Books: The Pen Is Not the Sword

THE WORDS by Jean-Paul Sartre. 255 pages. George Braziller. $5.

For a quarter-century, French Existentialist Jean-Paul Sartre has been the symbol of what is best (implacable honesty) and worst (rootless pessimism) about the modern European intellectual. He has been the pre-eminent philosopher of despair. Simultaneously, with his novels and plays he has cast himself as a propagandist on the barricades of social justice—in fact on both sides of the barricades, since despite a markedly Red-leaning political line, he has never joined the Communist Party and has periodically quarreled with it. Living his preachments in private as well as in politics, he has...

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