Books: From Nowhere to Nothing

THE WALL (270 pp.) — Jean-Paul Sartre, translated by Lloyd Alexander —New Directions ($7.50).

Jean-Paul Sartre, the high priest of the gloomy Gallic cult of existentialism, has been buffeted about recently. First, the Vatican put his works on the Index. More recently, the Russians have been after him. In the U.S., he has reached a precarious state of respectability; his earlier works are being reissued.

He was a young (38), unknown French professor of philosophy in 1943 when he published Being and Nothingness, a 700-page look at modern man's predicament. So well did he...

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