, i s always further on i n the t e x t , that i s , i t i s always a syntagmatic sanction. "Pour qu'une fonction s o i t cardinale," Barthes writes, " i l s u f f i t que 1 'action a laquelle e l l e se refere ouvre (ou maintienne, ou ferme) une alternative consequente pour l a suite de l ' h i s t o i r e , href qu'elle inaugure ou conclue une incertitude'/"^ Nuclei thus can be defined as points of r i s k , or turning points, of the narrative: "Le l i e u qui unit deux fonctions cardinales, s'i n v e s t i t une f o n c t i o n a l i t e double," and what should be stressed here i s that t h i s double f u n c t i o n a l i t y i s "a l a fois chronologique et logique." Therefore, "les fonctions cardinales sont a l a f o i s consecutives et consequentes."7 The relationship which exists between the nuclei i n the narrative i s consequently one of s o l i d a r i t y since there i s a r e c i p r o c i t y between them. The consequence of t h i s i s that nuclei "ne peuvent etre determinees par leur 'importance', mais seulement par l a nature (doublement implicative) de leurs r e l a t i o n s . " 8 The f i r s t nucleus i n the whole chain of the family functions i s , i n -dubitably, the death of Jean-Baptiste Sartre. This was a c r u c i a l event i n the l i f e of his son Jean-Paul; i t sent his mother back to her parental chains and gave him freedom. Had his father l i v e d , Sartre says, he would most l i k e l y have exerted such a strong influence on his son that i t would have crushed him.9 In the absence of a father Sartre grew up surrounded by his mother, his grandmother and his grandfather. The relationships of these people among themselves, and each one of them toward young Jean-Paul, had the most profound influence on what became Sartre's basic character as a c h i l d as w e l l as on the very d i r e c t i o n i n which t h i s development l a t e r 2k took place. The f i r s t nucleus of the family functions thus sets the stage as well as provides the actors for the formative drama i n Sartre's l i f e which took place i n the period between his s i x t h and eleventh years. Sartre's grandfather was a teacher of German, who taught at his own Modern Language I n s t i t u t e and was a co-author of the Deutsches Lesebuch: " J ' a i commence ma vie comme je l a f i n i r a i sans doute: au mil i e u des l i v r e s . Dans l e bureau de mon grand-pere, i l y en avait part out'.'" (p. 37) . Long before he learned to read, young Sartre was made aware of the mystical importance of books. He was a witness to a r i t u a l of handling and reading those revered, sacred c u l t u r a l objects i n which his grandparents d a i l y participated, and the high p r i e s t of which was Charles Schweitzer. The atmosphere was thus reminiscent of " l a messe", " l a mort", " l e sommeil"; Sartre would be f i l l e d with "silence sacre" (p. 3 8 ) . The attitude toward and reverence for.books, which Charles held, had the most profound and c r u c i a l influence on Sartre's development, and th i s comprises the second nucleus of the family functions. A l l t h i s pointed i n one dir e c t i o n : Sartre was " l e p e t i t - f i l s d'un artisan s p e c i a l i s e dans l a fabrication des objets saints, aussi respectable qu'un facteur d'orgues, qu'un t a i l l e u r pour ecclesiastiques" (p. 39)- The consequence of t h i s quasi-re l i g i o u s atmosphere of reverence for books was that the c h i l d , even before he knew how to read, was prepared "a t r a i t e r l e professorat comme un sacerdoce et l a l i t t e r a t u r e comme une passion" (p. ko). The following nucleus deals with Sartre's i n i t i a l comprehension of and r e l a t i o n to the world as was revealed to him i n books i n his very early stages of reading. The preceding nucleus has p a r t i a l l y made i t 25 possible (Charles' reverence for books and clerks who write them, the fact that the whole family's well-being depended on teaching and books, etc.) to see that Sartre's early acquired Platonic idealism in relation to the real world was in fact a logical consequence, given the intellectual atmosphere of a petit-bourgeois teacher dominant in the Schweitzer family: . . . j ' a l l a i s du savoir a, son objet; je trouvais a l'idee plus de realite qu'a l a chose, parce qu'elle se donnait a moi d'abord et parce qu'elle se donnait comme une chose. . . . j'ai confondu le desordre de mes experiences livresques avec le cours hasardeux des evenements reels. (p. h6) The force of this philosophical idealism was such that, according to Sartre himself, i t took him thirty years to overcome. This belief of Sartre's, with which he was imbued through his family, was nevertheless only the i n i t i a l , unconscious reaction of a child confronted with the imaginary of the books read by children in France in that era. Sartre's f i r s t consciously asked question and more importantly the answer given to him by his grandfather comprise the next nucleus: "de quoi parlent les livers? Qui les ecrit? Pourquoi?" (p. 5 l ) . The reasons which prompted Sartre to pose this question stem from the fact,that, as we have seen in the preceding nucleus, for him at the time the real world was contained in books: "Nos visiteurs prenaient conge, je restais seul, je m'evadais de ce banal cimetiere, j ' a l l a i s rejoindre l a vie, l a f o l i e dans les l i v r e s . " (p. hf). He lived in the "reality" of the books he read, he tried to understand them, to cope with a myriad questions raised in and by them. But, at the same time, he was afraid of f a l l i n g headlong and getting lost in the universe of books, of not being able to return to 1, rue Le Goff, Karlemami and his mother: "Et, d'un autre cote, je devinais que 26 ces defiles de phrases offraient aux lecteurs adultes des significations qui se derobaient a moi" (p. 50). Charles' answer was machiavellian. Authors, he said, were the Saints and the Prophets. Genius was given to them by the Holy Ghost only as a loan: i t must be deserved by suffering and accepted firmly and humbly. Authors wrote through the inspiration, at the dictation of the Holy Ghost. Charles' portrayal of writers as martyrs and sufferers who led uninteresting lives - although meant to disgust his grandson with writers, who after a l l were just mere intermediaries of the Holy Ghost - achieved in fact the opposite result: Sartre, in his own words merged talent with merit (p. 56). Charles himself did not believe in God. Being a Protestant, he never missed a chance of ridiculing Catholicism and was utterly dis-gusted with saintliness. The stories he used to t e l l in the c i r c l e of his family show unequivocally what he thought of religion in general and the eccentricities of the Saints in particular. Sartre's grand-mother Louise was a Catholic who apparently believed in nothing. It was her scepticism alone, Sartre t e l l s us, which prevented her from being an atheist. Growing up between an a n t i c l e r i c a l , de-Christianized grandfather and a sceptical, non-believing "Catholic" grandmother, Sartre was led to disbelief not, as he says, by the conflict of dogmas, but rather by the indifference of his grandparents (p. 87)• This disbelief of Sartre's, which later developed into a very strongly f e l t atheism, comprises the f i f t h nucleus of the family functions. The following nucleus deals with the episode in which Charles again was the instrumental factor. He was for a long time displeased 27 with his grandson's long, curly hair and did not want to have his "petit-f i l s devienne une poule mouillee!" (p. 8 9 ) . One day he took the seven-year old Jean-Paul to a barber shop and had his lovely ringlets cut off. The consequences of this act were profound although Sartre himself was not consciously aware of them at the time; i t was not any more possible for the family and their friends to ignore Sartre's "laideur". Anne-Marie concealed from her son her grief and disappointment with his shorn looks. Nevertheless, Sartre says: "Mais je me sentais mal dans mon peau. Les amis de ma famille me jetaient des regards soucieux ou perplexes que je surprenais souvent. Mon public devenait de jour en jour plus d i f f i c i l e ; i l f a l l u t me depenser; j'appuyai mes effets et j'en vins a jouer faux" (p. 9 1 ) . Jean-Paul started writing. Anne-Marie's l i t t l e angel, shorn of his lovely ringlets, was now encouraged to write. This was, tenefcfeels, to compensate for his lost angelic appearance. She would bring visitors to show them the young creator who, writing at his desk, would pretend to be so preoccupied with his writing as not evenvt-o notice them. Everybody contributed in encouraging him: his uncle gave him a small typewriter, Mme. Picard brought him a globe, his mother copied out one of his novels; everybody, that i s , except Charles, who disapproved not of the fact that Jean-Paul was writing, but of the choice of his grandson's topics. Charles was "outre de retrouver sous ma plume les 'betises' de mes journaux favoris. Par l a suite, i l se desinteressa de mon oeuvre" (p. 1 2 ^ ) , but the encouragement of the rest of his family as well as that of the family friends persisted. Mme. Picard was soon to declare that "ce petit ecrira" (p. 1 3 1 ) , becoming thereby the f i r s t person to discover the "sign" 28 which the future great writer and philosopher bore on his brow. His mother was secretly proud and overjoyed. Charles was, very cautiously of course, informed about the great prophecies, to which he reacted by merely nodding, only to be heard by Jean-Paul soon afterwards, oh the occasion when his german students came to v i s i t him, saying that his grandson had " l a bosse de l a litterature." And thus he drove Sartre, even without intending to, into a new imposture which changed his grandson's l i f e . Sartre t e l l s us that Charles did not really believe in what he said, and apparently wanted his grandson to become a teacher of German. Jean-Paul, grandson of an Alsatian, who was at the same time a born Frenchman, was to be his grandfather's avenger. Charles, who had chosen France in 1870 when the province was occupied by the Germans was, in Sartre's words, caught between two nations, between two languages. Wot completely belonging to either of the two and being discriminated against by the French, he, along with the other Alsatians who opted for France, as Sartre says: "avaient f a i t des etudes irregulieres et leur culture avait des trous" (p. 1 3 2 ) . Consequently Charles had planned to help his grandson acquire "un savoir universel" and become that prince of men, a teacher of letters. Therefore the statement that his grandson would become a writer can only be taken into consideration in the light of the above. Thus when we discuss the whole psychological mechanism behind this crucial event in Sartre's l i f e , and especially i t s effectiveness, we ought always to keep in mind that Charles' talk about his grandson's bump of literature was meant paradoxically to divert the latter from even con-sidering literature as a future vocation. 29 One evening Charles had a man-to-man talk with Jean-Paul specifically in order to explain to his grandson that the vocation of writer was in fact very d i f f i c u l t , that the society in which the writer lived did not appreciate writers, that one could not support oneself hy writing only. A l l this with the intention of pointing out to his grandson that he should choose another vocation, that of teacher, and thus combine one priestly function with the other. The picture of writers which Charles depicted was indeed a very gloomy and bleak one: " l a litterature ne nourrissait pas," "des ecrivains fameux etaient morts de faim," "d'autres, pour manger, s'etaient vendus" (p. 133). Writing thus appeared to young Jean-Paul so uninteresting and inconsequential an activity that he did not doubt, even for a moment, that i t was in fact meant to be his profession. The reason, Sartre says, for his having listened to his grandfather's advice on that particular occasion -although he misunderstood Charles' "grandfatherly" persuasion - was that he took i t for that of the dead father. Charles was Moses dictating Sartre's new law: "II n'avait mentionne ma vocation que pour en souligner les desavantages: j'en conclus qu'il l a tenait pour acquise. . . . II me convainquit de ma vocation en me faisant comprendre que ces fastueux desordres ne m'etaient pas reserves" (pp. 13^-135). This brings to a conclusion another nucleus of the family function: Sartre, i n his own words, like a l l dreamers who confuse.disenchantment with truth, accepted the ponderously serious, t r i f l i n g vocation of a writer. The eighth and last nucleus of the family functions was a direct, although unintentional, consequence of an attempt by Charles to awaken his grandson to the s p i r i t of humanism. Charles who, as we have seen at the very beginning of the book, was supposed to become a priest, only to 30 change the priesthood of the Church into that of a man of letters, "avait garde le Divin pour le verser dans l a Culture" (p. 1 5 0 ) . The world for him was too susceptible to E v i l ; the only way of salvation was to renounce the World and the worldly pleasures and to search for a salvation i n the noble contemplation of the World and Ideas.- This, of course, was possible only for a small number of a chosen body of specialists; these were writers and artists. They were assigned to rescue the whole world from i t s e v i l and be s t i a l i t y ; a l l that was needed was f i r s t l y "que l'on conservat dans des locaux surveilles les reliques - t o i l e s , l i v r e s , statues des clercs morts," and secondly "qu'il restat au moins un clerc vivant pour con-tinuer l a besogne et fabriquer les reliques futures" (p. 1 5 l ) -These ideas had taken root in Sartre's mind; they exerted a very profound influence on him by providing a rationale for assigning a new role to the writer, whom unti l then he had conceived of as a writer-hero, or writer-knight. Under the influence of Charles' ideas about culture Sartre now transformed his writer-hero into a writer-martyr, regarding works of art as metaphysical events the existence of which was of such a capital importance that i t affected the universe, no less. Charles Schweitzer had, as we have seen, replaced the religion of Christian Church for that of a petit-bourgeois, nineteenth-century religion of Culture. Jean-Paul, a frustrated believer, found in Culture, and part-icularly in-Writing, a religion and made i t his in order, as he says, to g i l d his dull vocation (p. 1 5 1 ) -1 . 1 . 2 . Catalysts. The second group of distributional unities of the narrative are catalysts. Their function consists in " f i l l i n g i n " the 31 narrative space which separates nuclei. The relationship which exists between nuclei and catalysts i s one of simple implication: that i s , a catalyst always necessarily implies the existence of a nucleus to which i t i s attached, but not vice versa. Whereas one can think of nuclei as comprising the armature of the narrative structure, catalysts remain functional to the extent that they enter into correlation with n u c l e i ; but t h e i r f u n c t i o n a l i t y i s lessened, u n i l a t e r a l , p a r a s i t i c : i t i s a purely chronological functionality. We have seen that nuclei represent the points of alternative of a l i t e r a r y t e x t ; the role of catalysts, on the other hand, i s to provide zones of security and rest. Although the f u n c t i o n a l i t y of a catalyst thus defined may seem to be purely redundant i n r e l a t i o n to i t s nucleus, a catalyst does not participate i n the economy of the message or the production of the meaning any the l e s s . In f a c t , there i s no redundancy: "une notation, en apparence expletive, a toujours une fonction discursive: e l l e accelere, retarde, relance l e discourse, e l l e resume, anticipe, parfois meme deroute."1(-' Hence, we can conclude that a catalyst " r e v e i l l e sans cesse l a tension semantique du discours, d i t sans cesse: i l y a eu, i l va y. avoir du sens."-^ Thus, once we have analyzed the nuclei i t becomes easy to trace the catalysts: they exist i n the spaces between the nuclei. Since, i n a certain manner, catalysts exist by virtue of the existence of t h e i r n u c l e i i t i s not necessary to analyze extensively either the former or a l l t h e i r examples present i n the text. We s h a l l analyze one such example only with the intention of f i r s t showing i t s r e l a t i o n to the nucleus, and second i t s f u n c t i o n a l i t y , always keeping i n mind that i t 32 i s only the former ( i . e . the form of the relation) which i s variable, whereas the fu n c t i o n a l i t y always remains the same. Another reason which would make an extensive analysis of c a t a l y t i c functions of the text re-dundant i s that by having traced and analyzed the nuclei we have already traced the catalysts themselves as those narrative spaces which exist be-tween the former, and have thus given them i n t h e i r negative d e f i n i t i o n . However, we must be cautious because t h i s i s not to imply that the whole of each one of these narrative spaces has a c a t a l y t i c function. The catalyst I have chosen to discuss precedes the nucleus i n which, as our analysis of i t has shown, Sartre relates how he was led to d i s b e l i e f i n God not so much by the c o n f l i c t of dogmas (Catholic and Protestant), which was constantly enacted i n his family, but rather by the indifference of his grandparents. Sartre t e l l s us, after just having talked about his fear of death which almost bordered on obsession, how, had he believed i n God at the time, God would have managed things for him. He needed re-l i g i o n , longed for i t and, at the very beginning, i t was a remedy indeed. Although r e l i g i o n was not denied to Sartre, he l a t e r came to the r e a l i z a t i o n that the fashionable God i n whom he had been taught to believe was not the one whom his soul awaited (p. Qh). S t i l l , t h i s was not enough to divert the six-year old c h i l d from accepting r e l i g i o n , which would have provided answers for most of the questions and unconscious anxieties which young Jean-Paul had at the time. The catalyst continues with Sartre explaining that his family, just l i k e the rest of the French society at the turn of the century, was affected by the slow movement of de-Christianization which had started with V o l t a i r e , and without which his Catholic grandmother might not have 3 3 married a Lutheran. Thus the reader is slowly brought to the realization that the attitude of Sartre's family toward religion5.was no more than a pretentious farce. "Naturellement," he says, "tout le monde croyait, chez nous: par discretion" (p. 8 5 ) . Sartre then juxtaposes two images: that of an atheist, as a gentle-man who had religious convictions, withhthatfo£.aebeMreverhwhb.ihad .none ; in his family, faith was just a high-sounding name for " l a douce liberte francaise." Bourgeois "bonne societe" needed God and believed in Him in order not to speak of Him. Charles Schweitzer, who played the leading role i n the family play-acting, needed a Great Spectator, but thought about God only "dans les moments de pointe." Being certain of finding God at the moment of his death, he consequently made sure to keep Him out of his l i f e (pp. 8 5 - 8 6 ) . And from this introduction to the religious atmosphere of his family, Sartre proceeds to develop the nucleus of which we have spoken earlier. Now we can follow the slow progression of the narrative from the point where Sartre t e l l s how, when he was five, he saw death which lay in wait for him; then this fear of death develops, through different episodes, into a much larger existential problem of meaning of l i f e ("la mort b r i l l a i t par son absence"), to the concluding realization of his own profound uselessness ("Je me sentais de trop"), which produced a genuine neurosis of feeling superfluous. It i s precisely at this point that Sartre introduces the catalyst which we have just discussed. It 1 i s evident from the above example that the catalytic function here i s manifold: i t serves to " f i l l i n " the narrative space between the two 3h nuclei (the f i r s t of the project and the second of the family functions), as w e l l as to introduce and prepare for i t s own nucleus of the family functions, thereby accelerating the discourse while at the same time anticipating the meaning of i t s nucleus. 1.2.0. Integrative Unities. The second group of functional u n i t i e s i n the structure of the narrative i s integrative u n i t i e s . Whereas a d i s -t r i b u t i o n a l unity has as i t s correlate another unity at the same l e v e l of narrative (thus being "horizontal"), i n order to understand what the notation of an integrative unity serves i n the structure of the narrative we have to pass on to another, higher l e v e l , namely that of actants and/or narration. In other words, i t i s precisely t h i s " v e r t i c a l " nature of integrative unities which makes them t r u l y semantic; that i s , these uni t i e s do not refer to an "operation" but rather to a s i g n i f i e d . This means that - while the sanction of d i s t r i b u t i o n a l u n i t i e s i s always further on i n the text and thus on the same l e v e l (syntagmatic sanction) - the sanction of integrative unities i s always higher, on a higher l e v e l and i s thus a paradigmatic sanction. What i s very important to note i s that i n analyzing integrative u n i t i e s we must always bear i n mind that "les unites qui s'y trouvent ont en commun de ne pouvoir etre saturees (completees)," by being semantic, by r e f e r r i n g to a s i g n i f i e d - "qu'au niveau des personnages ou de l a narra-t i o n . " 1 2 Just as d i s t r i b u t i o n a l unities have two l e v e l s , integrative unities can also be divided into two subgroups: that of indices and that of informants. 35 1 . 2.1. Indices. As t h e i r name implies indices as narrative unities only point to something, refer to i t without d i r e c t l y , e x p l i c i t l y dealing with i t . Being an integrative unity - that i s , of " v e r t i c a l " , paradigmatic nature - an index does not refer or point to a s i g n i f i e r , but rather to a s i g n i f i e d . Their s i g n i f i e d i s therefore always an i m p l i c i t one and thus requires an a c t i v i t y of "deciphering" on theapartfofhtheereader. The con-sequence of t h e i r having an i m p l i c i t s i g n i f i e d only i s that the function-a l i t y of these narrative unities can be only on the l e v e l of the story i t s e l f and not on that of the d i s c o u r s e . 1 3 There are three kinds of indices: one refers to somebody's character, the second to an atmosphere and the t h i r d to a philosophy. Therefore, when we analyze indices we ought to keep i n mind that although an index may seem to describe a character, or define an atmosphere or a philosophy e x p l i c i t l y and f u l l y , we are s t i l l at the l e v e l of the s i g n i f i e r , because the s i g -n i f i e d and the s i g n i f i c a t i o n of the index we are analyzing (despite i t s being seemingly quite e x p l i c i t and comprehensive on the l e v e l of the story) can he comprehended f u l l y only on a higher l e v e l of the narrative, that i s on the l e v e l of actants and/or narration. The progression of our analysis w i l l be from the s p e c i f i c to the general, that i s , we s h a l l f i r s t discuss the indices r e f e r r i n g to characters, then proceed to the ones re f e r r i n g to the atmosphere i n which Jean-Paul grew up, to end our discussion of the indices of the family -functions group by analyzing the most general of them - those r e f e r r i n g to the philosophy prevalent at the time of Sartre's childhood. Although the text contains very many referencessto d i f f e r e n t characters - and especially those of Charles, Louise and Anne-Marie -36 these are u s u a l l y of an a u x i l i a r y type; i n other words, they are e i t h e r a part of another narrative unity or are more of an anecdotal nature, and consequently cannot make up n a r r a t i v e u n i t i e s of t h e i r own. Indices which do comprise n a r r a t i v e u n i t i e s are those r e f e r r i n g to d i f f e r e n t kinds of atmosphere which pervade the text., although i t could also he argued that there i s a c t u a l l y only one prevalent atmosphere with i t s many v a r i e d forms i n which we perceive i t within the n a r r a t i v e . The most important aspect of the atmosphere i n which Sartre grew up was the a l l - p e r v a s i v e presence of books and the family's q u a s i - r e l i g i o u s a t t i t u d e towards them. His grandfather's l i b r a r y was a sanctuary i n which ancient, heavy-set books were compared to monuments. Sartre's whole world i n his early years was contained indeed i n the apartment at One, rue Le Goff "au-dessous de Goethe et de S c h i l l e r , au-dessus de Moliere, de Racine, de l a Fontaine, face a. Henri Heine, a V i c t o r Hugo" (p. 138). His destiny was shaped there and he learned about the outside world through the books he found i n h i s grandfather's l i b r a r y . Even before he learned to read, the permanence of those monuments guaranteed him a future as c e r t a i n and as undisturbed by the external world as was the past. Sartre the c h i l d grew up surrounded by adults, was brought up as a miniature adult and was encouraged to read books written f o r adults. And yet he was never-theless a c h i l d (p. 6l). The tension produced by t h i s dual r o l e forced upon him exerted i t s p u l l i n d i f f e r e n t d i r e c t i o n s . He grew up i n an atmosphere i n which he was constantly made aware that he and h i s mother were not i n t h e i r own home, neither then nor l a t e r when his mother remarried; he learned that possession of things can e i t h e r r e f l e c t to t h e i r owner what he i s or, as was the case with him, they may 37 contain a negative definition, in the sense that not having them one can learn what one is not. By l i v i n g in an atmosphere where everything was only loaned to him, Sartre discovered that he was not substantial or permanent, that he was not thesfuturelcdntinuer of his father's work, etc. (p. 77)' However, we should point out here that his claim is only partially true: Krue in that he did not continue his father's work (how could he when he did not even remember his father?); nevertheless we shall see later to what extent Sartre did in fact continue his grandfather's work, extending i t far beyond the limits which Charles had set up either for himself or the then s t i l l future profession of his grandson. The tension of this double role imposed on Sartre by the family caused the deep-rooted feeling of being superfluous, which on the other hand pro-duced the need to feel necessary in order to compensate for and counter-balance that very same feeling of superfluity. The family, and this again appears to have been a part of the play-acting, expressed the need for young Jean-Paul, which he in turn needed so badly. This i l l u s i o n of being needed, of being a gi f t of Heaven, of being indispensable to his mother and to his grandfather (p. l U l ) , was the predominant atmosphere in which Sartre grew up, taking different forms at different times. The family and the family friends thus created an atmosphere in which Sartre was always told that he was an exceptionally gifted child. At the same time we also see that he was prepared by Charles, as well as by his mother, for a career which directly or indirectly presumed an unusual g i f t for writing and teaching. Indices referring to a philosophy are at least as important as the ones referring to the atmosphere. It i s quite obvious that the two are 38 f a i r l y closely related to each other and at times i t i s rather d i f f i c u l t to d istinguish one from the other, especially when an atmosphere seems to he not only imbued with, hut also caused by, a certain kind of the then prevalent philosophy. At other times there are less obvious or direct relationships between them, and yet the underlying philosophy which at f i r s t reading cannot be even detected, nevertheless upon a careful analysis emerges as more important than the atmosphere behind which i t may be hidden. We have had a few glimpses into the philosophy which was predominant at the time when Sartre was growing up, i n our discussion of indices re-f e r r i n g to the family atmosphere. This i s understandable; we have grouped indices according to the generality o f t t h e i r functions, that i s , we have f i r s t mentioned the indices r e f e r r i n g to a character, then proceeded to analyze the indices r e f e r r i n g to an atmosphere, to end with the indices r e f e r r i n g to a philosophy. The movement was thus from the most s p e c i f i c to the most general. So much so that we can, i n a certain manner, subsume a l l of the previous indices under the indices r e f e r r i n g to a philosophy .in any narrative. Or, we can say that characters and atmosphere i n the narrative are vehicles for pointing to a certain philosophy, or sometimes pointing to a number of different ideologies or philosophies. The philosophy (or ideology i n the broadest sense of the word) which we encounter i n 'Les mots i s the l a t e nineteenth-century version of the bourgeois mode of thinking. By "philosophy" i n the sense we have been using i t here, we do not mean philosophy i n the t e c h n i c a l , narrow sense of the word, that i s , not a d i s c i p l i n e of philosophy with a l l i t s implications, but rather a 39 mode of thinking pertaining to a certain class and a certain era. In Les mots we see Sartre growing up i n an atmosphere wherein l i f e was thought of as a succession of ceremonies and where people were p o l i t e to each other: "tout l e monde est Bon puisque tout l e monde est content. Je tiens l a societe pour une rigoureuse hierarchie de merites et de pouvoir" (p. 30). The bourgeois society of the turn of the century, i n the mind of young Jean-Paul, was a just society. Justice was so over-whelming that the people who were at the top of the s o c i a l scale, and who were moreover placed there because they deserved i t , gave a l l they had to the less fortunate ones below. The smugness of the bourgeois thinking, as we see i t i n the pages of t h i s book, i s l i m i t l e s s . Sartre, the young boy, entertained only proper thoughts. He'trusted people. The society was structured i n the best possible way. Sartre's family consorted only with sedate people who based t h e i r certitudes on the Wisdom of Nations and who could be distinguished from the common herd only by a certain affectedness of soul. Naturally, coming from the same s o c i a l class and being the grand-son of the famous Charles Schweitzer, Sartre was quite accustomed to a l l t h i s . The bourgeois scruples, always asserted with the inevitable s e l f -s a t i s f a c t i o n , were such that they could not f a i l to edify young Jean-Paul (p. h6). The bourgeois s e l f - s a t i s f a c t i o n was w e l l j u s t i f i e d : not only was t h e i r society just and well-ordered but i t had also the sanction of C h r i s t i a n i t y through the all-powerful Catholicism. Although Sartre t e l l s us that the bourgeois of the time was de-Christianized to a great extent, he had s t i l l the p o s s i b i l i t y of resorting to the r e l i g i o n which was now fashioned to be quite tolerant and, what i s more important, comfortable. Uo He was not obliged to lead an exemplary l i f e any more, nor to die i n a state of despair (p. 85). The bourgeois had yet another means of deluding himself: he be-lieved in Progress. Young Jean-Paul's version was typical: i t was a "long chemin ardu" which, in his case, led to him (p. 31). Thus having Divine protection, the bourgeois thinking posited that the works of God and the great achievements of man (bourgeois man, we presume) were shaped by the same impulse: i t a l l led to and emanated from the Sp i r i t . The Spirit spoke through Man. Charles, that petit-bourgeois intellectual, saw in Beauty the physical presence of Truth and the source of the noblest grandeur. This, according to him, could be achieved only through Humani-ties: they led directly to the Divine (pp. 52-53). -The S p i r i t , the Divine, the Humanities, Beauty, they a l l pointed to Man who had his self-contented, sedate gaze turned to future Progress. And, as we have just seen, the steep, long path of Progress, in Jean-Paul's mind, led to him. This is precisely what Sartre's family did: they acted in such a way as to make him feel that, as a gift of Heaven, he was the centre of the family universe. The outside world, though well-ordered, was not perfect. There were poor people in this world. Sartre was made aware of them: they were put in the same category with freaks of nature (Siamese twins) and railway accidents. These were only anomalies and nothing more; thus nobody was to be blamed. And yet the poor, l i v i n g in this well-ordered bourgeois world, had to have a function: theirs was to exercise the generosity of the bourgeois (p. 31). An inevitable pa r a l l e l forces Ill i t s e l f upon the reader's mind; just as we have seen earlier when Jean-Paul provided a vehicle for Charles to exercise as well as worship his own generosity, so now we see the poor providing a vehicle by means of which the bourgeoisie could not only rationalize the existence of these "moutons a, cinq, pattes", but exercise i t s generosity as well. Growing up immersed in the self-satisfaction and complacency of the bourgeois family in which he lived, young Jean-Paul could not help but note, as well as read in his magazines and books, that the return to order was always followed by progress. The heroes who helped the society main-tain the order were inevitably always appropriately rewarded: they re-ceived honours and money. From the above discussion of the indices referring to the philosophy as revealed in Les mots we see that there is indeed a connecting thread which weaves together a l l the indices referring to the philosophy from which, in-his own words, he derived his most deep-seated phantasmagoria: bourgeois optimism (p. 66). 1.2.2. Informants. The second subgroup of integrative narrative unities Is informants. Their function consists in that they "servent a i d e n t i f i e r , a situer dans le temps et dans 1 ' e s p a c e . W e have said earlier that indices have an implicit signified; informants (as their name suggests) are on the contrary "des donnees pures, immediatement signifiantes." In other words, an informant always "sert a authentifier l a realite du referent, a, enraciner l a f i c t i o n dans le reel." Thus - whereas an index notation implies an activity of deciphering - an informant notation always carries an understanding, a knowledge completely given. Although their 1+2 functionality, just like that of catalysts, i s thus relatively speaking weak, i t i s s t i l l indispensable for our understanding of the structure- of the narrative. The fact that informants refer to a signified e x p l i c i t l y has as i t s consequence that their functionality cannot be on the level of the story i t s e l f , as was the case with indices, but rather can only be on the level of the discourse i t s e l f . We know that the period of Sartre's childhood described i n Les mots fa l l s between the f i r s t Russian Revolution of 19.®5 and somewhere half-way through the First World War. During this period Charles, "un homme du XIX e siecle imposait a son p e t i t - f i l s les idees en cours sous Louis-Philippe" (p. 5 6 ) , which i s to say that Jean-Paul Sartre's upbringing, as administered by his grandfather, had as a consequence that Sartre started off with a handicap of eighty years, and this would indeed date back to thepperiod of Louis-Philippe. Charles was not to be blamed en-t i r e l y , for he himself was a product as well as a victim of the bourgeois culture of his own time; and Sartre repeatedly t e l l s the reader that he does not hold this against his grandfather. The parallel i s obvious: Sartre was a product of a number of circumstances (material as well as cultural anddideological) i n the same manner as Charles had been. While Charles was bringing up his grandson in " l ' i l l u s i o n retrospective" (p. 1 6 8 ) , the Western World was experiencing what at the time was known as "douceur de vivre". In real i t y , Western Europe was choking to death; the bourgeois Europe did not wish to face the reality of i t s fast-approaching apocalypse, and not having visible enemies (or not wanting to see them), the bourgeoisie of the period "prenait p l a i s i r a s'effrayer de son ombre; elie troquait son h3 ennui contre une inquietude dirigee" (p. 1 2 7 ) . Spiritism, ectoplasm, laying on of hands, sessions of table turning: "douceur de vivre" indeed. Wine-year old Jean-Paul, being an only child and without friends, did not even imagine that his alienation could ever end. He t e l l s us that the family play-acting could have been an alternative. Since Ire was fatherless, he was his own cause and was at the same time f i l l e d with both pride and wretchedness. Maternal tenderness tended to feminize him and his grandfather's adoration puffed him with pride. Thus he was a pure object, doomed to masochism provided he could have believed in the play-acting of his family. However, he says, he could not (p. 9 7 ) - Wot always, that i s . He occasionally accepted the act, but always demanded that he be the main character. Unfortunately he soon realized that his was a "faux-beau role", that although he had lines to speak and was on stage, a l l he did was to give the adults their cues. He was only the opportunity which fa c i l i t a t e d their quarrels and reconciliations. As he s;ays, the real causes lay elsewhere; they were contained in the past of the adults who surrounded him (p. 7 5 ) . They were nevertheless responsible for im-posing upon him his profession. He had not chosen i t . Andyyet, Sartre hastens to add, in reality nothing had happened: "des mots en l ' a i r , jetes par une v i e i l l e femme, et le machiavelisme de Charles" (p. 17*0. Charles, Anne-Marie, Louise, Mme. Picard were people in whom l i t t l e Jean-Paul believed, and they claimed to believe i n him. They a l l pointed to his star, which he did not see. A l l he saw were their fingers pointing at the star. 2.0.0. Project 2.1.0. Distributional Unities 2.1.1. Nuclei. In the family functions we have discussed the main i n -fluences which the social environment, through the family, exerted on the young Sartre. Therefore in our analysis of the nuclei of the family functions we have attempted to show the most important instances of the family influence in casting and shaping the character of young Jean-Paul. At the beginning of this chapter we have described nuclei as points of risk in the narrative, whose links contained a double functionality, which made them consecutive and consequent as narrative unities. This, of course, was not always apparent on the level of the nuclei of the family functions; the reason is that the family and the project functions (and therefore nuclei as well) stand in a dialectical relationship to each other. The doubly implicative relationship of the nuclei w i l l become fu l l y apparent on the level of the project functions. The nuclei of the family functions have dealt with the most im-portant examples of the family influence on Jean-Paul. In the project functions we w i l l discuss how he reacted to the reality around him, and how these reactions led to his devising and setting up certain projects, by means of which he attempted to overcome his needs, which were created by a complex combination of the personal t r a i t s , inclinations and reactions with the external conditions under which he lived. The f i r s t two nuclei of the family functions serve as an introduction to, as well as a condition for, the f i r s t nucleus of the project functions. After his father's death, Jean-Paul and his mother went to live with his grandparents. Living in an atmosphere saturated with bookishness, where he was very early in his l i f e prepared to regard teaching as a priesthood, i t was only logical that his f i r s t project was to learn to read. His mother used to read stories to him and the characters in them would acquire l i f e and destinies of their own; Sartre was at Mass, he witnessed the eternal recurrence of names and events (p. ^ 3 ) . He resolved to take his mother's role away and decided to learn to read. This is the f i r s t nucleus of the project functions. He was caught trying to read (or, as he implies, he saw to i t that he was) and the family decided to teach him the alphabet. After having learned to read, Sartre t e l l s us, he was wild withjjoy. The books in his grandfather's library were going to reveal their secrets to him, he was going to l i s t e n to those dried voices from the books, he would know everything. He was allowed to browse in the library and he took man's wisdom by storm. In his own account, that was what made him (p. kk). The next two nuclei are from the family functions group. In the f i r s t of the two, Sartre t e l l s us about his deep-seated Platonic idealism, which took him more than thirty years to overcome. In the following nucleus Sartre relates his doubts and anxieties as to the role of writers, what books talk about, why they are written, and the fated explanation given by Charles to his grandson, in which he equated writers with the Saints and Prophets. The consequence of this pseudo-religious revelation was that Sartre decided he resembled those great writers of whom the books wrote in that, when he behaved as expected by the adults, when he stoically endured his bumps and bruises, he too had the right to laurels, to a reward. U6 One of the events which had a very profound influence on Sartre's l i f e was his early discovery: ". • . ma raison d'etre, a moi, se derobait, je decouvrais tout a. coup que je comptais pour du heurre. . . ." He only reflected hack to the members of his own family, i t s own unity and it s conflicts: ". . . i l s usaient de ma divine enfance pour devenir ce qu'ils etaient'.' (pp. 7 5 - 7 6 ) . He f e l t shame in the well-ordered world in which he lived. The feeling of being superfluous made him want to "manquer comme l'eau, comme l a pain, comme l ' a i r a tous les autres hommes dans tous les autres lieux" (p. 8 0). The need to be wanted, which this early existential anxiety of being superfluous produced, led Sartre to escape into the family play-acting, in which he fled from one imposture to another, and this com-prises the second nucleus in the chain of thepproject functions. The poignancy of Sartre's fl i g h t is beautifully rendered: "Je fuyais mons corps injustifiable et ses veules confidences; que l a toupie butat sur un obstacle et s'arretat, le petit comedien hagard retombait dans l a stupeur animale'.'-'(p. 8 l ) . The family play-acting had Providence assign to l i t t l e Jean-Paul the role of a wonder-child; his appearance was consequently made to suit his role: his mother might have preferred to have had a g i r l instead of a boy: ". . . avec quel b.onheur elie eut comble de bienfaits sa t r i s t e enfance ressuscitee." As i t was she had to make her own arrangments: Sartre "aurais le sexe des anges, indetermine mais feminin sur les bords" (p. 8 9 ) - This lasted u n t i l one day Charles took his curly grandson to a barber-shop and had the child's lovely ringlets cut off. As we remember, this nucleus of the family functions deals with Sartre's realization and subsequent feeling of his own ugliness. hi Not only was Jean-Paul shorn of his b e a u t i f u l r i n g l e t s but also, which i s of far greater importance, of the role of the b e a u t i f u l , unusually g i f t e d c h i l d which he had played u n t i l then. Although the family continued to c a l l him a g i f t of Heaven, he was aware of the fact that now i t was family play-acting only. He wanted to "devenir un cadeau u t i l e a l a recherche de ses destinataires," but rea l i z e d that being " f i l s de personne, je fus ma propre cause, comble d'orgueil et comble de misere" (pp. 96-97)-He had but one escape: he f l e d into imagination, and th i s f l i g h t and i t s immediate consequences comprise yet another nucleus of the project functions. Being an imaginary c h i l d , his only means of defending himself was his imagination. He committed ./the mad blunder of taking l i f e for an epic, assigning himself i n his imagination the role of hero. Everything took place i n his head. He adored Arsene Lupin, the Cyrano of the Under-ground, imagined himself i n the role of a hero who existed only to be able to help people i n distress. This was a l l , as he discovered l a t e r i n his l i f e , the consequence of the "deculottee" the French had taken i n 187O. Sartre's epic idealism was the result of a shame which he himself had never suffered, a result of the loss of two provinces (Alsace and Lorraine) which the French got back a long time before (p. 101) . At the age of seven or eight he read Michael Strogoff and i t s hero provided Sartre with the model l i f e which he needed so much. Although he says that on the second reading he found the hero too "sage", he neverthe-less envied the hero's destiny; he was, i n a good protestant ( i . e . Charles-ian) fashion, repelled by the s a i n t l i n e s s , yet i n Michael Strogoff i t fascinated him precisely because i t had donned the trappings of heroism 1+8 (pp. 112-113). He lived two lives: publicly, he was an impostor in the role of the famous grandson of the celebrated Charles Schweitzer; alone, he would flee into imagination, thus preparing for himself " l a plus irremediable solitude bourgeoise: celle du createur" (p. 97). And this leads us. to: the next nucleus of the project functions: Sartre started writing. He began by writing versified replies to his grandfather which in turn led to his writing poetry. This was only yet another attempt at imitating the grown-ups. His career as a v e r s i f i e r ended with his unsuccessful undertaking of rewriting La Fontaine's Fables in Alexandrines, after which he shifted to prose. By now the habit was formed. Sartre went on writing. Naturally, this was "plagiat delibere" which he loved out of pretentiousness and which he deliberately carried to an extreme. He wrote for his own pleasure. The year before he used to imagine himself as a hero, now the hero was s t i l l himself in that he projected his epic dreams upon the hero. However, there were two of them now, that i s , the hero did not have Sartre's name any more and the author referred to him only in the third person (p. 125). He existed through writing; he existed only so he could write, so much so that when he said " I " he meant by i t "I who write"'.1' Through writing he was beginning to find himself. Despite the fact that he "n'etait presque rien, tout au plus une activite sans contenu" (p. 130), writing nevertheless provided Sartre with a l l that he needed at the time, and that was precisely the means of escaping from the play-acting. He had by now stopped playing. It was reality he sought, and through writing he "trouvait sa verite dans 1'elaboration de ses mensonges" (p. 130). We can see how through writing, which started as a pure imitation, Sartre was to discover the "inanity" of his dreams of the year before, when he was s t i l l the hero of his imaginary adventures. This important realization, brought about by and through writing, had as i t s most important consequence that Jean-Paul was "born of writing", the fact which closes this nucleus of the project functions group. Sartre, as we have just seen, tried to compensate for the feeling of superfluousness by writing, thus attempting to replace the shame in the well-ordered world which he had previously f e l t , with the newly created meaning which writing gave to his l i f e , and his mother welcomed this activity. The following nucleus i s of the family function group: his mother encouraged him to write, and Mme. Picard soon afterwards prophesied that Jean-Paul would become a writer. As we have seen in our discussions of this particular nucleus, Charles was originally annoyed at his grandson's writing "nonsense" derived from his favourite magazines, then tried to dissuade him from the very thought of ever.ybecoming a writer, only to have Sartre misinterpret his words and accept irrevocably the vocation of a writer. The following nucleus shifts the narrative back to the project functions group. Here Sartre t e l l s how he was convinced by "petites touches bien placees" of Charles that he was not a genius. What now remained to him as the only object of his passion was heroism; his realization of being gratuitous prevented him from renouncing i t com-pletely. He was not a child prodigy any more; as we have seen the feeling of gratuitousness in the world, coupled with the vaguely f e l t 50 contingency of l i f e with i t s many different manifestations, produced i n him a f e e l i n g that he was l o s t , and i t was t h i s deep f e e l i n g of t e r r o r which made him accept, i n obedience to Karl?,, the lucubratory and non-enviable career of a wr i t e r (p. 138). Sartre was, at the time, on the point of resigning himself to the fact that he was i n no way an except-i o n a l c h i l d when he came to a discovery which profoundly changed the course of his l i f e . ' We have seen how his f l i g h t into imagination, which was a result of his need to escape the family play-acting, led him to assign a role of hero to himself. This was obviously psychologically quite e f f e c t i v e and l e d , i n i t s next stage, to w r i t i n g i n which he again was the hero, although now there was a distancing between the author and the hero who was the author himself, except that he was now referred to i n the t h i r d person singular. This new discovery consisted i n Sartre's seeing that "les grands auteurs s'apparentent.aux chevaliers errants en ceci que les uns et les autres suscitent des marques passionnees de gratitude" (p. lk2); what he r e a l l y did was to bestow upon the writer the sacred powers of the hero. Now we can see, i n retrospect, that the whole pro-cess which started with Sartre's playing a hero i n his imagination ac-quired a new element when he started w r i t i n g , i n that he was now the writ e r who wrote about imaginary heroes who, although they did not bear Sartre's name, were nevertheless the author himself. The process l o g i c a l l y led towards i t s f i n a l solution: the writer himself acquired the character-i s t i c s of a hero. The psychological mechanism which had been set i n motion by a number of re a l i z a t i o n s and feelings of Sartre (the f e e l i n g of being superfluous, shame i n the well-ordered world, the need to overcome the 5 1 pure contingency of l i v i n g , his epic mind, etc.) f i n a l l y produced a r a t i o n -ale for his not only accepting the future vocation of a writer hut even for making that vocation appealing, j u s t i f i a b l e and heroic as w e l l . F i r s t Sartre was the secret hero of his own imagination, then Sartre, the w r i t e r , became the hero of his w r i t i n g s , and f i n a l l y Sartre joined the two i n the writer-hero. What contributed to the f i n a l i z i n g of the investing of the powers of the hero upon the writer was that he discovered, at about the same time, that writers were needed, which brings to a close t h i s nucleus of the project functions. In spite of "leurs tares physiques, . . . leur a f f e t e r i e , . . . leur apparente feminite" writers "risquaient leur vie en francs-tireurs dans de mysterieux combats", (p. l l + 3 ) . And yet the metamorphosis was not over yet. In the l a s t nucleus of the family functions we have seen how Charles' notion of writers as high-priests of Culture provided Sartre with the rationale for transform-ing the writer-knight into the writer-martyr; and t h i s brings us to the l a s t nucleus of the project functions. One, Sartre says, can either write for one's neighbours of for God. Young Jean-Paul decided to write for God with the intention of saving his neighbours. Writing, for him, meant adding a pearl to the necklace of his Muse, leaving to posterity the memory of a model l i f e , bringing down upon people the blessing of Heaven, defend-ing men against themselves and t h e i r enemies (p. 1 5 2 ) . The nucleus ends by Sartre accepting his mandate as a future writer-martyr. Soon afterwards he reread himself for the f i r s t time. The embarrass-ment at the r e a l i z a t i o n of the childishness of the fantasies i n which he had indulged i n w r i t i n g did not l a s t long; he had no doubts that he was 52 indeed dedicated to his future vocation. Writing had i t s secrets which i t would reveal to him some day. He knew i t . In the meantime, due to his youth, he had to be extremely reserved. His mandate.had by now become his character: he stopped wr i t i n g (p. l 8 l ) . 2 . 2 . 0 . Integrative Unities 2 . 2 . 1 . Indices. We have seen that the indices of the family functions group r e f e r r i n g to a character did not make narrative unities of t h e i r own. In the project functions grguputhere i s only one index of t h i s category worth noting, and i t refers to Charles. When Sartre started w r i t i n g , he thought he was going to write i n order to set down his dreams. Writing was to provide an escape from the family hypocrisy and play-acting. I t was Charles who set his grandson straight on t h i s point, explaining that i n r e a l i t y , Jean-Paul, l i k e any other w r i t e r , dreamed only i n order to be able to write. His anxieties and "passions imaginaires n'etaient que les ruses" of his t a l e n t ; they served a very functional role i n that they provided narrative themes suitable to his young age, while i n the meantime he had to wait for "les grandes dictees de 1 'experience et l a maturite". While awaiting t h i s experience and maturity, which would inevitably come to Jean-Paul with age, Charles instructed his grandson that i n order to be able to write one also had to learn how to see, which, according to the former, was epitomized i n the anecdote i n which Flaubert sat the l i t t l e boy de Maupassant i n front of a tree and gave him three hours to describe i t (p. 1 3 5 ) - Not only did Sartre learn to see by incessantly v e r b a l i z i n g 5 3 his everyday experiences (we remember games i n which he and his mother talked about things which happened to them, r e f e r r i n g to themselves i n the t h i r d person) but, as we have seen i n the l a s t nucleus of the project functions, he did i n fact stop w r i t i n g at the age of ten, "knowing" that he had to wait for w r i t i n g to reveal i t s secrets to him some day. Whereas we have said that there was only one index of the project functions r e f e r r i n g to characters, indices r e f e r r i n g to^the atmosphere are, on the other hand, more numerous as w e l l as more functionally im-portant. As was the case with the indices of the family functions, so the indices of the project functions start with the reference to the family atmosphere by going back inevitably to the family l i b r a r y . Sartre's childhood did not consist of hunting for nests, gathering herbs or throwing stones at birds. The l i b r a r y provided a surrogate: books were his birds and nests. In i t he undertook "incredible" adventures: " l a bibliotheque, c'etait l e monde pri s dans un m i r o i r " (p. kk). In the books from his grandfather's l i b r a r y he met hideous insects, he was Magellan, Vasco da Gama, he undertook voyages through Fontenelle, Aristophanes, Rabelais. This was the atmosphere of the home; the atmosphere of the Luxemburg Gardens, on the other hand, did not provide a surrogate. L i t t l e Jean-Paul never participated i n the games of the children i n the gardens. He went there with his mother regularly but, not knowing how to relate to his peers, nor being able to overcome his feelings of f.alse pride and ask them to l e t him j o i n i n t h e i r games, a l l he did was watch them with the eyes of a beggar. How was he to reconcile his being a g i f t of Providence, 5^ a wonder-child, a grandson of the famous Charles Schweitzer, with such a demeaning role in which he, the hero, would have to ask to be allowed to play? He waited for them to ask him to play with them. That unfortunately never happened. In Sartre's words, in the Luxemburg Gardens he had met his true judges. He discovered himself through them; after that i t was d i f f i c u l t to go back to the role of wonder-child assigned to him by his family. Confronted with the strong and quick children whom he used to see in the Gardens, he realized for the f i r s t time the pretentiousness of his own imaginary heroes, of his "savoir universel", "musculature athletique", "adresse spadassine" (pp. 1 1 5 - 1 1 6 ) . A compensation for the feeling of rejection by his peers was provided by Sartre's mother who.encouraged him to write. Their relation-ship was more one between friends than a relationship between a mother and her son. She called him her knight attendant, her l i t t l e man. She encouraged him to talk about everything; as Sartre says himself, his repressed writing emerged from his mouth in the form of prattle. Thinking of himself as a future writer he used to describe everything he saw. He • ended up by assuming feelings i n order to feel theopleasure of t e l l i n g Anne-Marie about them. The world, he says, used him to become speech (pp. 182-183). And so we are back to Charles' notion of the writer as a mouthpiece of the Divine and Sublime. The Christian notion of the writer being a Scriba Dei was modified by his de-Christianized grandfather; hence i t was not God who spoke through the writer, i t was the Divine, or the Sublime. In Sartre's own case the process of secularization went a step further: now the world spoke through the writer (Scriba Mundi). • 55 Another mode of compensation, which is very closely related to the preceding index, consisted i n making the profession of a writer socially necessary. We have already seen what forms these rationalizations, de-rived from the?ideas expounded by Charles, took in order to f a c i l i t a t e Sartre's metamorphoses which ended by his circuitous joining together of the characteristics of a hero, a martyr and a writer a l l i n one. This index deals with the episode i n which Sartre relates how he was deeply influenced by a certain drawing which depicted a crowd of people on the pier in New York awaiting the arrival of the famous novelist Charles Dickens. A thousand caps waving, the crowd is dense to the point of children almost suffocating. Everything seems to be there and yet some-one is missing. Missing is Dickens, the famous writer, whom the crowd of people is welcoming today and who i s the only one who w i l l be able to help them to alleviate their sufferings (p. 1^3). What actually appealed to young Jean-Paul was the fact that a writer seemed to be needed, seemed to have a definite place of his own in this well-ordered world i n which Sartre was desperately searching for a means to overcome his own feeling of alienation and i t s concomitant anxieties. Sartre, of course, was not isolated in his deepest attempts at escaping from, or somehow rendering less powerful, the unbearable reality of his ontological situation, as some of the following indices referring to the social philosophy prevalent at the time reveal. Michel Zevaco was a popular writer who invented the republican cloak-and-dagger novel. It was not Michel Strogoff, nor anybody else, i n the service of the kingng any more; Zevaco's heroes represented the people. The bourgeois part of the people, no doubt. The new republican heroes made and unmade 56 empires, they protected the defenceless and the powerless. A l l of th i s out of pure altruism and kindheartedness (p. l l U ) . Another index r e l a t i n g to the philosophy of the time deals with the error of the h i s t o r i c a l perspective on which, Sartre says, the clerks of the era fed t h e i r idealism. Although they never defined i t as such, they nevertheless insinuated that there was a secret and inverse order of cause and effect relationships i n man's natural, as w e l l as s o c i a l , en-vironment. Zevaco's heroes were thus able to predict, i n the fourteenth century, the French Revolution and, instead of being i n the service of the king, they could now, i n retrospect, afford to be i n the service of the people. On the other hand, when a great idea wished to be born, i t would i t s e l f choose the great man, who would carry i t through, while he s t i l l was i n his mother's womb. A l l the moral and physical t r i a l s , a l l the anxieties that would b e f a l l such a man, had been planned by the great idea so as to prepare the fortunate, future great man to give b i r t h to the idea i t s e l f . This index thus gives us a very viable explanation for the reason which may have made Sartre believe that he was indeed a future great w r i t e r , and provided him with a very convenient and powerful set of b e l i e f s , which must have made his anxieties about the present and uncertainties about the future less acute and easier to bear. Another index worth noting refers to Charles' very strong contempt for professional writers as revealed i n the anecdotal account of his only encounter with Verlaine. Although apparently appreciating Verlaine's poetry, he thought he had seen him drunk; the cause and effect chain i s reversed again: t h i s encounter confirmed Charles' contempt for writers i n general and Verlaine i n p a r t i c u l a r . Writers were miracle-mongers who 57 demanded a gold-piece in order to show us the moon and ended up showing their behind for five francs (p. 132). Professional writers were of a subhuman species and the only decent bourgeois profession related to letters was that of teacher. Not only Charles, but Anne-Marie also, used to depict to Jean-Paul the joys of his future vocation. The picture depicted appealed to him: he was a young teacher, not yet married; every-body loved him because he was courteous and well-bred. In the daytime he taught at the lycee while at night he lucubriously wrote his books, one after another. His whole reason for being was there: at nighttime, while mankind was asleep, he would be on the watchtower of humanity (p. 156). This seems to have been a very fortunate combination: primarily a teacher (respect, loved by others, as well as a decent amount of success), somewhat of a martyr-like bent (his lucubrations at nighttime, oblique references of sacrifice for mankind), and a writer, although this last only to the extent which the bourgeois mentality deemed acceptable (only at nighttime when "Good Society" was asleep). The last index referring to the philosophy which was instrumental in forming the character of young Sartre t e l l s that the sources from which he derived his conviction that writers in fact were respected, even by the bourgeoisie, were the encyclopaedias and obituaries he read in the news-papers. The social status of a writer had obviously changed from the times of Louis-Philippe, and the bourgeois writer was now accepted by that same "Good Society" (pp. 1^2-1^3). 5 8 2.2.2. Informants. The informants of the project functions group are numerous and t h e i r f u n c t i o n a l i t y i s extremely important. We have seen that the family and the projectf'functions not only stand i n a d i a l e c t i c a l relationship to each other, but i n a h i e r a r c h i c a l one as w e l l , i n which the project functions stand on a higher l e v e l . We have discussed the manner i n which the nuclei of the two groups of functions are related to each other, which i s one of a double fu n c t i o n a l i t y : t h e i r relationship i s chronological as w e l l as l o g i c a l thus making nuclei consecutive as w e l l as consequent as narrative u n i t i e s . Hence, the meaning of the nuclei of the family functions i s rendered f u l l y i n t e l l i g i b l e only i n t h e i r con-junction with the nuclei of the project group. There appears to be a s i m i l a r i t y of function between the nuclei and the informants i n that the l a t t e r , being v e r t i c a l u n i t i e s , refer to and explain the nuclei which, as the most important d i s t r i b u t i o n a l narrative u n i t i e s , comprise the armature of the narrative. Put d i f f e r e n t l y , t h i s would mean that since the nuclei can be understood f u l l y only i n t h e i r t o t a l i t y , and since the informants refer to and explain the n u c l e i , t h i s would lead us to conclude that the function of the informants can be understood f u l l y only i n t h e i r t o t a l i t y . The nuclei have t h e i r f u n c t i o n a l i t y on the l e v e l of the story and are thus necessarily consecutive, whereas the f u n c t i o n a l i t y of theiinformants i s on the l e v e l of the discourse, and hence they may be analyzed as a group. Therefore we do not need to relate each one of the informants of the family functions to every one of the project functions, as was the case with the nuclei. But, i t should be stressed again, the f u l l meaning emerges only as a result of the relationship which exists between the 5 9 two groups of functions. There i s a whole myriad of informants interspersed throughout Les  mots. We s h a l l discuss only the most important ones. In the most funda-mental one among these Sartre t e l l s us how his truth and his character depended on the adults with whom he was surrounded. Moreover he was esse n t i a l l y t h e i r product. Sartre was conscious of the fact that, always putting on an act, he was an impostor, and yet he had to resort to playing the role assigned to him by the adults primarily because of the everpresent lack of being which he f e l t . I t was a vicious c i r c l e : the adults were supposed to guarantee his merits, which pushed him only deeper into the imposture. Condemned to please, he would s t r i k e a pose, which i n turn would reveal to him the hollowness from which he wanted to escape (pp. 72-73). The following informant deals with the fact that being a fake c h i l d Sartre was deprived of knowing either the world or the people i n i t , because, i n h is own words, a l l he could see were roles and props. There was no genuineness i n his actions and feelings: his acts gradually changed into gestures. The f i r s t i s that, as he says, serving the a c t i v i t i e s of the grown-ups i n a s p i r i t of buffoonery he could not have taken t h e i r problems and anxieties seriously; and the second, that by adapting himself to the intentions of the adults, who for him were his audience, he could not share t h e i r purposes. The monster c h i l d produced by the adults was thus separated from his audience by the footlights of the stage on which he was put by them to begin with. Thus his role turned into an ex i l e which then turned into an anguish (pp. 73-7*0. We have discussed the fe e l i n g of superfluousness which haunted Jean-Paul almost to the point of obsession. This feeling of not being needed, 6o which had the most profound influence on Sartre's development as a child, was indeed well-founded. In the following informant Sartre points out that as a spoiled child and because of the seeming necessity of the family play-acting, his profound feeling of uselessness was a l l the more accentuated. Feeling unjustified and unwanted, he f e l t he had to disappear (p. 8 ^ ) . The strength and the acuteness of this feeling can best be seen from the fact that although he later did not believe any more that one had f i r s t to be needed by someone in order to feel necessary, he nevertheless continued to feel that unless one was in the world in order to f u l f i l a certain expecta-tion, one inevitably f e l t superfluous. There were only extremes: he wished that he were either dead or needed by the whole world (p. l U l ) . How was he to resolve this tension? This informant t e l l s us that being "idolatre"par tous" and "deboute de chacun" the only recourse of the seven-year old child was within himself who, as we have just seen above, was at the same time aware of his own lack of being. People did not seem to need him; therefore he would make himself indispensable to the Universe. Hence his rationale was that he had been born in order to f i l l the great need he had of himself (p. 95)- His rule consequently became one against a l l ; Sartre says that the source of "cette reverie morne et grandiose" lay in the puritan, bourgeois individualism prevalent in his social milieu (p. 126). The recourse lay within himself: f i r s t he was the hero of his imaginary exploits, then became the hero of his own writings, to accept f i n a l l y the future profession of the writer-martyr and the writer-hero. He ended up by accepting the myth of the writer-saint, whose social role was necessary and who brought salvation to the populace because the 61 populace was himself. When he realized the contingency of his ontological position he resorted to creating a need for himself hy rationalizing that he was indeed needed hy the Universe. In accepting the role of a budding writer the rationale was the same as in the preceding stage: the con-tingency of being is counteracted again by his own pronouncing himself a "sauveteur patente" of the populace with a view to winning his own salva-tion.(p.' 1 5 3 ) . Sartre's questioning his right to exist thus led to his accepting the role of a writer as his future vocation, which now meant that existence was made justifiable by equating i t with having "une appellation controlee, quelque part sur les Tables infinies du Verbe.-" This was again a partial consequence of Sartre's early Platonism; writing meant not only engraving new beings (since language was equated with the world), but through an ingenious combination of words (i.e. signs) i t meant catching l i v i n g things in the trap of the language (p. 15*0. What does Sartre the mature writer think of this at the time of writing Les mots? He admits that in spite of rationalizing and se l f -deception "l'entreprise f o l l e d'ecrire" with the intention of justifying his own existence had unquestionably a certain reality, the proof of which is that now, f i f t y years later, he is s t i l l writing. The origins contained "une fuite en avant, un suicide a l a Gribonille." We remember his fear of death when he was a child. Death was his obsession because he had no desiretto l i v e ; by identifying i t with glory he made i t his destination. I f we remember that writing was his justification for li v i n g , and the ultimate goal of which was glory, then we can see that, • including the previous equation, i t was death which he sought. The fact 62 that his birth brought him within the contingency of l i f e , by which he was so profoundly disturbed, produced in him a fear that he might end as he had begun anywhere, in any way, but i t was his vocation which caused a most fundamental change: "les coups d'epee s'envoient, les ecrits restent" (p. 163) . And so we arrive at the last informant: Je m'etais pris pour un prince, ma f o l i e fut de l'etre. Nevrose caracterielle, dit un analyste de mes amis. II a raison: entre l'ete lk et l'automne de 19 l6 mon mandat est devenu mon caractere; mon delire a quitte ma tete pour se couler dans mes os. II ne m'arrivait rien de neuf: je retrouvais intact ce que j'avais joue, prophetise. Une seule difference: sans connaissance, sans mots, en aveugle je r e a l i s a i tout. (p. 193) CHAPTER I I : NOTES Roland Barthes, "introduction a l'analyse structurale des r e c i t Communications, 1966 ( .8), pp. 1 - 2 7 . 2 i b i d , J p. 6 . 3 I b i d . , p. 7. k Ibid. 5 I b i d . , p. 8 . 6 T b ± d ' > P- 9 . ^ i b i d . , p. 1 0 . 8 I b i d . , p. 1 3 . 9 Jean-Paul Sartre, Les mots (Paris: Gallimard, Collection Folio 1 9 7 2 ) , p. 1 9 . A l l future references by page number i n the text refer tc th i s edition. 1 0 Barthes, p. 1 0 . 1 1 ' I b i d . 1 2 ' l a i d . 1 3 I b i d . , pp. 8 - 1 1 . 1 ^ ' r b i d . 5 P- 1 0 . 1 5 I b i d . , pp. 1 0 - 1 1 . CHAPTER III LEVEL TWO: ACTIONS We have said that the functions as the smallest narrative unities comprising the f i r s t and lowest level of the narrative structure of Sartre's autobiography cannot be understood f u l l y without passing on to a higher level of structuration. This higher level is that of Actions. Why Actions? and in what respect do they represent a higher level vis-a-vis that of Functions? Or, in other words, how does the level of Actions reintegrate the multiplicity of narrative unities which we have discussed in the previous chapter? Being an autobiography Sartre's work deals with and is centred around people (i.e. characters) and events. The narrative unities in Functions were always either products or consequences of somebody's action (verbal, physical or as moral attitudes, etc.), or they were end results or interactions of the f i r s t , combined with (as we have discussed in indices and informants, for example) a certain mode of thinking, a certain moral code, etc. A l l of these were again products of human, societal actions and events, which took place because of human intervention in a l l these various forms and areas. Therefore, we can now see that the characters i n Les mots represent a higher level than Functions, in that they reintegrate a l l of the narra-tive unities from Functions on to a qualitatively different level, that of characters, or as we have termed i t , Actions. In other words, the 65 interdependence of Functions and Actions seems to be mutual: on the one hand, Functions as the smallest narrative unities, cannot be fu l l y under-stood without passing on to a higher level, that of Actions or characters, precisely becaus.e they are always, directly or indirectly, attributable to one of the characters in Sartre's autobiography, or a consequence of the social structure, morality, etc. , which are always mediated through the characters of Sartre's work; on the otherhhahd, the characters themselves cannot be fu l l y understood without f i r s t discussing and analyzing the smallest narrative unities which explain in many respects, and point to, the main characters of Les mots. The f i r s t question posed here consists of finding a mode of analyzing characters without f a l l i n g into the trap of committing either the mistake of entirely submitting characters to the notion of action (Aristotelian notion), or that of completely neglecting action by creating individuals, "real" persons, out of characters in Sartre's narrative. 1.1.0. Characters as Actants The above question has long troubled structural analysis. It has, with justification, been observed that - whereas the character had pre-viously been considered an agent of action only by literary theory and criticism, thereby giving the priority to action - in most recent criticism "l'agent d'une action, a pris une consistance psychologique, i l est devenu un individu, une 'personne', bref un 'etre' pleinement constitue, alors meme qu'il ne farait rien, et bien entendu, avant meme d'agir, le person-nage a cesse d'etre subordonne a l'action, i l a incarne d'emblee une essence 66 psychologique. This new concept tends to create almost a human being of the character of the narrative, the ultimate referent of which would then be i n the real world, instead of being in the narrative i t s e l f . In order to escape the trappings of this misplacedFover-emphasis on the ontological world in analyzing characters in the narrative of a liter a r y work, structural analysis "s'est efforcee jusqu'a present . . . de definir le personnage non comme un 'etre', mais comme un 'participant' . . . Enfin, A.J. Greimas a propose de decrire et de classer les person-nages du reci t , non selon ce q_u'ils sont, mais selon ce qu'ils font (d'ou leur nom d 1 act ant-s). . . . " The main aim seems to be "de definir le personnage par sa participation a une sphere d'actions . . . ce mot ne doit done pas s'entendre i c i au sens des menus actes qui forment le tissu du premier niveau, mais au sens des grandes articulations de l a praxis".3 The main articulations of praxis which play such a crucial role in analyzing the level of Actions are need, project and lived experience. The characters i n Les mots play a role of primary importance and we can say that i t is through them that the f i r s t level of the narrative i s organized. At f i r s t look the relationships of the characters may appear very diverse, in spite of the fact that the text does not contain a large number of characters who play.prominent roles. After a careful reading we notice that i t i s i n fact possible to reduce meaningfully a l l the relationships to only three: based on need, project and lived experience. We shall start with need which is evidently present in a l l characters. Weed i s to be understood here as physical as well as psychological, 67 emotional or i n t e l l e c t u a l need which any one of the characters may have at one time or another. The second a r t i c u l a t i o n of p r a x i s , which may o c c a s i o n a l l y be l e s s obvious but i s nevertheless as important, i s the one of p r o j e c t . By p r o j e c t we mean conscious or unconscious a t t i t u d e s or r e a c t i o n s which characters may have as a response t o d i f f e r e n t kinds of need, and by means of which the characters i n t e n d , or hope, t o change and a l l e v i a t e t h e i r s i t u a t i o n i n order t o f u l f i l t h e i r most important, fundamental e x i s t e n t i a l needs. The t h i r d a r t i c u l a t i o n d e f i n i n g the characters i s one of l i v e d experience, which represents the s y n t h e s i s of needs and p r o j e c t s as l i v e d by the characters. Thus l i v e d experience i s the end r e s u l t of thepprojects of the characters. These three a r t i c u l a t i o n s o f p r a x i s are of a great g e n e r a l i t y but they'nonetheless a l l o w us t o analyze the characters i n S a r t r e ' s autobio-graphy as actants i n regard t o t h e i r needs, p r o j e c t s and l i v e d experiences. We cannot d e s c r i b e , even l e s s analyze, the actants without these three notions. On the one hand we have the a r t i c u l a t i o n s o f p r a x i s ( f u n c t i o n a l notions as need, p r o j e c t and l i v e d e x perience); on the other we have the characters: Louise, Anne-Marie, K a r l , S a r t r e h i m s e l f . These can have two f u n c t i o n s : t h a t of being s u b j e c t s , and that of b e i n g objects d e f i n e d by the a r t i c u l a t i o n s . We can t h e r e f o r e employ a generic term actant (Greimas' suggestion) i n order t o designate at the same time the subject and the object of an a c t i o n , which has one of the a r t i c u l a t i o n s of p r a x i s at i t s b a s i s . In our a n a l y s i s of characters as w r i t e r s of a c t i o n s we w i l l s t a r t w i t h Louise, the c h a r a c t e r whose i n f l u e n c e on Jean-Paul, and thus the 68 r o l e played i n Les mots as w e l l , was minor i n regard t o the importance played hy the characters i n S a r t r e ' s autobiography i n general. The a n a l y s i s w i l l proceed w i t h d i s c u s s i o n of the character of S a r t r e ' s mother, then w i l l go on t o analyze the character of K a r l , whose i n f l u e n c e on Jean-Paul was c r u c i a l , t o end the a n a l y s i s o f the l e v e l of Actions by discussinggthe main p r o t a g o n i s t of the work, Jean-Paul h i m s e l f . 1.1.1. Louise. S a r t r e ' s grandmother Louise.plays a minor r o l e , and a l -though she i s always present she was of marginal importance f o r the formation of S a r t r e ' s b e l i e f s , a t t i t u d e s and h i s whole chara c t e r i n general. S a r t r e does not devote much space t o h i s grandmother, and when he does she i s u s u a l l y seen as a p a r t of the events which i n c l u d e d other characters ( K a r l and very o f t e n Anne-Marie). In other words she i s present only i n conjunction w i t h her r o l e of a grandmother, or K a r l ' s w i f e , or Anne-Marie's mother. Consequently, we know very l i t t l e of her needs and p o s s i b l e p r o j e c t s . Most o f t e n we see her i n s i t u a t i o n s forming a c t i o n s which come under the r u b r i c of l i v e d experience. We can attempt t o r e c r e a t e her p o s s i b l e needs and p r o j e c t s , but these are almost never spoken o f d i r e c t l y ; the r e c r e a t i o n thus has t o be done from her a c t i o n s , which were very seldom aimed at d i r e c t l y f u l f i l l i n g her own needs. Louise d i s l i k e d the whole t h e a t r i c a l , n o i s y , rough atmosphere of the Schweitzers. Her need f o r more p e a c e f u l and somehow s u b t l e r ways of l i f e was p a r t i a l l y f u l f i l l e d by her o b t a i n i n g a c e r t i f i c a t e from an o b l i g i n g doctor who provided a medical (and thus, one presumes, un-questionable) reason f o r g i v i n g her more freedom from the d i f f e r e n t forms of i m p o s i t i o n of her husband. The extent t o which she had t o go 69 i n order to obtain some form of independence i n her married l i f e from her overbearing husband i s a strong i n d i c a t i o n that the need for privacy, f o r a kind of emotional and i n t e l l e c t u a l independence, must have been suf-f i c i e n t l y strong f o r her to have done i t . Another consequence of l i v i n g with a man l i k e Charles was that she developed an aversion f o r the family p l a y - a c t i n g and Charles' f l a u n t i n g of bourgeois v i r t u e . The need to preserve her i n t e l l e c t u a l independence l e d her to devise a means of overcoming and f u l f i l l i n g t h i s need by becom-ing " V o l t a i r e i a n i n s p i r i t " and the epitome of "pure negation". This she could never have done openly; thus the project took subtler forms which she could carry out without d i r e c t l y c o n t r a d i c t i n g Charles: a r a i s i n g of eyebrows, an imperceptible smile, understatements, etc. Her fondness for t e l l i n g gruesome s t o r i e s about wedding nights seems to have been another form of f u l f i l l i n g her need f o r expressing not only her b i t t e r disappoint-ment with her own wedding night, which obviously c a r r i e d over into her married l i f e , but also her disappointment with her whole l i f e . The needs for overcoming her predicament took d i f f e r e n t forms. One of them consisted i n making believers of her c h i l d r e n , although she h e r s e l f was a non-believer; she brought them up as Catholics as a r e s u l t of what appears to have been her disgust with the Protestantism of her husband. Not having any recognizable s o c i a l o r d i n t e l l e c t u a l status of her own v i s - a - v i s her husband, Louise's need to e s t a b l i s h h e r s e l f as an independent and u s e f u l e n t i t y found i t s f u l f i l l m e n t (or i l l u s i o n of i t ) i n herr.role at home, i n the c i r c l e of her family. This had indeed provided an outlet f o r some of her needs u n t i l the time when her daughter came, with her son, to l i v e with them. The i l l u s i o n of being needed, of being indispensable - even TO though in the family cir c l e only - disappeared when Anne-Marie took over most of the boring and tiresome obligations of house-keeping. The i l l u s i o n was taken away without Louise's being able to f u l f i l the need ofbeing i n -dispensable elsewhere. The result was that Louise grew jealous of her own daughter. Yet i t would be unfair to claim that Louise contradicted her husband only out'of pure defiance or for the sake of rebelling against the tyranny of his laboured histrionics. It was Louise who rarely tolerated l i t t l e Jean-Paul's buffoonery and pretentiousness. One feels that this was not done simply out of defiance of Charles and his ideas of raising Jean-Paul, but rather out of a real, honest disapproval of the play-acting and hamming of her l i t t l e grandson. However, Louise's attitude (as well as that of her husband) toward Anne-Marie was far from generous, or even considerate. Accepting her daughter and grandson and giving them a home amounted to nothing more than obtaining services from a domestic servant whom she treated as an adolescent and exploited heartlessly. 1.1.2. Anne-Marie. In the case of Anne-Marie i t is considerably easier to trace the needs, projects and the lived experience. Anne-Marie's problem of having neither money nor a profession chained her to her parents by the very fact that she had no means of supporting herself and her child. Thus her most obvious need was an economic one; her project consisted in going back to her parents' house, thereby losing that precious freedom, as well as the status of an independent adult, which she had during her brief, tragic marriage. Anne-Marie, charming and loving as she was in 71 regard to Jean-Paul, found herself.between her egotistical, theatrical father and selfish, withdrawn, ungrateful mother. In order to deserve the help she was given by her parents she set out on the project which consisted in her becoming "gouvernante, infirmiere, majordome, dame de compagnie, servante" (p. 17) in her parents' home. She wanted to repay her parents inasmuch as she could; the reward was that her mother became jealous, suspecting her of wanting to take over the role of the f i r s t woman of the house. The lived experience of Anne-Marie's predicament required a l l her courage to avoid accusation of being a burden to her parents, on one hand, and a l l her humility to remove her mother's sus-picion of wanting to take over the household, on the other. Anne-Marie was treated as a child by her parents; the needs of the grown-up woman, with the child on her hands, to be treated as an adult, equal in rights and expectations with her parents, were never f u l f i l l e d . In order to be able to l i v e under these conditions Anne-Marie's project consisted in accepting the role of an adolescent imposed upon her anew. She never contradicted her father and mother, nor could she afford to do so. She was caught between her own needs for self-respect and the needs of her child on one hand, and accommodating as well as mediating various whims of her parents and their power games on the other. In order to have done a l l th i s , Anne-Marie had to obliterate her own needs, expectations and hopes. When Jean-Pauib annoyed his grandmother i t was Anne-Marie who would, speaking humbly and in a low voice, try to appease the old woman without at the same time offending Charles, who inevitably sided with the child, seizing the opportunity to put down his wife. 72 We are never told whether she was really religious or not; she never displayed i t publicly. The only hint we might have is Sartre's statement that his mother had "'son Dieu a e l l e ' et ne l u i demandait guere que de l a consoler en secret" (p. 8 7 K Her only solace could have been, and was, her son. Thus her project became that of raising and preparing her son for becoming a teacher and a writer. We have seen that she was instrumental in encouraging her son to continue writing after Charles at f i r s t voiced a very strong disapproval. She never tired of depicting the joys of her son's future profession as a teacher. Everything she lacked, and was denied by the reality of her existential, social position she put in the stories describing the advantages, social as well as financial, which the vocation of a high-school teacher entailed. Compared with her own unful-f i l l e d needs and expectations which she must have had at the time, her son's future profession was indeed an unreachable dream for her, and one cannot but empathize with her. The relationship between Jean-Paul and his mother was more one between two friends, or between a sister and a brother, than a s t r i c t , s t i f l i n g relationship of a bourgeois woman of the turn of the century and her son. Anne-Marie had no friends and her son became one. Theirs was a happy relationship: as 'Sartre says, they had their myths, their oddities of language, their r i t u a l jokes (p. 183). Theirs was a relationship of equals: they were shy and afraid together, and l i t t l e Jean-Paul was proud of his power of being able to convey his thoughts and feelings to his mother just by allook (p. l 8 H ) . Jean-Paul's father's death did in fact play the crucial role in the lives of both the mother and the son; because the father was dead, his mother was thrown again into the condition of being acchild of her parents 73 with whom she and her son l i v e d , his grandfather was precipitated into the role of father who was not a father, and his grandmother into the condition of the f i r s t woman of the house, now sharing t h i s with her daughter. 1.1.3- Charles. K a r l Schweitzer i s the central figure i n Sartre's autobiography. Consequently most of the actions i n i t are d i r e c t l y or i n d i r e c t l y related to him. We have seen him as being instrumental i n every one of the actions comprising the nuclei of the family functions, as w e l l as playing the p i v o t a l role i n a great number of the most im-portant nuclei of the project functions. We have also seen Charles i n the l i g h t of the indices r e f e r r i n g to characters i n both the family and the project groups. Thus we have touched upon some of his needs, projects and l i v e d experiences, and consequently there i s no need to discuss them at length again. Charles' h i s t r i o n i c s did not succeed i n masking the r e a l motivations behind his actions. Although he always pretended to have acted from the noblest motives the text invariably points to the conclusion that his actions, his attitudes and his whole behaviour were nevertheless inspired by more e g o t i s t i c a l considerations. His most fundamental need, at the time when Jean-Paul and his mother l i v e d i n his house, was to overcome, to beguile the terror he f e l t at his approaching death. The very e x i s t -ence of Jean-Paul seemed to his grandfather God-sent; Sartre's presence thus served a double function: f i r s t l y , i t seemed a g i f t of Heaven and, secondly, i t provided a rationale for a "guarantee" against the anguish 7^ of the inevitable death. Bourgeois ethics had a very elaborate mythology, i t s own system and vocabulary to explain away the problems of contingency of l i f e and inevitable death through different forms of religion; i t pro-duced systems which were meant to present the universe as well-designed, and therefore well-ordered, where man had his a p r i o r i designated place. Man's role was thus made to be one in which a l l he had to do was recognize the truths which the system contained, and integrate himself into this process as created by a friendly God. The only sensible thing an individual could do was to accept the already existing world, which was created bene-volently and explained rationally. Charles Schweitzer's projects always emanated from his having f u l l y accepted this powerfully anaesthetic ideology. He fed his grandson the bourgeois platitudes: a l l men were equal; the system of free, universal education of bourgeois France was the ideal method by which social inequalities would be remedied, etc. Not that Charles really believed in social equality, and the petit-bourgeois notion of Progress. He needed his grandson's acceptance of these ideas in order to be able to continue his play-acting, designed to cover up the anguish in the face of l i f e , on one hand, and the complacency in the face of misery of other less fortunate human beings, on the other. Charles had acceded, long before Jean-Paul arrived in his house, to the great wisdom of his class, and by doing so had forsaken his freedom in order to associate with the bourgeois solidity offered to him by the values and social structures of his class. In order to preserve his i l l u s i o n s , designed to neutralize the disquiet when confronted with the direct experience of l i f e , and replace that experience with a systematic description of man's 7 5 position i n the universe, Charles demanded that his grandson accept, among other things, bourgeois complacency instead of challenge and p r i v i l e g e s instead of freedom: "this i s to say the very same postulates of bourgeois ideology which he had made his own; the ideology whose main aim consisted i n channelling man's inquisitiveness and philosophical c u r i o s i t y away from the ever-present t e r r o r he f e l t before the universe. Charles encouraged his grandson to l i v e within the system by doing so himself, the most im-portant advantage of which consisted i n i t s being able to solace men, although i t might not have always absorbed a l l of t h e i r t e r r o r . Jean-Paul was indoctrinated because the interest of his class demanded t o t a l allegiance to i t s b e l i e f s i n order to prevent emergence of disturbers and rebels who might t r y to destroy the c a r e f u l l y b u i l t s o c i a l structure. But he was indoctrinated also because Charles Schweitzer, as a member of that class, needed his grandson's acceptance of the b e l i e f s of t h e i r class i n order to enable himself to continue the play-acting safely, without fear of the child's even puncturing the c a r e f u l l y made soap-bubble of the bourgeois. A l l Charles' projects were indeed based on t h i s ideology and a l l of his l i v e d experiences may ultimately be explained by i t . His using Jean-Paul as a means, as a vehicle for his own s e l f -delusion i n the face of approaching death, was consistent with his entire l i f e . We have seen e a r l i e r the p a r a l l e l between the manner i n which the bourgeoisie used the poor as a vehicle for displaying i t s own generosity, and the manner i n which Charles used his grandson for the same purpose. Thus we can say that Charles' projects, just l i k e those of his c l a s s , con-sisted i n his t r e a t i n g others - including his wife, a l l his children and 76 Jean-Paul - as objects. Although the bourgeois class tempted man to become an object by o f f e r i n g rewards for adhering to i t s b e l i e f s and threatening with punishment against r e b e l l i o n , man could not become an object. Consequently Charles 1 l i v e d experiences were ine v i t a b l y different from what his projects were meant to produce. Charles' optimism with which he imbued his grandson (which i n turn reassured Charles himself as w e l l as rendered possible his avoiding honestly questioning the world order and i t s accepted interpretation) was an optimism of a false world. Charles exhibited noble sentiments and used language unsparingly to discuss those sentiments. Instead of using language to search for and speak the t r u t h , he modified t h i s basic function of language and used i t to express his own t r u t h , the truth of his own class. The r e a l function of the language which Charles used, and with which he imbued his grandson, consisted i n enveloping the r e a l world i n a bourgeois notion of optimism. I t , i n turn, offered him a comfort i n presenting descriptions of human r e a l i t y , not using language as a means by which man would t r y to understand, but rather using i t i n such a way that the re s u l t i n g descriptions were, at best, not adequate and, at worst, i n t e n t i o n a l l y dishonest. 1.1.h. Jean-Paul. In our analysis of the d i s t r i b u t i o n a l u n i t i e s of both the family and the project group we have extensively discussed Sartr.e's needs and projects respectively. Therefore i n analyzing Sartre as the main actant i n Les mots a l l that there i s l e f t to be discussed are his l i v e d experiences. Since l i v e d experience, on the other hand, cannot be e f f e c t i v e -l y separated from either needs or projects (because both are to different 77 degrees part of what we here consider as lived experience), i t was i n -evitable to have mentioned them i n our discussion of Functions, and consequently our discussion w i l l only present summarily Sartre's most important lived experiences. Although religion might have provided a temporary cure for Sartre's feeling of superfluousness, his family's indifference to i t deprived him of that possible consolation. He then had to devise some means of making himself indispensable to the universe, and th i s , he thought, would be provided by words; the power of words would compensate for the failure of actions. His Platonism led him to decide to become a creator; he set out to create a world by using words, a world in which he would create a place for himself. This newly created universe was supposed to prove to the creator that he did have a soul, that he was justified. The imposition did not last sufficiently long, because Sartre realized that imposing him-self on to the l i t e r a r i l y created universe, which he found in other people's books, he could not possibly have been the creator, since the universe of books was anterior to his plagiarism. We remember that Sartre's f i r s t imposture was in the universe of his family, where i t consisted of con-stant play-acting. Now he discovered that he was aniimpostor in the universe of books. What both impostures had i n common was that, i n order to overcome his feeling of ontological superfluousness, Sartre had to resort to using l i e s . In attempting to create a universe i n his writing in which he would be j u s t i f i e d and needed, he used literature as a means of escape. Thus Sartre's aim i n writing contained a very definite d i -chotomy: on one hand i t was meant to provide a refuge from l i f e i n which 78 he f e l t superfluous; on the other, i t was designed (If he were read he would annihilate his superfluousness and would thus carve a place for himself in the world) to secure a means by which he could l i v e . Sartre's choosing the profession of a writer for himself was therefore an extension of his disappointment, f i r s t l y , with.the ontological world in which he lived, and, secondly, with the world of books he read, and i n which he was deeply steeped. He consequently set out to create his own world. It is clear that the universe he created in his writings was at least at three removes from the real world he found unsatisfactory; the second of these being that of the books he had read in his grandfather's library. Here we have two, although seemingly.different, :b asie a l l y us imilar forms of passivity. The f i r s t one consisted of Sartre's reading and his imaginary exploits, and the second one .tofsM'siwrijtingtotiBoth entail a certain amount of withdrawal, and thus passivity, from the real world. The play-acting, the smart sayings, the writing, the posing, the super-fluousness and the resulting loneliness of Sartre the child had their roots in the projects he devised i n reacting to his own needs and, more importantly, to the role assigned to him by his family, which in turn mediated the ideology of the class i t belonged to. Sartre's character and his lived experiences were thus the synthesized result of his projects. Towards the end of the book Sartre t e l l s us that by the time of writing Les mots, the discoveries he encountered during his life-long attempts at overcoming his alienation inherited in his childhood f i n a l l y freed him from many of the above-mentioned illusions and prejudices. The 79 most important one concerns his new and more r e a l i s t i c b e l i e f as to the importance and the value of wr i t i n g . The bourgeois notion of imposing himself on the universe by means of wri t i n g has been replaced by the r e a l i z a t i o n that l i t e r a t u r e does not hold a p r i v i l e g e d place among man's a c t i v i t i e s and i s thus unable to change the world through i t s power. On the other hand the reading of l i t e r a t u r e , Sartre now r e a l i z e s , i s not a passive process; i n t e l l i g e n t and honest reading presupposes a d i a l e c t i c a l process, i n which reading i s seen as an active communication between the writer and the reader, whereby each has as a referent the r e a l world, which l i t e r a t u r e , moreover, can never depict t o t a l l y . The aim of the wr i t e r , therefore Sartre's own, consists i n attempting to define a per-spective, an understanding of the ontological world which the reader, being an active participant i n the d i a l e c t i c s of reading, ought to evaluate before r e j e c t i n g , accepting or modifying i t . This must not be based on the reader's tastes and a f f i n i t i e s , but rather on a more ra t i o n a l attitude of whether the world as depicted by the writer corresponds to that as perceived by the reader. At the beginning of th i s chapter we have argued that the characters within the narrative of Sartre's autobiography represent the un i t i e s of actions. The main point i s that the connection between the f i r s t l e v e l of the narrative, that of Functions, and the second, higher l e v e l , that of Actions, consists i n the following: the l e v e l of Functions i s com-prised of a great number of narrative u n i t i e s , which are always, either d i r e c t l y or i n d i r e c t l y , products and consequences of human actions. The 8 0 actants, who hy reintegrating those actions into various characters of the narrative, thus render those actions meaningful, at the same time reintegrate the whole l e v e l of narrative unities into the higher l e v e l , that of characters as actants. I t was therefore i n t h i s sense that we have considered and analyzed the main characters i n Les mots. However, there i s yet another, higher l e v e l of the narrative, which i n turn provides the means for reintegrating both Functions and Actions on to the highest l e v e l of the narrative. This i s the l e v e l of Narration, which as we w i l l see, holds together the whole structure of the narrative. 81 LEVEL THREE: NARRATION We have already mentioned that different categories of actants can f u l l y define themselves only by t h e i r r e l a t i o n to the discourse i t s e l f , and not by t h e i r r e l a t i o n to an ontological r e a l i t y outside the narrative. Characters as unities of the l e v e l of Actions do not obtain t h e i r meaning and t h e i r i n t e l l i g i b i l i t y u n t i l they are integrated on the t h i r d l e v e l of the narrative, that of Narration. How i s t h i s integration achieved? In what way does the narrational l e v e l represent a higher l e v e l than the l e v e l of Actions? In the introduction to our analysis of the characters we have seen how the m u l t i p l i c i t y of small narrative unities of the l e v e l of Functions gets reintegrated and i s given i t s f u l l meaning on the l e v e l of Actions. We have argued that functions are always products of human actions, either d i r e c t l y and through Individual actions of different characters, or i n -d i r e c t l y , on the l e v e l of such abstracted levels of human actions as modes of thinking, e t h i c a l codes, etc. On the other hand, we have said that Narration represents the l a s t and the highest l e v e l of the narrative of Les mots. That i s to say, that the narrative as a structured system cannot extend beyond the l e v e l of Narration, since our analysis of the narrative of Sartre's work ends here precisely because on the other side of t h i s l a s t l e v e l we are confronted with other systems, such as p o l i t i c a l , economic, s o c i a l , i d e o l o g i c a l , etc. The terms of these systems are not 82 narrative any more, and thus cannot he meaningfully discussed except outside the limits of an analysis of a narrative. The level of Narration is thus situated between the level of Actions (which i t has to reintegrate somehow in a higher level), and the outside, non-narrative world in which we l i v e . Now, to rephrase the question we posed earlier, we can ask, how does the narrational level reintegrate the f i r s t two levels of our structural model, and at the same time how does i t represent a l l of these levels, that i s , the whole of the narrative, to the reader? The somewhat simplified answer is that Narration is the method, the technique, used by the author to hold the f i r s t two levels together, to represent the ideas expounded in and through Functions and Actions. The technique is the means of holding the whole narrative of Les mots > together, that i s , without i t s means i t would l i t e r a l l y be impossible to write a li t e r a r y work. The author has to use a certain form (in this case prose-autobiography), by the usage of certain techniques (in the case of Sartre's autobiography, as we w i l l see, the points of view, time order, etc. ). The level of Narration i s thus the glue by which the text is at the same time held together, and made possible. The narrative techniques used by Sartre in Les mots are in many respects very traditional and conventional. We w i l l best see this in our discussion of the point of.?view and the time order. However, as our main interest consists in analyzing, comprehensively and exhaustively, the workings of the narrational level, and not only either some of the aspects of Sartre's narration which may f a l l outside the traditional or 83 conventional techniques, or a few aspects of his technique, which may appear to be more "relevant" to whatever the c r i t i c i s t r y i n g to prove or substantiate. Therefore, we w i l l analyze the l e v e l of narration i n what we consider here a comprehensive and exhaustive manner, that i s , by analyzing a l l of the most important aspects of Sartre's narrational technique. In analyzing the problem of narration, Barthes says: De ;meme q u ' i l y a, a -1'interieur du r e c i t , une grande fonction d'echange (repartie entre un donateur e'tdun b e n e f i c i a i r e ) , de meme, homologiquement, l e r e c i t , comme objet, est l'enjeu d'une communication: i l y a un donateur du r e c i t , i l y a un destinataire du r e c i t . ^ Therefore the primary concern of our discussion of the narrational l e v e l of Les mots w i l l be "de decrire l e code a travers lequel narrateur et lecteur sont s i g n i f i e s l e long du r e c i t lui-meme".5 2.1.0. • Autobiography. However, before embarking on our discussion of the above-mentioned code, we ought to point out some of the differences between autobiography as a l i t e r a r y genre and f i c t i o n i n general. The problems posed here are numerous, but we w i l l consider only the few which are relevant to our analysis of the narrational l e v e l . Autobiography, f i r s t of a l l , cannot be considered a genre i n the sense that poetry, f i c t i o n and drama are. I t rather belongs to a sub-class of the whole range of writ i n g which we can place under the rubric of n o n f i c t i o n a l prose. The simplest way of defining autobiography i s by stating that i t i s a narrative of a person's l i f e written by himself. And i n t h i s sense i t i s the story of Sartre's l i f e , or more precisely, i t i s not the story but the history of his l i f e , because i t purports Qk to be history and not fic t i o n . Although both f i c t i o n and history are fundamentally narratives, i t is clear that the f i r s t is based on imagina-tion, on invention, whereas the latter i s based on facts. This defines our problem, namely, that we cannot f u l l y apply the categories of the poetics of fic t i o n in our analysis of Sartre's autobiography. The autobiographical narrative stands between hi s t o r i c a l and f i c t i o n a l narrative, in that, on the one hand, the historical narrative has of necessity an arbitrary beginning and ending, considering that history has neither beginning nor ending; while, on the other, the f i c t i o n a l writing has to have both a beginning and an ending, since f i c t i o n i s after a l l invention. Every autobiography has a beginning: the birth of i t s subject, although, as is the case with Les mots, the author can deviate in this respect, beginning with a short history of his maternal and paternal grandparents, and then his parents, as i f he were a bio-grapher. This is precisely the way Sartre begins his autobiography, after which he arrives at the moment of his birth, which he chronicles again from hearsay. In any case we can say that Les mots, being an autobiography, is fi c t i o n a l in nature inasmuch as i t has a beginning. On the other hand i t cannot have a definite ending since the author cannot write about his own death. Thus the ending of Sartre's autobiography is an arbitrary one, although he does establish a certain pattern of his l i f e , which is meant to enable the reader to treat this arbitrary cutting off of the narration of his l i f e (or more precisely, a certain period of his l i f e ) 85 as i f i t were ended. Consequently, we can conclude that, inasmuch as i t has an arbitrary ending, the narrative of Les mots i s also h i s t o r i c a l i n i t s narrative. There i s yet another double r e l a t i o n of Sartre's autobiography to both h i s t o r i c a l and f i c t i o n a l narrative. On one hand, the autobiography describes Sartre's l i f e , and hence the subject matter likens i t to f i c t i o n , which i s dependent on characters, that i s , representations of persons. On the other, these characters are not purely f i c t i o n a l , i n that they are Sartre's representation of the r e a l people, with whom he l i v e d and whom he knew. Consequently we ought to keep i n mind always that the work analyzed here represents a mixture of f i c t i o n and history (non-f i c t i o n ) , and hence the methods applied w i l l be mixtures of narrative and expository ones. 2.2.0. Giver of the Narrative. The f i r s t step i n analyzing the code through which the narrator/author and the reader are s i g n i f i e d consists i n answering the question of who the giver of the narrative i s . There have been different answers to th i s question: La premiere considere que l e r e c i t est emis par une personne (au sens pleinement psychologique du terme); cette personne a un nom, c'est l'auteur, en qui s'echangent sans arret l a "personnalite" et l ' a r t d'un individu parfaitement i d e n t i f i e , qui prend periodiquement l a plume pour e c r i r e une h i s t o i r e . . . . Another one " f a i t du narrateur une sorte de conscience t o t a l e , apparemment impersonnelle, qui emet 1'histoire d'un point de vue superieur, c e l u i de Dieu". The t h i r d notion "edicte que l e narrateur doit l i m i t e r son r e c i t 8 6 a ce que peuvent observer ou savoir les personnages: tout se passe comme s i chaque personnage e t a i t tour a tour l'emetteur du r e c i t . " ^ These three concepts make a common mistake i n that they tend to see re a l people, " l i v i n g " , i n the narrator and the characters i n the narrative, as i f the narrative i t s e l f were o r i g i n a l l y determined on its r e f e r e n t i a l l e v e l . This i s , i n fa c t , c r u c i a l . As we have seen, the actants (characters) can be said to be the primary vehicles for meaning i n the narrative of Les mots, i n the sense that they integrate the narrative unities on t h e i r higher l e v e l . The actants themselves can be seen as u n i t i e s of actions. But these un i t i e s are not s t a t i c ; one consequence i s that by being dynamic, performing actions, they i n -tegrate the lower l e v e l of functions, and thus render them f u l l y i n -t e l l i g i b l e . The other consequence i s that by being dynamic the actants themselves have to be integrated on a higher l e v e l ; t h i s i s necessary because as the actants move i n the narrative p l o t , t h e i r meanings change i n r e l a t i o n to different contexts. This i s where the l e v e l of narration comes i n . To repeat again, the actants on the l e v e l of the analysis of the narrative of Les 'mots should not be, and cannot be, analyzed as replicas of the r e a l human beings who existed somewhere outside the narrative. Therefore, on t h i s l e v e l , they cannot be defined by t h e i r dispositions, intentions or t r a i t s outside the narrative, but only by t h e i r coded place i n the structure of the discourse of Sartre's work. This means that although Les mots i s an autobiography, on the l e v e l of the narrative and i t s structures there i s no r e a l difference between what we usually c a l l f i c t i o n and an autobiography. That i s , we can 87 talk about relevant differences only when analyzing the whole work and i t s meanings, as related to the world i n which we l i v e , and which is ex-ternal to our analysis of the narrative and i t s structuration. The latter we w i l l discuss in our analysis of what we have termed thepplane of con-tent of Sartre's work. The above is also true of the narrator of Les mots. .The narrator and the actants are essentially, as Barthes has put i t , "sletres; de papier'; l'auteur (materiel) d'un recit ne peut se confondre en rien avec le narrateur de ce recit". 7 The one who speaks in the narrative (the narrator) i s not the one who writes in l i f e (the author), and the one who writes is not the one who i s . Thus we can say now that i n order to describe the code by which the narrator/author and the reader are signified throughout the narrative of Les"mots we have to analyze the problem of the narrator as well as that of the signs of narrativity. In other words, by analyzing the code of the signs of narrativity, which inevitably includes in i t s e l f the narrator as one of the narrational means of the author, we w i l l discover and define the code through which the reader and the narrator/author are signified in the narrative of Sartre's autobiography. What are the signs of narrativity, and what is their function on the level of Narration? In Barthesian terms: Le niveau narrationnel est done occupe par les signes de l a narrativite, 1'ensemble des operateurs qui reintegrent fonctions et actions dans, l a communication narrative, articulee sur son donateur et son destinataire.8 These signs of narrativity are in fact different formsecSf discourse: 88 f i r s t l y - different "points of view", secondly - the time relation between the narrative i t s e l f and the events which are being recounted, and t h i r d -ly - the relations between the narrating agency i t s e l f and the narrator (narrative voice). These three elements constitute the narrational level of Sartre's narrative. As welwill see i n the next chapter, a l l three elements are very closely related to Sartre's regressive-progressive analytico-synthetic method applied in Les mots. The point of view, the time order and the narrative voice represent three different aspects of this method. None of these signs of narrativity can be separated from the other two; that i s , Sartre needs a l l three forms of discourse i n order, at the same time, to apply his method to studying his own history, as well as to hold together the whole structure of the narrative of his aut obi ogr aphy. 2.3.0. Point of View. Although, being an autobiography Les mots is a first-person narrative, the problem nevertheless arises i n attempting to distinguish between the narrator on one hand, and the character whose point of view directs the narrative perspective, on the other. While at f i r s t the question may appear to be deceptively easy to answer, the narrative of Lesnmofcs i s riddled with problems i n this respect. Some-times we can say, even with certainty, that the narrator and the character whose point of view-is being presented coincide, but, more often, the narrator and the character orienting theppoint ©f view of the narrative perspective-are different personalities. Here we should make a qualifica-tion, namely, that both Sartre the child (the hero, protagonist of the 89 narrative) and Sartre the narrator have a common denominator i n Sartre the author. I t i s nevertheless clear that throughout the narration there i s , i n general, a d i f f e r e n t i a t i o n between the narrator and the protagonist. But, of course, there are exceptions because the point of view i s not always constant during the whole narration, and i t s h i f t s between the hero, the narrator and the author, that i s , between Sartre the c h i l d , Sartre the narrator and Sartre the author. On the other hand, i t i s clear from the text that the d i s t i n c t i o n between d i f f e r i n g points of view of the protagonist, the narrator and sometimes even the author himself ( a l l of them being Sartre) can never r e a l l y be absolutely neat or c l e a r l y delineated. Therefore the general delineation between the narrator and the person .whose point of view orients the narrative perspective holds true as a very general formula on the l e v e l of the whole narrative as such, whereas on the l e v e l of segments of the narrative i t constantly s h i f t s back and forth. We can take any paragraph at random i n order to v e r i f y the constant s h i f t i n g of the point of view. In the passage where Sartre reveals the episode i n which Karl took him to the barber-shop and had his curly h a i r cut o f f , the opening sentence, " l l y eut des c r i s mais pas d1embrassements et ma mere s'enferma dans sa chambre pour pleurer", i s quite c l e a r l y seen through the point of view of the hero. The continuation: . . . on avait troque sa f i l l e t t e contre un gargonnet. I I y avait p i s : tant qu'elles voltigeaient autour de mes o r e i l l e s , mes belles anglaises l u i avaient permis de refuser 1'evidence de ma laideur. Deja, pourtant, mon o e i l droit entrait dans l e crepuscule. I I f a l l u t qu'elle s'avouat l a v e r i t e . . . 90 i s , as c l e a r l y , given from the point of view of the narrator since the hero was not aware of any.of the above-mentioned facts at the time. Then: "Mon grand-pere semblait lui-meme tout i n t e r d i t " can be safely taken for the point of view of the hero, after which the narration s h i f t s back to the narrator's point of view: ".,. . on l u i avait confie sa p e t i t e merveille, i l avait rendu un crapaud". A few sentences l a t e r the narration s h i f t s again to the point of view of the hero: "Mamie l e regardait, amusee. E l l e d i t simplement: 'Karl n'est pas f i e r ; i l f a i t l e dos rond" (p. 90). This example i s representative of the whole narrative of Les mots. Since we are analyzing the narration of an autobiography we ought to be very careful not to allow the i d e n t i t y of the character (that i s , Sartre the c h i l d and Sartre the narrator) deceive us as to the very important difference of information and function i n regard to the hero and the narrator. Sartre the narrator obviously knows more than Sartre the c h i l d , In spite of the fact that the hero i s the narrator himself. The consequence of t h i s i s that the point of view of the hero always represents a r e s t r i c t i o n of the narrative p o s s i b i l i t i e s open to the narrator. There-fore i n spite of t h i s seeming coinciding of the hero and the narrator there i s always a tangible difference regarding the representations of different points of view. So, as we can see, the narrational technique with regard to different points of view i s rather conventional. There i s nothing new nor r e a l l y innovative i n i t s application. Nor does Sartre seem to need anything over and above t h i s technique. 91 Another inte r e s t i n g problem i n r e l a t i o n to the s h i f t i n g of the point of view i n Sartre's autobiography - which i s always, of necessity, one between the hero (who i s the narrator i n the past) and the narrator -concerns the fact that the only r e s t r i c t i o n which Sartre the narrator does respect i s nearly always l i m i t e d only by his r e l a t i o n to the informa-t i o n which he, the narrator, has and not by his r e l a t i o n to the past i n -formation of Sartre the c h i l d . This allows him to s h i f t the point of view constantly from that of the narrator to that of the hero. The narrator constantly interpolates i n the seeming recounting by the hero of the different episodes, the information which can only be accessible to the narrator himself, as we have seen i n the above-quoted episode. This i s true of the whole narration of Les mots. The changing of the point of view occurs on different l e v e l s : i t can be that of a whole segment of the narrative, or that of a sentence, or even within a sentence there can be a changing of the points of view. These changes may be seen as representing the autobiographical part of Sartre the narrator i n the presentation of facts which were either not available to Sartre the c h i l d at the time of the recounted episode, and which he w i l l learn about l a t e r , or the facts which Sartre the c h i l d could not have known or understood. In conclusion we can say that there are i n fact two concurrently running codes, one of the hero and the other of the narrator. These two coexisting codes function on two levels of thennarrational r e a l i t y . This double point of view can be said to be the emblem of the narrational l e v e l of Sartre's autobiography. The constant simultaneous play on two 9 2 different kinds of point of view, shifting incessantly from Sartre the child to Sartre the narrator, only ceases at almost the very end of the hook, where the two become fused into that of the narrator (p. 1 9 3 ) . In reality, both Sartre the child and Sartre the narrator are the narrational means of Sartre the author. Thus the information of the narrator is situated between the information of the hero and the omni-science of Sartre the author, wherein the narrator, as -an intermediary, can dispose of his information as the narration requires, and retain i t when the expediency of the same narration warrants i t . 2.U.O. Time Order. The existence of the two concurrent codes of the narrational level in Les mots i s fa c i l i t a t e d by the fact that the order of time i n the narrative i s doubly temporal. The decisive time determina-tion in Sartre's work is the relative position of the narration in relation to the story narrated. In other words, in order to study the order of time (temporal order) of the narrative i t s e l f we ought to juxtapose the order in which the events in the narrative discourse are arranged with the order of succession of the same events in the story (i.e. i n the history of Sartre's l i f e ) . This can be done either through the explicit indication of i t in the narrative i t s e l f , or by inference. Thus we can define the double temporality of the narrative i n Les mots as the relationship be-tween the time of the history narrated and the time of the narration. As was the case with the point of view, here also we can see that the technique which Sartre uses is very conventional. There were two points of view: that of Sartre the narrator and that of Sartre the child. 93 The time order has thus to he that of narration (corresponding to the narrator), and that of the history of Jean-Paul's childhood (corresponding to the c h i l d ) . Despite t h i s conventionality the implications of the double temporality for the narrative are extremely important. F i r s t l y , t h i s temporal duality allows Sartre to make a number of temporal distortions i n the narrative, which are employed i n using the constantly s h i f t i n g emphasis from the point of view of the narrator (the temporal order of the narration) to that of the hero (the temporal order of the history narrated), and back. Secondly, the importance of the double temporality of the narrative of Les mots appears to be so great that we can conclude that i t i s precisely t h i s characteristic of being able to intertwine the two sequences, i n order to produce a fugal e f f e c t , which may be thought of as one of the most fundamental functions of the narration. This importance w i l l become quite apparent i n our analysis of Sartre's regressive-progressive method. At t h i s point i t should s u f f i c e to say that the double temporality of the narrative i s absolutely necessary for Sartre In order to apply his method, f i r s t regressively (the time order of the story narrated), and then progressively (the time order of the narration). 2 . 5 - 0 . Narrative Voice. In our discussion of "points of view" we have analyzed the different perspectives of the narrative i n r e l a t i o n to the QiiDstory of Sartre's l i f e . We have just seen that i n fact there exists a double temporal r e l a t i o n between the narrative and events i n the history of Sartre's, l i f e . Now we have to analyze the relations existing between 9h the narrative and what we may c a l l the narrating agency i t s e l f . The pro-blem posed here i s one of analyzing, and delineating, the narrative voice i n the narrative of Les mots. The narration i s most often i n the past, although there are except-ions, as we w i l l see l a t e r . The predominance of the past i s used i n such a manner that i t allows Sartre to fragment the narration very often, i n order to interpolate i t between different moments of the story which i s being t o l d . This gives the impression of the story being somehow more immediate. The insertion of the narration between the moments of the actions i s very complex, because i t creates narration on two levels and t h i s i n turn leads to the intertwining of the story and the narration. The means through which t h i s i s usually achieved i s the narrator. He, as an intermediary, i s at the same time Sartre the c h i l d and somebody else. For example, the passage where he writes how Karl t r i e d to f l a t t e r his grandson i n order to dissuade him from wanting to become a writer: ". :. . l a voix qui tremblait d'amour en m'appelant 'cadeau du C i e l ' , je feignais encore de l'ecouter mais j'avais f i n i par ne plus l'entendre." Here the story i s interrupted and the narrator continues: Pourquoi l u i a i - j e prete l ' o r e i l l e ce j o u r - l a , au moment qu'elle mentait l e plus deliberement? Par quel malentendu l u i a i - j e f a i t dire l e contraire de ce qu'elle pretendait m'apprendre? And so on, to return to recounting the story almost immediately: Charles, avait deux visages: quand i l jouait au grand-pere, je le. tenais pour un bouffon de mon espece et ne l e respectais pas. Mais s ' i l p a r l a i t a, M. Simonnot, a ses f i l s , s ' i l se f a i s a i t s e r v i r par ses femmes a table, en designant du doigt, sans un mot, l ' h u i l i e r ou l a c o r b e i l l e a pain, •j'admirais son autorite. (p. 13*0 95 The events about -which Sartre writes c l e a r l y belong to the past; the point of view i s that of the narrator i n both cases, implying that the point of view of the c h i l d was l a t e r changed into that of the narrator, as i t i s presented i n the above passage. Thus the feelings and attitudes of the future, which i s yet to come, are already present and i n t h i s sense we can state that one of the consequences of the intertwining of the nar-ration and the story i s that the f i r s t acts back on the l a t t e r and con-sequently somewhat modifies i t . What we have here i s the Jean-Paul of the past, at the same time a l l here and already far away, spoken about by the Jean-Paul of the time of w r i t i n g his autobiography. There are i n fact successive heroes, but only the second one i s also the narrator, who imposes his own point of view on the c h i l d . The narration of past events i s sometimes i n the present, but these are more exceptions than r e g u l a r i t i e s , and the relations between the narration and the story are not altered i n any way. The r e l a t i o n between the discourse of Sartre the c h i l d and Sartre the narrator i s constant throughout the narrative. There are generally two discourses (that of the c h i l d and that of the narrator), and these are juxtaposed one with another, and although they interweave, they never completely mix. We can always distinguish the voice of the narrator from the voice of Sartre the c h i l d : the narrator not only knows what w i l l happen to the c h i l d , but also he possesses a l l the knowledge, understanding and wisdom acquired by Sartre throughout his l i f e , which f a c i l i t a t e our distinguishing i t from the voice of the hero. 9 6 The hero ("I narrated") and the narrator ("I narrating") are thus separated i n Les mots by a difference of experience and age which allows the narrator to treat the hero with the kind of irony which i s always v i s i b l y present throughout the whole narrative. But the irony works on yet another l e v e l , that i s , i t i s very e f f e c t i v e l y used by the d i s -tance which at times exists between the narrator himself and the author. F i r s t l y , the distance can be established by the fact that the narrator i s , after a l l , situated within the work i t s e l f , whereas i t i s the author who wrote and structured the work. Secondly, one of the central problems of Les mots i s that of the w r i t e r and his r e l a t i o n to the world i n which he l i v e s . Consequently, i t i s more efficacious to deal with the bourgeois myth-of the writer obliquely, and th i s i s where Sartre uses irony. Often the narrator makes a comment which cannot be taken at i t s face value, either because i t contradicts the just preceding passage, or i t i s obvious from the context that i t i s used i r o n i c a l l y . Another way by means of which the above distancing i s achieved i s by using either rather s i m p l i f i e d statements about, and explanations of, r e a l i t y or by using burlesque examples when pretending to speak seriously. The end result i s that the narrative i n the treatment of i t s subject achieves a certain distance from i t , by tr e a t i n g the subject i r o n i c a l l y , sometimes even r i d i c u l i n g what i t purports, at i t s face value, to be dealing with seriously. The distancing thus has a very d e f i n i t e function i n allowing the author to make various statements and explanations knowing that what he i s supposedly saying seriously w i l l not be taken l i t e r a l l y . 97 Yet a l l these effects are achieved through Sartre the narrator, and t h i s comprises one of the.'l'functions of the narrator's discourse. Another one i s achieved through i t s r e l a t i o n with the text i t s e l f , to which Sartre the narrator can refer i n his (the narrator's) discourse i n order to i n -dicate various a r t i c u l a t i o n s , l i n k s and i n t e r - r e l a t i o n s i n the t e x t , that i s , i n order to indicate i t s i n t e r n a l organization. The interventions of Sartre the narrator, whether they be direct or i n d i r e c t , i n r r e l a t i o n to the history of his own l i f e which i s being narrated, have very often a more didactic function: t h i s we may c a l l the expository function of the narrator. I t consists of various addresses to the reader, attestations of memory, organization of the narrative through the direct authorial voice of announcements and, most importantly, of the exegetical comments and explanations with the intention of making the l i f e story of the hero f u l l y i n t e l l i g i b l e and meaningful. The expository function of the narrator i s f a c i l i t a t e d by the double temporality-of the narration, as we have seen e a r l i e r . The mode i n which i t i s done i s very similar to the one i n which the point of view s h i f t s constantly from the hero to the narrator and back. Namely, the expository part of the narrative, which i s the most important aspect of the narration i n Sartre's autobiography, i s always interwoven with the rest of the narrative i n such a manner that i t serves as the backbone of the whole narration, connects and explains the events from the h i s t o r y of Sartre the c h i l d as w e l l as the comments and judgments (direct or i r o n i c ) passed by the narrator i n his other narrational functions. 98 The examples are l i m i t l e s s ; they are present on every s i n g l e page of the hook, and are thus quite obvious. They are i n s e r t e d i n various passages, paragraphs and even sentences. This i s one l e v e l on which the narrator's expository function works. Another l e v e l i s that of the whole narr a t i v e i t s e l f where we can perceive whole passages being of a pre-dominantly expository nature. What i s i n t e r e s t i n g to note i s the fact that as the n a r r a t i v e progresses the frequency of the expository comments increases u n t i l they completely take over the whole n a r r a t i v e , at p r e c i s e l y the same point where the fusion occurs of the two points of view i n t o that of the narrator (p. 193). The narrator of Les mots i s an autobiographical one. The n a r r a t i v e leads i t s hero to the .point where Sartre the narrator waits f o r Sartre the c h i l d , when the hero becomes the narrator. From t h i s point on, the voice of the narrator and that of the hero blend and mix together, and are given i n the same discourse. The two discourses become integrated i n the mind, i . e . i n the words, because there i s now only one t r u t h and understanding, only one point of view. In fact Sartre the c h i l d never does, nor could, f u l l y j o i n Sartre the narrator; the synthesis i s one of asymptotical nature, whereby the separating distance can only tend toward zero, without ever being able to a n n i h i l a t e i t s e l f . In s p i t e of t h i s , the temporal and s p a t i a l distance Is reduced s u f f i c i e n t l y f o r the author to enable him to b r i n g the narrative to the conclusion, thus bringing i t to the here and now, where the story joins the narration at l a s t . The narrator's expository function plays the c r u c i a l r o l e i n the whole process of bringing together the two points 99 of view, the double temporality of the narrative and the two discourses, and subsuming them into the narrator. Yet of a l l the functions of the narrator, this one is the only one which does not, at the end, lead back to Sartre the narrator but points instead to Sartre the author. We have seen earlier that the expository part of the narration com-prises the backbone of the whole level of Narration, in that by being the most important aspect, i t connects and explains both the events which took place i n Sartre's childhood, and the various judgments and comments made by the narrator in his other narrational functions. We have also just shown that through the narrator's expository function the double temporality, the different points of view and the two discourses (that of the hero and that of the narrator), a l l become subsumed into the narrator. However, the expository function of the narrator is the only one of his functions which in the last analysis leads to the author himself. This is quite understand-able. After a l l , a l l the signs of narrativity, including the narrator as well, are only the narrational means of the author. Sartre's regressive-progressive analytico-synthetic method thus uses the signs of narrativity and their various aspects as i t s necessary tools by means of which Sartre the author analyzes and more importantly synthesizes the study of his own personal history, as an example of individual history. Put differently, this means that the signs of narrativity, as we have discussed them here, represent the three different aspects of the method of analyzing the i n -dividual history (in this case his own) as applied by Sartre in Les mots. In our' discussion of the level of Narration we have analyzed the signs of narrativity which, in Barthes' words, as the set of operators reintegrate the level of Functions and the level of Actants into what have called the narrative communication. The narration i t s e l f , as the highest synthesizing level of the narrative, i s made fu l l y meaningful only through i t s relation to the world in which the reader and the author l i v e . To quote Barthes once again: La narration ne peut en effet recevoir son sense que du monde qui en use: au-dela du niveau narrationnel, commence le monde, c'est-a-dire d'autres syst:emes (sociaux, economiques, ideologiques), dont les termes ne sont plus seulement les recits, mais des elements d'une autre substance. . . . 9 101 CHAPTER I I I : NOTES 1 Roland Barthes, "introduction a. l'analyse structurale des r e c i t s , " Communications, 1966 ( 8 ) , p;v'-l6. 2 I b i d . , pp. 1 6 - 1 7 . 3 Ibid. , p. 1 7 . h I b i d . , p. 1 8 . 5 I b i d . , p. 1 9 . 6 Ibid. ? Ibid. 8 I b i d . , p. 21. 9 I b i d . , p. 2 2 . 102 CHAPTER TV 1.1.0. Aim. In the preface to the Russian t r a n s l a t i o n of Les mots Sartre states some of the reasons which prompted him to write h i s autobiography: Without troubles, i n happiness and boredom I l i v e d through the ten d i f f i c u l t years, which l e d us to the War of 19lh. Why, you ask, t a l k about that empty and mendacious dream? I have two answers. Here I wanted to t a l k about the c h i l d -hood from which we emerged, becoming what we have become. For every man the early years are the most important ones: we are gradually hatched from t h e i r s h e l l , but without ever being able to throw i t o f f completely. My second i n t e n t i o n has not always been interpreted c o r r e c t l y . C r i t i c s have reproached me for having been too harsh toward the l i t t l e boy I was. People.like .ajt.ewhenereeollections are f u l l of indulgence toward oneself, when the author, t r y i n g to move himself, moves the reader. I am neither harsh nor tender, I hold g u i l t y not the l i t t l e boy, but the environment and epoch which moulded him. Most importantly, I detest the myth of childhood made by adults. I ask you to take t h i s book for what, i n essence, i t i s : an attempt to debunk the myth.l In an interview given to the New Left Review, answering as to whether he plans to write a sequel to Les mots, he says: No, I do not think that a sequel to Les mots would be of much i n t e r e s t . The reason why I produced Les mots i s the reason why I have studied Genet or Flaubert: how does a man become someone who writes, who wants to speak of the imaginary? This i s what I .'.sought to answer i n my own case, as I sought i t In that of o t h e r s . 2 In another interview, given to Encounter, he says: The c h a r a c t e r i s t i c of every neurosis i s to represent i t s e l f as natural. I considered calmly that I was born to write. I needed to j u s t i f y my existence, and I had made an absolute of l i t e r a t u r e . . . In Les mots. I explain the o r i g i n of my madness, of my neurosis.3 Les mots i s the l i f e story of the c h i l d Jean-Paul as recounted by the Jean-Paul of f i f t y years l a t e r . The claim that man's early years are 103 the d e c i s i v e , formative ones i s c o n s i s t e n t l y elaborated throughout the book and therefore maintained by the work as a whole. As we have seen i n our analysis of the structures of the n a r r a t i v e of Les mots, Sartre succeeds i n making a very strong, l o g i c a l argument f o r claiming that his "madness", his "neurosis", which consisted i n having chosen the profession of w r i t e r i n h i s childhood years, was i n f a c t mainly, although not e n t i r e l y , due to his p a r t i c u l a r experiences of a petit-bourgeois c h i l d , growing up i n a f a i r l y t y p i c a l bourgeois family, i n a c e r t a i n epoch. We have analyzed Sartre's growing up by d i v i d i n g the l e v e l of Functions into two groups: f i r s t , the group which we have named the "Family", and second, the group named the "Project". The reason f o r t h i s i s that Sartre, i n order to study and explain how he himself became "someone who writes, who wants to speak of the imaginary", i n explaining h i s own development throughout Les  mots, constantly emphasizes the d i a l e c t i c a l r e l a t i o n s h i p e x i s t i n g between the c u l t u r a l and i d e o l o g i c a l influence of the class to which his own family belonged, on one hand, and the manner i n which he reacted to these, on the other. Before we embark upon our discussion of Les mots i n the l i g h t of Sartre's method for studying h i s t o r y (including h i s t o r y of an i n d i v i d u a l ) , which he expounds i n Questions de methode, I ought to point out that I b e l i e v e that - from the treatment of h i s own h i s t o r y i n his autobiography -Sartre can be s a i d to be p r i m a r i l y a p h i l o s o p h i c a l w r i t e r who has given his p h i l o s o p h i c a l arguments i n a l i t e r a r y form, rather than a man of l e t t e r s who happens to philosophize. Consequently, our p r i n c i p a l aim i n t h i s chap-t e r w i l l consist i n attempting to r e l a t e Les mots to the main p h i l o s o p h i c a l 10k categories and postulates from Questions de methode, i n order, f i r s t , t o explicate the general meaning of the former, and second, to trace the main p h i l o s o p h i c a l postulates and categories from the l a t t e r , hy showing t h e i r presence i n Sartre's autobiography. 1.2.0. Method. Although Sartre's main concern i n Questions de methode i s direct e d t o the l a r g e r scale of i n t e r p r e t a t i o n of d i a l e c t i c s i n h i s t o r i c a l materialism, he nevertheless attempts at the same time to provide a founda-t i o n f o r an analysis of i n d i v i d u a l h i s t o r i c a l l i f e . He explores a method which ought to enable us to understand the genesis of a person i n conjunction with the structures of so c i e t y and the movement of h i s t o r y . This means that Sartre accepts Marx's i n s i s t e n c e on plac i n g the concrete man at the centre of research: . . . homme qui se d e f i n i t a. l a f o i s par ses besoins, par l e s conditions materielles de son existence et par l a nature de son t r a v a i l , c'est-a-dire de sa l u t t e contre l e s choses et contre l e s hommes.** Thus, according to Sartre, Marxism provides for the s p e c i f i c i t y of human existence and i s , at the same time, concerned with the concrete man i n his objective r e a l i t y . In h i s general o r i e n t a t i o n toward s o c i a l r e l a t i o n s Sartre accepts Marx's fundamental p r i n c i p l e that the mode of production of material l i f e i n general determines the development of s o c i a l , p o l i t i c a l and i n t e l l e c t u a l l i f e . However, he states that, while the h i s t o r i c a l materialism remains the only v a l i d i n t e r p r e t a t i o n of h i s t o r y , e x i s t e n t i a l i s m provides the only concrete approach to r e a l i t y . Thus the combination of the two would produce what Sartre c a l l s c r i t i c a l d i a l e c t i c , which studies human h i s t o r y and human actions i n terms of a d i a l e c t i c a l process of r e c i p r o c a l 105 interaction between man and man, man and the group, and man and the world. Although human existence is affected by the material conditions of l i f e , we cannot say that man is merely a passive product of an impersonal dia-l e c t i c a l process. I f this were the case, Sartre argues, i t would not make sense to speak of a human history. Social phenomena are characterized by dialectical processes, by action and reaction, opposition, conflict, a dynamic interaction of individual and collective social forces. Consequently, i f we want to study a human history, Sartre insists that "on doit dechiffrer dans sa particularite et d'abord a partir du groupe concret dont i l est issu".^ Thus, having established the fundamental philosophical basis for his method, Sartre proceeds to discuss the establishing of the method i t s e l f . The pivotal question here is one of bringing the man back into history. In order to do so we must search out his specific qualities by trying to discover the mediations through which the man is related to others and to his historical environment. Sartre proposes a hierarchy of mediations which would enable us to grasp the process by which a man and his product are produced inside the class from which he comes, and in the interior of a given society at a given historical moment. Marxism has not developed means for such a hierarchy of mediations, and Sartre contends that Existentialism provides the means for bringing into r e l i e f the individual concrete against the background of the general contra-dictions of productive forces and relations of production. He repeats over and again that in studying individual history we cannot account for i t only by examining economic forces of the period. i o 6 1.3.0. Childhood. There are other formative i n f l u e n c e s , the most import-ant among them being those of childhood and growth. Discussing Flaubert's l i f e , Sartre says that what made Flaubert belong to the bourgeois class was the fac t that he was born i n t o a family which was already bourgeois. He was made a bourgeois, he accepted the roles imposed upon him by his family, at a time when he could not comprehend t h e i r meaning. Likewise, young Jean-Paul, as we have seen i n Les mots, was also born i n t o a bourgeois family, the head of which was a petit-bourgeois i n t e l l e c t u a l , well-known Charles Schweitzer. The l a t t e r stubbornly clung to the " i d e a l s " of his c l a s s , thereby mediating the whole set of class values to h i s grandson. But, as we have seen, Sartre's family, although a bourgeois one, was a p a r t i c u l a r family, and i f we apply Sartre's explana-t i o n of Flaubert's childhood t o himself, i t was i n s i d e the p a r t i c u l a r i t y of his own h i s t o r y , through the p e c u l i a r contradictions of his own family, that Sartre unwittingly served h i s class apprenticeship. Sartre the c h i l d became t h i s p a r t i c u l a r Sartre (adult, w r i t e r , philosopher) because he l i v e d the u n i v e r s a l as p a r t i c u l a r . He l i v e d , i n p a r t i c u l a r , the c o n f l i c t s be-tween the decomposition of, i n many respects, the t y p i c a l bourgeois values, which were being replaced by a new set of attitudes towards l i f e i n the ear l y twentieth century, and the set of the bourgeois values of the time of Louis-Philippe, which his grandfather imposed on Jean-Paul. Some other statements regarding the childhood of Flaubert can also be applied to Sartre himself. He says that the young Flaubert l i v e d his childhood . . . dans le s tenebres, c'est-a-dire sans p r i s e de conscience r e e l l e , dans. 1'affolement, l a f u i t e , l ' i n -comprehension et a travers sa condition m a t e r i e l l e 107 d' enfant "bourgeois, bien nourri, bien soigne, mais impuissant et separe du monde. C'est comme enfant qu'il a vecu sa condition future a travers les professions qui s'offriront a l u i . . . This i s precisely what Sartre t e l l s us about his own childhood in Les mots. Two things should be emphasized here. F i r s t , that Sartre the child was imbued with the values of his class and of that period, or, to use Sartre's own terminology, he interiorized the exterior without of course having any real awareness of what was happening to him. Second, Sartre, too, lived his childhood as a bourgeois child well nourished but helpless and separated from the world. We remember his early Platonism, whereby words "contained" reality, and his consequent alienation from the world in which he lived, which was at two removes from the reality of his ontological situation. Consequently Sartre's later "choice" of the pro-fession of writer ought to be considered i n the light of the above. Flaubert, Sartre t e l l s us, lived " l a mort bourgeoise, cette solitude qui nous accompagne des l a naissance, mais i l l a vecut a. travers les structures familiales".T Sartre's own childhood, as described in Les mots, consisted in his l i v i n g the bourgeois solitude within the structures of the Schweitzer family. The apartment on the f i f t h floor of One, rue le Goff, v i s i t s to the Luxembourg Gardens with his mother, the absence of any friends of his own age, the hypocrisy and pretentiousness, the fact that he was surrounded by the "great dead" i n the books in his grandfather's library; they a l l pointed in one direction: that of " l a plus irremediable solitude bourgeoise: celle du createur." Emphasizing the extreme importance which childhood plays i n man's l i f e , Sartre categorically states that childhood i s that which "fagonne 1 0 8 des prejuges indepassables, c'est elie qui f a i t resentir, dans les violences du dressage et l'egarement de l a bete dressee, 1'appartenance au milieu comme un evenement singulier."9 l.ij.O. Psychoanalysis. How are we to study the history of an individual? By what means are we to discover the dialectical relationship - between the material conditions in which he lived and his childhood - which has produced the individual as he is? What disciplines provide us with the tools necessary for explaining i t ? Sartre believes that psychoanalysis has to be used in order to understand the genesis of an individual, because psychoanalysis of a l l disciplines is alone capable of studying the process whereby a child, without really understanding i t , tries to play the social role imposed upon him by.his parents. Only by applying psychoanalysis are we able to discover whether the child evades the role, assimilates i t en-t i r e l y , or whether the role destroys him. The second point regarding pschy©analysis is that Sartre considers i t a method the primary concern of which i s to establish the manner in which the child lives his family re-lations within a given society. Thirdly, psychoanalysis reveals the point of insertion of a man in his class; i n other words, i t reveals the particular family as mediation between universal class and the individual. And l a s t l y , psychoanalysis "a 1'interieur d'une totalisation dialectique, renvoie d'un cote aux structures objectives, aux conditions materielles et, de l'autre, a, l'action de notre indepassable enfance sur notre vie d'adulte." 1 0 0 From a l l this, we can conclude that Sartre's proposed incorporation of existentialism and psychoanalysis into Marxism reveals that he does not 1 0 9 intend to deny the relationship between the infrastructure and super-structure, i.e. between material conditions of l i f e and culture, but rather to make that relationship more profound by showing that both are mediated through the individual, whose work is the concrete, objectified accomplishment of various elements. However, the psychoanalysis which Sartre considers absolutely neces-sary in any comprehensive study of an individual history is not psycho-analysis as i t is usually understood. It is very important to c l a r i f y this because the psychoanalytical theory applied by Sartre to himself i n Les mots i s of a dialectical kind. In discussing shortcomings of Freudian psychoanalytic theory, Sartre says that he "would reproach psychoanalytic theory with being a syncretic and not a dialectical thought."-'--1- He adds that since psychoanalytic theory i s not structured, anything can be derived from i t . What he finds missing in conventional psychoanalytic interpreta-tions i s the notion (which is for a dialectical thinker of crucial import-ance) of dialectical i r r e d u c i b i l i t y . He gives the example of hi s t o r i c a l materialism where, as in a true dialectic theory, phenomena derive from each other dialectically. What he means by this i s that there are various configurations of dialectical r e a l i t y , and every one of them is s t r i c t l y conditioned by the preceding one, while at the same time preserving and superseding i t . The supersession is always irreducible, i n the sense that while one configuration may preserve i t s predecessor, i t can never be simply reduced to i t . And Sartre ends: " i t i s the idea of this autonomy that is lacking i n psychoanalytic theory."-1-2 Consequently i t was essential for our analysis of the characters i n Les mots to get away 110 from the s o - c a l l e d pure psychologizing, because i t was evident that each one of them was given as a d i a l e c t i c u n i t y , or synthesis, of many diverse influences, t r a i t s and conditions. I t was thus necessary to analyze them as actants, which we have defined as designating at the same time the sub-jects and the objects of an action. The actions were, on the other hand, defined as a r t i c u l a t i o n s of praxis, namely of-need, project and l i v e d experience. Lived experience i s an important concept i n Sartre's proposed method of studying i n d i v i d u a l h i s t o r y . I t i s , i n f a c t , the l i v e d process by which each person e f f e c t s his own t o t a l i z a t i o n by perpetually p r o j e c t i n g himself but of the past toward his chosen future, as we have seen i n the cases of Charles, Anne-Marie, Louise and Jean-Paul himself. D i a l e c t i c a l movement i t s e l f was manifested i n and through the t o t a l i z i n g a c t i v i t y of the main characters of Sartre's autobiography. T o t a l i z a t i o n i s the process by which parts are synthesized i n t o wholes o r . r a t i o n a l t o t a l i t i e s . The con-cept, i f applied to the main characters again, would mean that t h e i r i n t e n t i o n a l , t o t a l i z i n g a c t i v i t y within the d i a l e c t i c of experience tends toward action or praxis. Sartre sees societ y as such a t o t a l i z a t i o n - i n -process, a phenomenon produced by the m u l t i p l i c i t y of p r a c t i c a l r e l a t i o n -ships (the basis of which i s action or pr a x i s : thus the a r t i c u l a t i o n s of praxis) with others who are engaged i n the t o t a l i z a t i o n of t h e i r own experience. T o t a l i z a t i o n i s an i n t e n t i o n a l synthetic act of an i n d i v i d u a l d i r e c t e d towards ac t u a l or possible action. The process of t o t a l i z a t i o n never stops: at every moment the i n d i v i d u a l i s i n the process of adding new experience and thus incessantly t o t a l i z e s i t s e l f . I l l 1.5.0. Alienation. Therefore i n order to study individual history we-ought to apply existentialism aided hy psychoanalysis of dialectical nature. This of course has to he done only within the basic Marxian principles, as we have seen earlier. Under thevpresent circumstances in a capitalist society, Sartre claims, we can only study those situations "ou l'homme s'est perdu lui-meme des 1'enfance car i l n'y en a pas d'autres dans une societe fondle sur 1'exploitation." 13 Thus the onto-logical situation of contemporary man i s one of alienation. The concept of alienation i s very important in both Questions de methode, because i t is the general fundamental predicament of our lives in this h i s t o r i c a l epoch, and in Les mots, where i t takes the forms of Jean-Paul's super-fluousness, his feeling of not being j u s t i f i e d , his death-wish neurosis, and his many anxieties and fears. Although man is alienated, Sartre says, he i s not a thing. Despite the fact that man may be alienated or re i f i e d he nevertheless s t i l l remains man, and Sartre's interpretation of Marx's concept of reification holds that reification of man means that man is condemned to l i v e humanly the condition of material things. If man's alienation and i t s concomitant reifica t i o n are for Sartre the general condition of modern man, then i t i s logical to conclude that i t must be present in Sartre's account of his own childhood. The anxieties, fears, neuroses, the feeling of not being wanted, etc., which we have dis-cussed, are only the visi b l e , surface consequences of Sartre's own alienation. It is not enough that Jean-Paul f e l t estranged from l i f e and rea l i t y as he knew them and lived them in his childhood years. We 112 must analyze the roots of the problem and t r y to show how those fee l i n g s developed and what caused them. In i n d u s t r i a l c a p i t a l i s t s o c i e t y , as France was i n Sartre's youth, the most c h a r a c t e r i s t i c form of a l i e n a t i o n was massive, i n s t i t u t i o n a l i z e d r e i f i c a t i o n . By t h i s I mean that the c h a r a c t e r i s t i c of thing-hood became the standard of objective r e a l i t y . In other words, i n order to conceive of something as r e a l i t had to have the character of a thing. To under-stand t h i s statement we have f i r s t to t r y to define a l i e n a t i o n , which i s a more general concept and which subsumes r e i f i c a t i o n as one of i t s moments. For the sake of b r e v i t y we can say that a l i e n a t i o n i s the state i n which man i s not aware of the fact that the world i n which he l i v e d has been pro-duced by himself. Man's everyday actions produce i n the world c e r t a i n events or concepts, and these can be s a i d to be h i s products. For example, l i t t l e Jean-Paul's attempts at r e a l i z i n g his projects (reading, becoming a hero i n h i s imagination, writing) had as t h e i r end r e s u l t production of c e r t a i n events i n h i s own l i f e , as w e l l as i n the l i v e s of the members of his own family, while at the same time changing some of his previous con-concepts of r e a l i t y and forming new ones. This i s on the l e v e l of p a r t i c u l a r actions; on theoother hand, we can say that these same actions were pro-ducing Jean-Paul himself. Therefore, on the l e v e l of the t o t a l i t y of these actions, i . e . on the l e v e l of Jean-Paul's l i f e as such, he was incessantly d e f i n i n g himself as an always s l i g h t l y modified t o t a l i t y . In Sartre's p h i l o s o p h i c a l jargon, Jean-Paul was always producing a new t o t a l i z a t i o n - i n - p r o c e s s . In other words, he was h i s own product (keeping i n mind, of course, that t h i s was done within the material conditions and 113 the epoch i n which he l i v e d ) . Now, going hack to the concept of a l i e n a t i o n we can say that i t represents a process, or s t a t e , whereby the d i a l e c t i c a l unity of Jean-Paul and the products ( r e s u l t s ) of his actions were severed. The r e s u l t s of his actions appeared t o him as a l i e n ; he could not recognize his own actions i n t h e i r r e s u l t s . R e i f i c a t i o n , as one of the forms of a l i e n a t i o n , exists when society bestows c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s of a thing.upon human r e l a t i o n s , constructs, and actions i n order to give them an appearance of being r e a l . In general terms r e i f i c a t i o n as a form of a l i e n a t i o n i n Les mots i s evidenced through the attitudes which French society of that time had regarding i t s own s o c i a l roles and i n s t i t u t i o n s . This seems to be a rather t y p i c a l form of r e i f i c a t i o n , and consists i n g i v i n g o n t o l o g i c a l status to s o c i a l roles and i n s t i t u t i o n s . Play-acting, which figures so prominently i n Sartre's autobiography, i s one of the forms of r e i f i c a t i o n . Charles Schweitzer accepted the roles of a well-respected bourgeois i n t e l l e c t u a l , righteous and "l o v i n g " grandfather of a wonder-child, French n a t i o n a l i s t from Alsace who f e l t s l i g h t e d by both the French and the Germans, etc. Louise had the r o l e of a housewife, Anne-Marie was put i n t o the r o l e of a c h i l d of her parents despite having a c h i l d of her own. Jean-Paul's r o l e s kept changing t h e i r forms, but i t was mainly, as we have analyzed i n d e t a i l i n both the project and the family functions, the r o l e of an exceptional c h i l d , obedient, "well nourished and bored". The r e i f i c a t i o n of a l l these roles consisted i n separating them from r e a l i i n t e n t i o n s and expectations of t h e i r bearers and changing them i n t o an i n e v i t a b l e destiny f o r a l l of them: Jean-Paul, Anne-Marie, Louise, Charles. Even Charles, although he seems to have nurtured and developed his roles more than the others, because his main aim was, as Sartre says, "amadouer sa mort"; but the roles at which he played so hard could never have f u l f i l l e d his need because they were only that - roles. The r e i f i c a t i o n of roles provided a delusion for people who accepted them - and this was the case with Jean-Paul - namely, that they acted in false consciousness of not having a choice, mainly because they had accepted one role or another. Sartre's "madness" and "neurosis" i n accepting the role of a future writer provided him with an excuse for never really questioning the role at a l l . His other roles (wonder-child, talented grandson of famous Charles Schweitzer) provided the false feeling of security, of being needed, of having his own place in the Universe. They were always presented as inevitable. Jean-Paul's concrete actions thus became only mimetic repetitions of the " typical actions, which were proscribed by his class, and which were embodied in the various roles he played. But his cumulative role - that of wonder-child, gi f t of Heaven, future teacher and writer - because of i t s dehumanizing effect i n t r i n s i c i n every role, was fel t by Sartre to be a "false role". The play-acting in the Schweitzer family, as a form of rei f i c a t i o n , presented to Sartre instead of aerealhhumanwworOid a quasi-sacramental one, wherein actions of the members of his family, including himself, did not express human intentions and meanings. What they pre-sented were different abstractions, e.g. -grandfather, wonder-child, bourgeois writer, etc., which they were supposed to embody. And a l l of this was orchestrated by the High Priest, Charles Schweitzer himself. The dehumanization of the world in which Jean-Paul lived was not only 115 r e i n f o r c e d by the r e l i g i o u s views and the bourgeois moral system but i t was represented as "natural" and legitimate as w e l l . Not only were the r o l e s ' r e i f i e d , but. .the family, as. a. s o c i a l i n s t i t u t i o n underwent the same change. The Schweitzer family as- a bourgeois family was not a human enterprise concerned with the human needs, hopes and sentiments of i t s members, but i t consisted of constant play-acting, i . e . re-enactment of actionsoof a p r o t o t y p i c a l nature which were presented as having been based on "natural laws" and "human nature". I t was the abstract i d e a of bourgeois family, founded on "natural laws" and "nature of things" which was responsible f o r the inhuman treatment accorded to Sartre's mother by her parents. I t was quite normal for Charles to t r e a t his own daughter as an adolescent again, despite her having been married and having a c h i l d . L i v i n g with her parents, unable to support h e r s e l f , she was forced i n t o the r o l e of her parents 1 c h i l d . I t was natural f o r Charles to expect women to wait on him at the dinner t a b l e . Examples abound. The phenomenon of r e i f i c a t i o n , as presented i n Les mots, served a manifold purpose: f i r s t - i t provided an excuse minimizing the range of the p o s s i b i l i t y of r e f l e c t i o n and choice, second - i t f a c i l i t a t e d behaviour of the characters i n a s o c i a l l y acceptable manner and, t h i r d - precluded any questioning of the bourgeois perception of the world. We can, there-fore, conclude that r e i f i e d s o c i a l processes, as revealed through the mediation of the family and r o l e r e i f i c a t i o n , were i n themselves a l i e n a t i n g and dehumanizing. 1 . 6 . 0 . Project. Thus f a r we have discussed the problem of mediation, as expounded by Sartre i n Questions de methode and as applied i n Les mots. 116 We have seen that his proposed method i s based on historical materialism as the only valid interpretation of history, while at the same time using existentialism and psychoanalytic theory as auxiliary disciplines pro-viding the concrete approach to reality. This means that existentialism, aided by a psychoanalysis of a dialectical nature, ought to be used only within the general framework of historical materialism. We have analyzed Sartre's notion of the primacy of material conditions of man's l i f e ; however, man is not their passive product: . ... les hommes font leur histoire sur l a base, de conditions reelles anterieures (au nombre desquelles i l faut compter les caracteres acquis, les deforma-tions imposees par l e mode de tra v a i l et de vie, l'alienation, etc.) mais ce sont eux qui l a font et non les conditions anterieures. Inoother words, the existence of prior conditions provides a direction and a material r e a l i t y for the changes which occur, but the movement of human praxis goes beyond these conditions while at the same time preserving them. Sartre claims that man i s characterized primarily by going beyond a situa-tion thereby making himself in'the way he surpasses the given. Therefore in studying the history of an individual we ought to determine his actions in relation to objective, present factors on one hand, and in relation to a certain future object which he attempts to realize, on the other. This Sartre calls the project, and i t represents the most fundamental notion in our understanding of the history of an individual. In relation to the material conditions in which young Jean-Paul lived, praxis (which refers to any purposeful human activity) was negativity, i.e. It involved the negation of a negation; in relation to the objects at which he aimed, 117 praxis was positivity, i.e. i t always opened up on to the non-existent, that which did not yet exist. Thus the project is at the same time negation and realization: negation i n the sense that Sartre's actions negated the already existing situations, feelings, needs, projects; realization, hecause i t always realized a new, however slightly modified, situation. The double simultaneous relation contained i n the project i s dialectical: i t preserves and reveals the surpassed which i t has negated in the very movement of surpassing. What Jean-Paul t r i e d to surpass was the objective point of departure which was defined for him by the structures of the French society of his time. Yet this surpassing can only be con-ceived of as a relation of the existing conditions in which he was growing up and the po s s i b i l i t i e s he had for realizing his plans and f u l f i l l i n g his needs. The material conditions of Jean-Paul's early l i f e circumscribed the f i e l d of his po s s i b i l i t i e s . This we have discussed i n detail in our analysis of the f i r s t group of functions t i t l e d the "Family". We have analyzed not only the conditions which delineated the f i e l d of possibles for young Sartre, but also how these conditions shaped and influenced his wholepperception of the world i n which he lived. The number of pos s i b i l i t i e s open to him represented the goal toward which he aimed in attempting to go beyond his objective situation. This goal comprised the various projects he undertook in an attempt to overcome, as we remember, his feeling of superfluousness, his utter isolation from children of his own age, his feeling of not being substantial, etc. In turn his projects were dependent on the social and hi s t o r i c a l reality. Thus social po s s i b i l i t i e s were lived as both positive and negative schematic 118 determinants of his future: "le possible le plus individuel n'est que 1'interiorisation et 1'enrichissement d'un possible social." 1-' i n going beyond the given re a l i t y in every one of his projects and i n realizing one possibility out of a l l the pos s i b i l i t i e s open to him, young Jean-Paul kept justifying himself and in this way kept creating himself, contributing to the making of his own history. This aspect of Sartre's childhood we have discussed, i n great detail also, i n the second group of functions, t i t l e d the "Project". Human praxis, or what we have called the lived experience, is thus this incessant process of going from one objective through interiorization to another objective. Sartre's projects were therefore subjective surpassing of objectivity towards another objectivity, a l l carried out within the limits imposed by the objective conditions of the environment (which were mediated to him by his family) and the ob-jective p o s s i b i l i t i e s for changing them and thus going beyond them. Jean-Paul's projects can be analyzed on two levels. One i s that of a number of smaller projects, as we have analyzed them: a slow pro-gression of the whole chain of projects which ended up by his accepting the profession of writer as his future vocation. The other le v e l , the one of Sartre's autobiography as a whole, consists of one principal project, that of choosing the writer's vocation as his own, while a l l the other, lesser projects are in fact only preparation for the main project. On this second level we can s.ay that the f i r s t part of his autobiography, t i t l e d "Lire", describes the conditions in which Jean-Paul lived and which in turn delineated the f i e l d of pos s i b i l i t i e s open to him. That i s , i t gives the reader the t o t a l i t y of the particular circumstances 119 in which Sartre lived, thereby f a c i l i t a t i n g the interpretation of his principal project. The second part, t i t l e d "Ecrire", describes the project i t s e l f , i.e. Jean-Paul's choices and actions, given his situation. The importance of the concept of the project is emphasized by Sartre's statement that "Seul, le projet comme mediation entre deux moment de l'objectivite peut rendre compte de 1'histoire."-^ The fundamental pro-ject of Sartre's l i f e , described i n Les mots, was assumed by him as a role assigned to him by his family. His most important aspirations, in a l l their childhood transformations, had their roots in the role of wonder-child, future genius author, the role again assigned to him by his family. We have already said that Sartre holds that man is characterized primarily by his a b i l i t y to go beyond the given. However, the given which we surpass cannot be reduced to the material conditions in which we l i v e only. We also surpass our own childhood: Celle-ci, qui fut a l a fois une apprehension obscure de notre class, de notre conditionnement social a travers le groupe familial et un depassement aveugle, un effort maladroit pour nous en arracher, f i n i t par s'inscrire en nous sous forme de caractere-j-TT Sartre goes on to say that i t i s at this level that we discover learned gestures (bourgeois gestures in his own case), and the contradictory roles of which we are made and which tear us apart. Here come to mind the different roles l i t t l e Jean-Paul adopted: impostor, tyrant, wonder-child, g i f t of Heaven, etc. At the same time we find at this level the f i r s t , conscious or unconscious, revolts and attempts at surpassing the reality in which the child l i v e s , with a l l the distortions and deviations 1 2 0 resulting from i t . 1 . 7 . 0 . Regressive-progressive analytico-synthetic method. The methodb^ logical approach which Sartre proposes for studying the history of an individual he defines as a regressive-progressive and analytico-synthetic method. At the centre of i t stands Sartre's claim that Done l'homme se definit par son projet. Cet etre materiel depasse perpetuellement l a condition qui l u i est faite; i l devoile et determine sa situation en l a transcendant pour s'objectiver, par le t r a v a i l , l'action ou le geste.l^ Project implies that a l l our needs, thoughts and feelings participate in i t , and are always i n a state of outside-of-themselves-towards. This striving towards an always new objectification, which Sartre calls exist-ence, is always in a state of perpetual disequilibrium. The impulse towards objectification takes different forms in different people, and because in projecting the individual through a f i e l d of po s s i b i l i t i e s i t influences him to realize some of them excluding others, Sartre also calls i t choice or freedom. But i f we can never really completely overcome the influence our childhood has had onuus, i f that childhood was lived in a set of material conditions over which we had no control, does i t really make sense to speak of freedom in our adult years? In other words, how much freedom does Sartre allow man, within the notion of biological, material and social determinism? In the interview with the New Left Review, cited earlier, Sartre says: I believe that a man can always make something out of what is made of him. This i s the limit I would today 121 accord to freedom: the small movement which makes of a t o t a l l y conditioned s o c i a l being someone who does not render back completely what his conditioning has given him.19 How much has Sartre the famous w r i t e r changed? To what extent has he been successful i n not rendering back completely hi s own conditioning about which he speaks so poignantly, with so much tenderness, b i t t e r n e s s , n o s t a l g i a , accusation? " J ' a i change," he says. " L ' i l l u s i o n r etrospective est en miettes; martyre, s a l u t , immortalite, tout se delabre . . . Depuis a peu pres dix ans je suis un homme qui s ' e v e i l l e , gueri d'une longue, amere et douce f o l i e . " In h i s attempts at going beyond the material conditions and the i n -fluence which childhood has had on him man also preserves them. He thinks with those early deviations, he acts with those learned gestures, despite the f a c t that he wants to overcome t h e i r influence. The purpose of man's projects i s i n the future, which commands his fundamental choices and d i r e c t i o n of his l i f e . Thus the aim of Sartre's regressive-progressive analytico-synthetic method i s to discover the project which passes from one o b j e c t i v i t y to another. Inoother words, to reinvent the movement by, f i r s t , e s t a b l i s h i n g the beginnings of the project - r e g r e s s i v e l y , second, by studying the project as i t develops - p r o g r e s s i v e l y , and t h i r d , by discovering the r e s u l t s (ends), both intended and alienated, of the pro-j e c t . The regressive movement w i l l reveal to us what we have just analyzed above: the given which we surpass every moment that we l i v e , must include not only the material conditions, but our childhood as w e l l . We ought to keep always i n mind that we l i v e our chiiHdhood as our future. The r o l e s 122 and gestures are of necessity learned i n view of that which is to come, i.e. they cannot he separated from the project which w i l l transform them. Therefore the project w i l l simultaneously surpass the learned gestures and roles, while at the same time preserving them, that i s , the project w i l l synthesize both the intentions and the given in i t s dialectical movement. Sartre concludes that this is the reason why man's l i f e always unrolls i t s e l f in spirals. It passes incessantly by the same points, but on a different level of integration and complexity: Je suis redevenu le voyageur sans b i l l e t que j'etais a sept ans: le controleur est entre dans mon com-partiment . . . que je l u i donne une excuse valable, n'importe laquelle, i l s'en contentera. Mal-heureusement je n'en trouve aucuneeet, d'ailleurs, je n'ai meme pas 1'envie d'en chercher . . . J'ai desinvesti mais je n'ai pas defroque: j'ecris toujours. Que faire d'autre?21 The regressive facts reveal the traces of a dialectical movement: the analysis has revealed Sartre's project as a flight towards future. However the project i s more than that because of necessity i t has a meaning. This comes from the fact that man aims at creating himself in the world as an objective reality. Therefore, what we have to do is discover the totalizing movement which engenders each moment of man's l i f e in terms of the preceding moment, whereby man passes from the lived experiences of a child to the f i n a l objectification of himself. Thus at this stage we must study man' s, project in i t s progression; in other words we have to invent, to re-create i t s movement. Our hypothesis should be immediately verifiable; in order to be valid i t must realize, in a creative movement, the transverse unity of a l l the heterogeneous structures. Now i t 123 i s possible to define the regressive-progressive analytico-synthetic method as "en meme temps un va-et-vient enrichissant entre 1'objet (qui contient toute l'epoque comme s i g n i f i c a t i o n s hierarchisees) et l'epoque (qui contient l ' o b j e t dans sa t o t a l i s a t i o n ) . " ^ Therefore under t h i s aspect Les mots can be seen as the a p p l i c a t i o n of Sartre's regressive-progressive method to his own l i f e ; besides i l l u s t r a -t i n g the facts of his own l i f e i n childhood, more importantly, i t analyzes the h i s t o r i c a l reasons f o r those facts as discerned i n Jean-Paul's o r i g i n a l project c a r r i e d out i n the p a r t i c u l a r circumstances of his p a r t i c u l a r family. This would be the use of the regressive-progressive method on the l e v e l of the whole book. There i s yet another l e v e l of employment of t h i s method i n Sartre's autobiography. In our analysis of the n a r r a t i o n a l l e v e l of the n a r r a t i v e of Les mots we have seen, f i r s t , that there are two con-s t a n t l y interchanging points of view; second, that there are two n a r r a t i v e voices (Sartre the c h i l d and Sartre the n a r r a t o r ) . A l l three character-i s t i c s of the n a r r a t i o n a l l e v e l are very c l o s e l y r e l a t e d to Sartre's use of the regressive-progressive method. The constant s h i f t i n g of the point of view between Sartre the c h i l d and Sartre the narrator i s the consequence of the author's going back (regressively) i n t o the past of the c h i l d i n order to discover his pro-je c t s and the material r e a l i t y i n which the projects took place, and the author's following the development of those projects (progressively) to the point of t h e i r f i n a l r e s u l t s , namely t o the author (narrator) himself. Thus the changes i n the points of view f a c i l i t a t e Sartre's analysis of the hero's projects i n the p a r t i c u l a r i t y of his material conditions and consequent 12 h explanations and i n t e r p r e t a t i o n s as perceived and understood by the author. The regressive-progressive method i s also employed i n the double temporality of the narration: the time order of the story narrated ( i . e . the h i s t o r y of Sartre's l i f e ) represents the regressive movement of d i s -covering the past of the hero and his p r o j e c t s , whereas "the time order of the narration i t s e l f contains the r e - c r e a t i o n of the projects i n t h e i r moving t o t a l i t y , as done by the author. Therefore the double temporality i s i n fact necessary i n order to allow Sartre to make temporal d i s t o r t i o n s i n the n a r r a t i v e , which i n turn make i t possible f o r him to describe his own past and his own past projects and l i v e d experiences (regression), and then to show t h e i r developments as w e l l as explain them (progression). Our discussion of the problem of the narrative voice has shown most c l e a r l y Sartre's use of the regressive-progressive method. We remember that the narrator's point of viewooften reveals the f e e l i n g s and attitudes of the future, which Sartre the c h i l d could not have known at the time of the event recounted. The obvious purpose i n doing t h i s i s to show what l i t t l e Jean-Paul aimed at with his projects as w e l l as to reveal t h e i r future r e s u l t s i n order to explain the project i t s e l f . The n a r r a t i v e voice of Sartre the c h i l d r elates h i s f e e l i n g s and experiences inasmuch as he was aware of them, whereas the narrative voice of Sartre the narrator has a double function: f i r s t , to r e l a t e some of the aspects of various experiences of which l i t t l e Jean-Paul was not aware or which he could not understand (this i s a l l the regressive movement), and second, to follow the development and various modifications of the p r o j e c t s , showing t h e i r r e s u l t s and explaining them (the progressive movement). 125 Consequently, we can conclude that these three forms of discourse have been used by Sartre to f a c i l i t a t e the application of his regressive-progressive method. The point of view, the time order and the narrative voice are in fact three different aspects of the above method. Neither of them can be effectively separated from the other two. Or, put differently, this means that Sartre needs a l l three forms of discourse in order to analyze his own history using the regressive-progressive movement. The narrantional level - which as we have seen consists of narrative techniques and the aim of which i s to hold together the whole structure of the narrative - Sartre has used as the technique by means of which he succeeds in the practical application of the method he proposes in Questions de.  methode. Thus far we have seen the relation of a l l three levels of the narrative with the regressive-progressive analytico-synthetic method for studying individual history, which Sartre proposes on the premise of accepting the historical materialism aided by existentialism and psychoanalytic theory as the only vali d interpretation of history at the present time. We have also discussed Les mots in the light of the most important premises and categories from Questions de methode, such as the project, alienation, reification and the lived experience. 1 . 8 . 0 . Comprehension. Here the problem poses i t s e l f of to what extent we can really understand man's history by analyzing his basic projects, the material conditions in which these were carried out, and their results. Can we re-create man's whole l i f e in such a manner as to understand i t f u l l y and rationally? To understand the meaning of any human behaviour, . . ^ ' ' . u s e w n a t G'--raia • - + ^ • _ 126 Sartre claims, we have to use what German psychiatrists and historians called "comprehension". Man is a signifying being, and the reason:;for this claim consists i n that we can never understand any of his gestures without going beyond the mere present and explicating i t by the future. Comprehension as knowing i s therefore "simplement le mouvement dialectique qui explique l'acte par sa signification terminale a partir de ses con-ditions de depart. Elie est originellement progressive." 2-^ Therefore the movement of comprehension is f i r s t progressive, since i t ascends toward the objectification of man'ssprojects (Jean-Paul's, for example), while the attitude by which we grasp his original condition at the same time i s regressive. Applied to Sartre's autobiography this means that to comprehend implies returning (by a regressive method) to the genesis of Jean-Paul's acts and feelings to discover that in the depth of his various acts he has conceived his future and then carried out the acts with the intention of bringing about that desired future. Young Jean-Paul's projects were this drive toward future, and as we analyze the movement of his projects (progressive act), we can discover the author himself and the complex world of his early l i f e . Comprehension, therefore, emphasizes the fact that the ends of man's activity are not irrational entities added to the act i t s e l f : they re-present the going beyond and maintaining of the given i n an act which progresses from the present towards the future. The concept of compre-hension i s of the utmost importance in studying man's history, and i t plays a very important role in Sartre's autobiography. He underlines that human reality eludes direct knowledge precisely to the extent that 127 i t makes i t s e l f . In other words we cannot have a conceptual definition of man because his reality i s always in the process of becoming, rather than a static entity. However, man's reality can be understood through his project within the framework of the society in which he lives. Com-prehension can be said to be themmovement of human consciousness by which i t reproduces the project of the other. At the source of man's object-ifying himself l i e s the constant growth of existence i t s e l f ; this growth can never be fu l l y grasped by the intellect only, but i t can be comprehended. Consequently, Sartre asserts, i n order to understand human reality we must add to intellectual knowledge a comprehensive non-knowledge. And so, after having described and analyzed his childhood in a very rational and intellectual manner, Sartre ends his autobiography with the favourite proverb of his grandmother Louise, who would say with a delicate air: "Glissez", mortels, n'appuyez pas." 2^ Sartre t e l l s us at the end of Les mots that he has relegated impossible Salvation to the proproom, and what remains i s "toute un homme, f a i t de tous les hommes et qui les vaut tous et que vaut n'importe qui."2-> The idea of Salvation through literature has f i n a l l y been abandoned. Has Sartre aband-oned the notion of salvation through literature only? Can man be saved by anything? The answer is negative: There is no salvation anywhere. The idea of salvation implies the idea of an absolute. For forty years I was conscripted by the absolute, neurosis. The absolute is gone. There remain countless tasks among which literature i s in no way privileged.26 The myths stemming from Jean-Paul's childhood have been debunked. What can Sartre the writer, the author of Les mots, do i n his new situation 128 vis-a-vis literature and the world? The writer s t i l l has a mission, one in which he has "to pose prohlems in the most radical and intransigent manner."27 However, the expectation of rewards and the recognition have disappeared. The writer's task i s to place his pen at the service of the oppressed: "If he f u l f i l l s i t as he should, he acquires no merit from i t . Heroism is not to he won at the point of a pen. What I ask of him i s not to ignore the rea l i t y and the fundamental prohlems that exist." 129 CHAPTER IV: NOTES 1 "Ot Avtora," ( S l o v a ) , NbvymnMlfer, 10 (196U) i V 6 0-108, p.. 60 Cmy t r a n s l a t i o n ] . 2 " I t i n e r a r y of a Thought," Interview w i t h Jean-Paul S a r t r e , New L e f t Review, 1969, No. 58, 1+3-66 (p. 6 5 ) . 3 "A Long, B i t t e r , Sweet Madness," Interview w i t h Jean-Paul S a r t r e , Encounter, June 19^9, pp. 6 l - 6 3 (p. 6 l ) . h Jean-Paul S a r t r e , Questions de methode ( P a r i s : E d i t i o n s G a l l i m a r d , I960), p. 22. 5 Ibid.., pp. 79-80. 6 I b i d . , p. -81+. ? I b i d . , pp.- 8U-85. 8 Les mots, p. 97-9 Questions de methode, p. 85. 1 0 I b i d . , p. 90. 1 1 " I t i n e r a r y o f a Thought," p. 1+7. 12 I b i d . , p. 1+8. 13 Questions de methode, p. 92. ^ I b i d . , p. 122. 15 I b i d . , p. 133. 1 6 Ibid.,-, pp. 137-138. • 1 7 I b i d . , p. l l + l . ! 8 I b i d . , p. 209. 19 " I t i n e r a r y o f a Thought," p. 1+5. ^ u Les mots, pp. 211-212. 2 1 Ibid., p. 212. 2 2 Questions de methode, p. 206. 2 3 Ibid., p. 212. 2 ^ Les mots, p. 213. 2 5 Ibid., p. 21k. 26 "A Long, Bitter, Sweet Madnes 2T Ibid. , p. 62.-2 8 Ibid. 131 BIBLIOGRAPHY I. BY SARTRE Existentialism and Humanism. Trans. Philip Mairet. London: Methuen & Co. Ltd., 1 9 6 8 . "An Interview." Encounter, June 1 9 6 U , pp. 6 1 - 6 3 . "Itinerary of a Thought - Interview with Jean-Paul Sartre." New Left  Review, 58 ( 1 9 6 9 ) , U 3 - 6 6 . Literature and Existentialism. Trans. Bernard Frechtman. Secaucus: The Citadel Press, Inc., 1 9 7 2 . Les mots. Paris: -Gallimard, I 9 6 U . "'©It Avtora," (Slova). Novyi Mir, 10 ( 1 9 6 U ) , 6 0 - 1 0 8 . Questions de methode. Paris: Gallimard, i 9 6 0 . Situations. Trans. Benita Eisier. Greenwich: Fawcett Publications, Inc., 1 9 6 5 . Situations IX. Paris: Gallimard, 1 9 7 2 . II. ON LES MOTS Bensimon, Marc. "D'un mythe a l'autre: essai sur Les mots de Jean-Paul Sartre," Revue des Sciences Humaines, 119 ( 1 9 6 5 ) , U15-U3O. Bree, Germaine. Camus and Sartre. New York: Delacorte Press, 1 9 7 2 . Elevitch, Bernard. "Jean-Paul Sartre: From the Roof of the World." Massachusetts Review, IV ( 1 9 6 5 ) , 3 6 7 - 3 7 8 . F e l l , Joseph. "Sartre's Words: An Existential Self-analysis." Psychoanalytic Review, 5 5 , i i i ( 1 9 6 8 ) , k26-khl. Gagnehin, Laurent. Connaitre Sartre. Paris: ' Editions Seuil, 1 9 7 2 . 132 Girard, Rene. "L'anti-herbs et les salauds." Mercure de France, Mars 1 9 6 5 , pp.- 1+22-UU9. Huertas-Jourda, Jose. "The Place of Les mots in Sartre's Philosophy." Review of Metaphysics , 21 ( 1 9 6 7 / 6 8 ) , ^k-jkh. MacMahon, Joseph H. Humans Being. Chicago: Univ. of Chicago Press, 1 9 7 1 . Martin-Deslias, Noel. Jean-Paul Sartre ou l a conscience ambigue. Paris: Les Editions Nagel, 1 9 7 2 . Picon, Gaetan. "Sur les mots"" Mercure de France, 352 (196*0, 3 1 3 - 3 1 6 . Thody, Philip. Sartre - Biographical Introduction. London: Studio Vista, 1 9 7 1 . Zimmerman, Eugenia Noik. "Jean-Paul Sartre's Les mots: Problems in Criticism." Criticism, VI (196*1), 313-323. III. ON SARTRE Aron, Raymond. Marxism and the Existentialists. New York: Simon and • Schuster, 1'9 6 9 . Barnes, Hazel E. Sartre. New York: J.B. Lippincott Company, 1 9 7 3 . Baudouin, Dominique. "Sartre et le langage." Pacific Coast Philology, Cf.)April 1 9 7 2 , pp. 11-19. Blakeley, Thomas J. "Sartre's Critique de l a raison dialectique and the Opacity of Marxism-Leninism. ' Studies in Soviet Thought, 8 ( 1 9 6 8 ) , 122-135. Burkle, George J. "Jean-Paul Sartre: Social Freedom in Critique de  l a raison dialectique." Review of Metaphysics, 19 ( I 9 6 5 - 6 6 ) , 7*+2-757. Cranston, Maurice. Sartre. London: Oliver and Boyd, 1 9 6 5 . '' The Quintessence of Sartrism. New York: Harper and Row, 1 9 7 1 . Desan, Wilfrid. The Marxism of Jean-Paul Sartre. New York: & Company, Inc., I 9 6 5 . Doubleday 133 Desan, Wilfrid. The .Tragic Finale. Cambridge: Harvard Univ. Press, 195^. De Beauvoir, Simone. " A l l Said and Done." Ramparts, May 197U, pp. U5-50. Grene, Marjorie. Sartre. New York: Franklin Watts, Inc., 1973. Jeanson, Francis. Sartre dans sa Vie. Paris: Editions du Seuil, 197U. Lafarge, Rene. Jean-Paul Sartre: His Philosophy. Trans. Marina Smyth-Kok. Indiana: Univ. of Notre Dame Press, 1970. Laing, R.D. and D.G. Cooper. Reason and Violence. New York: Vintage Books, 1971. Manser, Anthony. "Praxis and Dialectic in Sartre's Critique." Sartre: A Collection of C r i t i c a l Essays. Ed. Mary Warnock. New York: Anchor Books (Garden City), 1971. Marill-Alberes, Rene. • "Neo-Marxism and Criticism of Dialectical Reason." Sartre: A Collection of C r i t i c a l Essays. Ed. Edith Kern. Englewood C l i f f s : Prentice-Hall, Inc., 1965. McLeod, Norman. "Existential Freedom in the Marxism of Jean-Paul Sartre." Dialogue, 7 ( I 9 6 8 - 6 9 ) , 26-kh. Mayer, Hans. Steppenwolf and Everyman. Trans, and with an Introduction by Jack D. Zipes. New York: Thomas J. Crowell Company, 1971. Pollman, Leo. Sartre and Camus. Trans. Helen and Gregor Sebba. New York: Frederick Ungar Publishing Co., 1970. Salvan, Jacques L. The Scandalous Ghost. Detroit: Wayne State Univ. Press, 1967. Stack, George J. "Necessity Versus Freedom in Social Processes." Phi lbs ophi sehe Rundschau, 17 (1970), 9U-IO7. "Sartre's Dialectic of Social Relations.." Philosophy and Phenomenblogical Research, 31 (1970-71) , 39U-U08. Stern, Alfred. Sartre. New York: A Delta Book, 1967. Warnock, Mary. ' Existentialism. London: Oxford' Univ. Press, 1970. The Philosophy of Sartre. London: Hutchinson Univ. Library, 1965. 13k IV. ON STRUCTURALISM Barthes, Roland. C r i t i c a l Essays. Trans. Richard Howard. Evanston: Northwestern Univ. Press, 1 9 7 2 . • \ . "Historical Discourse." Structuralism - A Reader. Ed. and introduced hy Michael Lane. London: Jonathan Cape, 1 9 7 0 . "introduction a 1 'analyse structurale des re c i t s . " Communications, 8 ( 1 9 6 6 ) , 1 - 2 7 . ' ' . Mythologies. Paris: Editions du Seuil, 1 9 7 0 . ' "Science versus Literature." ' Structuralism - A Reader. Ed. and introduced hy Michael Lane. London: Jonathan Cape, 1 9 7 0 . " S/Z. Paris: Editions du Seuil, 1 9 7 0 . Writing Degree Zero - Elements of Semiology. Trans. Annette Lavers and Colin Smith. Boston: Beacon Press, 1 9 7 0 . Genette, Gerard. ' Figures III. Paris: Editions du Seuil, 1 9 7 2 . Goldmann, Lucien. "Structuralisme, Marxisme, Existentialisme." L'Homme et l a societe, No. 2 ( 1 9 6 6 ) , 1 0 5 - 1 2 U . Hjelmslev, Louis. Prolegomena to a Theory of Language. Trans. Francis J. Whitfield. Madison: Univ. of Wisconsin Press, 1 9 6 9 . Piaget, Jean. Structuralism. Trans. Chaninah Manschler. New York: Harper & Row, 1 9 7 1 . Saussure, Ferdinand de. Course i n General Linguistics. Trans, with an&Introduction and Notes hy Wade Baskin. New York: McGraw-H i l l Book Company, 1 9 6 6 . Sociology of Literature and Drama. Ed. Elizabeth and TommBurns. Harmondsworth: Penguin Books, Ltd., 1 9 7 3 . The Structuralists from Marx to Levi-Strauss. Ed. Richard and Fernande De George. New York: Doubleday & Company, Inc., 1 9 7 2 . 

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