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Jean-Paul Sartre and Freedom

I didn’t expect for Sartre to be the kind of literary critique he is. I expected a typical philosopher, who bases their standards for literature on their world view. Four paragraphs into his essay Francois Mauriac and Freedom Sartre proved my suspicions wrong,

… Christian writers, by the very nature of their belief, have the kind of mentality best suited to the writing of novels. The religious man is free. The supreme forbearance of the Catholic may irritate us, because it is an acquired thing. If he is a novelist, it is a great advantage. The fictional and the Christian man, who are both centers of indeterminacy, do have characters, but only in order to escape from them. They are free, above and beyond their natures, here again, they do so freely/ They may get caught up in psychological machinery, but they are never themselves mechanical.
In this essay, Sartre explains that one of the failures of fiction is making the character subject to “mechanisms”. An example of this would be a wri…

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