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Gide And Sartre On Jews And Judaism

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Chapter Summary

There are many who would consider André Gide and Jean-Paul Sartre as two of the most important men of letters of the twentieth century, Gide in the interwar period and Sartre during and after World War II. Both were Protestants in a predominantly Catholic land, and the Jews did not occupy a central position in their writings. But both felt the need to address the Jewish question, since the Jews, in their opinion, were an important component of Western culture, society, and history. This chapter briefly discusses the attitude of Gide and Sartre towards the Jews and Judaism. While Gides attitude towards the cultural tradition of la belle France is one of appreciation, Sartre rebelliously and provocatively attacks the bourgeoisie and those in authority. Sartres criticism thus illuminates the negative aspects of la belle France, including the tendency of the preservers of French tradition to be anti-Semites.

Keywords: André Gide; Jean-Paul Sartre; Jews; Judaism; la belle France



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