NEW YORK: The Rock Desert

When short, square-shouldered Jean-Paul Sartre, the latest lion from France's literary zoo, visited the U.S. last year, he swiftly developed a liking for such American commonplaces as the dry Martini, corned beef hash and chocolate ice cream. He also slowly developed an awed liking for bustling, noisy, overcrowded, squalor-spotted, ill-mannered New York City.

Last week Sartre, the high prophet of existentialism (TIME, Jan. 28), gave New Yorkers who read Town & Country an esoteric's cloud-high view of their metropolis, packed tight with steel, stone and bricks. Wrote he:

"New York is a city...

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