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Subversions of VerisimilitudeReading Narrative from Balzac to Sartre$
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Lawrence R. Schehr

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780823231355

Published to Fordham Scholarship Online: September 2011

DOI: 10.5422/fordham/9780823231355.001.0001

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Sartre's Bodies

Sartre's Bodies

(p.169) 4. Sartre's Bodies
Subversions of Verisimilitude

Lawrence R. Schehr

Fordham University Press

Sartre's short story entitled “Intimate” which is a part of the collection Le Mur, and his most famous prose piece, “La Nausée” is examined to perfection here. In both works, Sartre decenters the functions of realist representation from a position that is admittedly subjective, through a process of defamiliarization. Sartre also creates strange positions for his characters and makes language itself which served as the handmaiden of realism. Sartre's writing then, pointing toward 1939 as the war drums begin to sound, is a fitting closure to what we retrospectively see as that slightly displaced one hundred years of realism, from its beginning in 1830, an explanation for both modernity and history of realism's end in the heretofore unseen horrors of the Second World War. Not only was there no poetry after Auschwitz, there was not any realism either.

Keywords:   Sartre, Intimate, Le Mur, La Nausée, Second World War, realism, defamiliarization

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