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Comment: 1975 New Directions Pub. softcover. Minor edge wear. Great otherwise! No writing or highlighting!
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The Wall: (Intimacy) and Other Stories (New Directions Paperbook) Paperback – January 17, 1969

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Editorial Reviews

Review

“Leaves Lady Chatterley’s Lover asleep at the post.” (Punch)

About the Author

Jean-Paul Sartre was a prolific philosopher, novelist, public intellectual, biographer, playwright and founder of the journal Les Temps Modernes. Born in Paris in 1905 and died in 1980, Sartre was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1964—and turned it down. His books include Nausea, Intimacy, The Flies, No Exit, Sartre’s War Diaries, Critique of Dialectical Reason, and the monumental treatise Being and Nothingness.
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Product Details

  • Series: New Directions Paperbook
  • Paperback: 144 pages
  • Publisher: New Directions; 3 edition (January 17, 1969)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0811201902
  • ISBN-13: 978-0811201902
  • Product Dimensions: 0.5 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #364,921 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Novelist, playwright, and biographer Jean-Paul Sartre (1905-80) is widely considered one of the greatest philosophers of the twentieth century. His major works include "No Exit," "Nausea," "The Wall," "The Age of Reason," "Critique of Dialectical Reason," "Being and Nothingness," and "Roads to Freedom," an allegory of man's search for commitment, and not, as the man at the off-licence says, an everyday story of French country folk.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

33 of 34 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on August 13, 1999
Format: Paperback
'The Wall' rises up as a catalogue of man's solitary and free application of the existentialist's understanding. Sartre leaves no dark corner unlit in what could be considered his most biting renderings of the human condition's anguish in the face of meaninglessness.
'The Wall' itself is an astoundingly suspenseful glimpse at the fine line between life and death, the insanity in ultimate human will-power, and the psychological effects of foreknowing one's own time of death.
'The Room' is stark and vague. Interpretations abound, all from absurd (in itself) to Sartre's most profound writing. Nevertheless, the story's 'insanity' brings about many insights into the world of the individual of nothingness.
'Erostratus' follows quite well, asking whether it is moral, immoral, right, or wrong, to kill and whether a modern man is truly free to commit conscious evil. Furthermore, it questions our modern society's knack for making celebrities of villains.
'Intimacy' is a wonderful story with heavy-handed, deadbolt dialogue, well-crafted absurd heroes, and philosophical wit, wound up in a woman's tale of love, adultery, loyalty, friendship, impotence, and existence.
Finally, 'The Childhood of a Leader' reveals the facist's facade of strength, the soft scar-tissue of their idealistic youth, the true childishness of their anti-semite reactions, and the way in which men allow themselves to follow or hunger to be followed.
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46 of 51 people found the following review helpful By Arnold Layne on December 10, 2000
Format: Paperback
"The Wall and other short stories" is a triumph in literature. Each story explores the depths of human thought and reason through an existential point of view. Each story can be interpreted different by all readers, therefore making this a great book for discussion.
"The Wall" is the first story presented. It consumes the reader because of its brilliant writing style. The story is narrated by a man named Pablo Ibbieta, who is in a jail cell with 2 others awaiting execution the following morning. Every event that transpires that particular night is analyzed almost too thoroughly thus leaving the reader in a trance. I wont get into it too deeply, but believe me, this story is worth reading...i guarentee it will have to be read again. After finishing the story, I felt as though nothing mattered. Who cares if the dishes were not washed, who cares if I would be late for work. Believe me, this story will have a profound impact on the way you think. Don't be surprised if you have a new appreciation for life. This story enlightens the mind.
Another great story from this book is called "Erostratus". Erostratus was a character who wanted to be famous, so he burned down the temple of Ephesus, which was one of the 7 wonders of the world. This is the central symbol of the story, the quest for glory. It also brings up an interesting point when the narrator asks one of his colleagues "Who built Ephesus?" and the colleauge did not know, he only knew who burned it. "Erostratus" in short is one mans decent into madness because of his quest to be remembered. The ending of "Erostratus" is filled with suspense and makes your heart beat in fear.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on April 12, 1999
Format: Paperback
To the above comment, Jean-Paul Sartre and Albert Camus are two compeletly different writers. Of course their wittings are different. If you find that Sartre is not understandable you are not alone. But just take another look at the last story of The Wall called "Childhood of a Leader." This story best explains Sartre's ideas, especially ideas of 'the other' and how we go about dealing with them. But each of the stories well represent his thought at least up until the 1950s. The book is really a good introduction to the theory of Jean-Paul Sartre.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Glenn Russell on April 5, 2013
Format: Paperback
My focus is on one of the book's five pieces - The Wall. This existentialist story has the feel of a film shot in stark black and white; the prose is as hard boiled as it gets, told in first-person. The opening scene takes place in a large bare room with white walls where the narrator, Pablo Ibbieta, a man we can visualize with a thin, chiseled face, slick back hair and looking a bit like Albert Camus or Humphrey Bogart - a visualization in keeping with the tone of black and white film - is interrogated, and, along with two other men, sentenced to be shot dead. The condemned are taken to a cellar with bench and mats, a room shivering cold and without a trace of warmth or humanity. The story unfolds here in the cellar room that's hard and dank and ugly. Absurdity and despair, anyone?

Sartre has us live through the evening and night with Pablo and the two other convicted men: Tom, who has a thick neck and is fat around the middle (Pablo imagines bullets or bayonets cutting into his flesh), and Juan, who is young and has done nothing, other than being the brother of someone wanted by the authorities. We watch as Pablo and Tom and Juan turn old and gray; we smell urine when Tom unconsciously wets his pants; we hear Tom saying how he heard men were executed by being run over by trucks to save ammunition. A doctor comes in and offers cigarettes and asks if anyone wants a priest. No one answers. Pablo falls asleep and wakes, having no thought of death or fear - what he is confronting is nameless; his reaction is physical - his cheeks burn and his head aches. Meanwhile, the doctor, referred to as the Belgian by Pablo, takes Juan's pulse and writes in his notebook. All is clinical; all is calculating. The cold penetrates - the doctor looks blue.
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