by Rosemary Chapman

Addressing the Congrès International des Ecrivains pour la Défense de la Culture in Paris in 1935, Jean Guéhenno recalled Lenin's words to Trotsky concerning Westminster: 'C'est leur fameux Westminster'. Guéhenno uses Lenin's example to illustrate how symbols of a national culture are used to legitimise the power of the dominant class: "'Leur Westminster ", la culture pour parler d'une façon plus générale, n'est qu'un grand tombeau autour duquel ils montent la garde. Ils pensent que nous n'oserons pas passer'. [1] Later on in the same speech he moves from the analogy of culture to a guarded tomb, a respected space not to be entered by the common people, to that of culture as a sanctuary or a temple, accessible only to the initiated. The position of the autodidact can be seen as that of an outsider who must find his or her own route to culture. As will be seen from the examples studied, this route will not be the same for all autodidacts, and nor will their goals be identical. The relationship between the autodidact and culture is interesting not only in terms of the motivations and methods of autodidacts, but also because of their status in relation to the institutions and representatives of dominant culture.

The term autodidacte is defined in Le Petit Robert (1987 edition) as:—'Qui s'est instruit lui‑même, sans maître'. Clearly the definition is broad enough to encompass the self‑taught of different cultures and from different historical periods. As attitudes to education and its provision change over the years, however, the term acquires rather more precise connotations and arouses a changing set of images or prejudices. In the post‑Jules Ferry France of the inter‑war years, autodidacticism will tend to refer to those who have received free elementary education up to the age of 13, but who have not been able to afford to progress to a (fee‑charging) lycée. Instead they have spent some period of their life studying independently, whether in the hope of gaining further qualifications or with the aim of acquiring general or specialised knowledge for its own intrinsic interest. The three cases which are being examined all belong to the period when primary and secondary education, with their different histories, were still strictly divided. Only in 1933 were fees abolished in the lycées, and in 1934 was an entry examination instituted for transfer to the lycée. In 1936 Jean Zay, Minister for Education in the Front Populaire government raised the school leaving age to 14. The phenomenon of autodidacticism in 1930s texts cannot be seen independently of the class basis both of the provision of education and of subsequent access to culture. Giving an overview of the French education system in the Third Republic, Dominique Borne stresses the division between the primary and secondary sectors and the purposes this served:

l'ensemble 'primaire' est un monde clos, qui s'autoreproduit en sélectionnant les meilleurs de ses éléments pour en faire des instituteurs, en ne permettant que de rares évasions, grâce aux bourses, vers les autres ordres d'enseignement. Laïque, patriote, l'enseignement primaire est construit pour former des citoyens plus que des producteurs; sa mission essentielle est de contribuer à la formation et à la permanence de l'unité nationale. [2]

While the function of primary education was to inculcate civic and nationalist values, that of secondary education was to provide the nation with its cultural elite:

Cet enseignement, malgré la naissance et la croissance au XXe siècle des sections modernes, se veut humaniste et conserve à la culture classique la place essentielle. Le latin et le baccalauréat sont alors considérés comme passeports nécessaires à l'entrée dans la bourgeoisie. [3]

With the exception of a small number of boursiers. most working‑class and many petty bourgeois children left school at thirteen without any real introduction to the culture of the bourgeoisie. Those who could not afford secondary education were therefore not only excluded from the social and economic life of the bourgeoisie, but also from the culture which the dominant class controlled.

In order to explore aspects of the autodidact's desire for culture, this article will take three examples, very different in type. For a number of reasons, these examples are not strict parallels. Two of the writers concerned, Jean Guéhenno and Henry Poulaille were themselves autodidacts for some period of their lives and many of their texts address the general question of culture as the possession and the tool of the dominant class. Their texts offer responses which differ both ideologically and in terms of cultural strategy. Sartre's Autodidact, well‑known to non‑autodidacts thanks to his minor role opposite Roquentin in La Nausée will initially be considered as a stereotyped representation of the autodidact as the non‑cultured counterpart to the cultured Roquentin, an opposition which will become central to the overall argument of the article.

The article will develop in three stages. Firstly the three examples will be presented, and the autodidacts' respective motives, aims and methods of study will be discussed. The second section will consider how these three examples offer a range of possible relationships between the autodidact and culture. The concluding section will ask what these differing autodidactic strategies suggest about the status of bourgeois culture in the inter‑war years.

Three Examples

In the case of Guéhenno, autodidacticism is a crucial part of his own cultural apprenticeship, but only a part. The only child of working‑class parents, he left school at fourteen when his father fell ill. He worked at the local shoe factory in Fougères (Ille‑et-Vilaine) as a clerk and studied alone for the baccalauréat. Technically this was the only period he spent as an autodidact, although in many ways its influence extends throughout his life. Once a bachelier he was awarded a scholarship at a lycée in Rennes to study for entry to the Ecole Normale Supérieure where he began his studies in 1911. After the war he earned his living within the cultural establishment, as teacher, schools' inspector, writer and briefly after the Liberation as head of the Direction de la Culture populaire et des Mouvements de Jeunesse. In the inter‑war years he was editor of Europe from 1929 to 1935 and then during the Front Populaire of the weekly paper Vendredi. Guéhenno's own assimilation into the cultural elite made him one of the initiated, one of the guards. In 1962 he was elected as a member of the Académie française. Yet his transition from factory employee to intellectual meant that he could never see French culture as his automatic right and inheritance. To desire culture was to reject the values, lifestyle and economic necessities of his class of origin. As if to counteract this feeling of severance from his roots Guéhenno devotes much of his writing to the relationship between class and culture, notably in Caliban parle (1928), where he discusses the role of the working class in any renewal of culture and of society, and in Journal d'un homme de quarante ans (1934), where he writes of his own accession to culture. Guéhenno's relationship to culture, as seen both in his career and in his writings is marked by ambivalence. He is at once an insider and an outsider, never losing his uneasy feeling of class betrayal.

The second case to be studied is that of the proletarian writer Henry Poulaille who in 1935 began work on the autobiographical novel Seul dans la vie à quatorze ans. Planned as the third in a series of novels covering the period 1903‑1920, Seul dans la vie à quatorze ans gives a detailed account of Louis Magneux's self‑education which began when, in 1910, he was orphaned and had to leave school to earn a living. Poulaille subsequently abandoned the project to devote his effort to writing the two novels dealing with the period of the 1914‑18 War, but in retirement he completed the novel which was finally published in 1980. Seul dans la vie à quatorze ans documents in great detail the questions of method and resources which face Magneux/Poulaille in his attempt to acquire a culture which corresponds to his own working‑class experience.

The third example is of rather a different kind, but a reference to Guéhenno forms an initial link. It is probably both because of Guéhenno's association with humanism and because of his experience of autodidacticism that he figures in Roquentin's thoughts in La Nausée. Roquentin repudiates the Autodidact's belief in humanism and then observes: 'il hoche la tête et, par un curieux phénomène de mimétisme, il ressemble à ce pauvre Guéhenno'. [4] Sartre's Autodidact, referred to throughout the text by the generic name and not by the name of Ogier P*** which appears in a footnote, [5] offers an interesting case of a literary representation of the autodidact figure. The Autodidact is loosely modelled on someone whom Sartre had known slightly while working in the library at Le Havre in the early Thirties. Sartre describes this figure as follows:

Avec son grand faux col, sa moustache blonde et ses yeux un peu égarés, il avait l'air un peu fou. Il était tout le temps à la Bibliothèque. Il n'était pas pédéraste, du moins que je sache; il n'était pas marié, il vivait seul. ( . . . ) L'Autodidacte a donc existé, mais je lui ai prêté tous les sentiments que j'ai voulu. [6]

Motives and Methods

Guéhenno's desire for culture can be understood as a reaction to his working‑class origins. The son of a cobbler and a seamstress, brought up in a house with no books, he had no wish to repeat their lives. In Journal d'un homme de quarante ans, he explains his desire to study as follows: 'La vie de l'esprit fut d'abord pour moi le résultat d'une évasion et d'une conquête'. [7] What he was trying to escape was the common fate, as he saw it, of his working‑class ancestors:

Hommes sans nom, sans histoire, mes ancêtres, à travers le temps infini, quels ont été vos chemins jusqu'à ce que vous soyez cet homme que je suis aujourd'hui, vivant dans la même nuit que vous­mêmes, et sous le même destin? [8]

For Guéhenno the workers of Fougères seemed over the years to have accepted their state of anonymity and powerlessness, seeing poverty and exploitation as their unquestioned fate. But whereas Guéhenno's father had been a 'meneur', involved in syndicalism, he himself sought intellectual enlightenment as a way of gaining some power over his fate. He describes his desire to study in terms of deprivation and lack: 'Je souffrais d'un affreux silence mental. ( . . . ) Le ciel était trop bas'. [9] His view of intellectual life is idealistic: 'Quelque part un esprit devait exister qui purifie, ordonne, fait la justice et la lumière'. [10] His belief in the intellect/spirit verges on the religious: 'l'esprit ne cessera pas d'être pour moi ce grand archange que, tout jeune, j'entrevis voler si aisément par les ténèbres'. [11]

While his project is clearly marked by a wish for personal salvation, saving himself from obscurity and superstition, his conscience is troubled by an uneasy feeling of guilt, articulated through his mother's prediction: "'Bientôt, tu ne sauras plus que nous mépriser"'. [12] His father's reaction is more positive. He assumes his son will share his own commitment to the labour movement, but will be better armed than he had been himself. But it is the mother's suspicions which seem to dominate the text, reappearing in the form of Guéhenno's own doubts and self criticism.

If Guéhenno's 'évasion' was from his own class and its collective destiny, then the object of his 'conquête' was an education alongside his bourgeois contemporaries. To achieve this he began to study at home for the baccalauréat, inspired by the example of a student friend of his, the son of a physics teacher. Guéhenno's route to culture is through the adoption of a specific academic model, with a programme of study which had been defined and sanctioned by the educational establishment. Having gained his baccalauréat, he was then gradually assimilated into the existing cultural system, firstly as a boursier in Rennes and then at the Ecole Normale Supérieure. He writes very little in Journal d'un homme de quarante ans about the process of study, but a great deal about his feelings about that process and its consequences. One interpretation of this surprising omission is that the questions of what to study, and in which order, of how to form opinions and make judgements on literary or philosophical texts, did not arise. His study remained within a recognised framework which he did not need to invent for himself and which he felt no urgent need to question. Guéhenno's subsequent education was shaped for him by a series of syllabuses. Rather the doubts he felt were more a consequence of social alienation from his class of origin as he progressed through the hoops of educational success. And this unorthodox means of entry into cultural life is central to his later notion of the mission of culture, as will be seen in the second part of this article.

Poulaille's desire for culture signifies not so much a rupture with his family background as a source of continuity. His father, a master carpenter and anarchist, had a collection of books and pamphlets by writers from the libertarian left, such as Stirner and Kropotkin. His father's choice of reading matter and the seriousness with which he regarded his own choice of book collection provided the young Poulaille with a model. When his father died the books passed on to his son. Poulaille's maternal grandfather had been a painter on porcelain, copying masterpieces, and he had been able to teach the boy to recognise the work and the techniques of many great artists. In this case, then, there is a strong intellectual and artistic tradition within the family which remains quite separate from the child's schooling. Whereas for Guéhenno the initial motivation for self‑education had been an awareness of a lack, and the wish to follow his college friend, in Poulaille's case culture is part of the way of life of the skilled artisan class he is born into. Seul dans la vie à quatorze ans covers one year in the life of Louis Magneux (Poulaille's pseudonym). Orphaned, living alone and earning his living, he devotes himself to his own cultural education:

Il n'avait que ses livres. Ils étaient son unique préoccupation. Il y avait ceux qu'il possedait, ceux qu'il se proposait d'acheter et ceux qu'il revait de pouvoir acheter. [13]

Books are his 'pâture', a daily need. Magneux's landlady feels his obsession (and his lack of sleep) to be unhealthy. The narrator suggests that she must assume Magneux wishes to 'better himself':

Elle pensait sans doute qu'il se tuait à faire des études pour acquérir une place, de ces bonnes places qui ne sont que pour les riches, mais que quelques pauvres atteignent tout de même par le travail, qui les fait réussir dans des concours difficiles. [14]

Unlike Guéhenno, Magneux's desire for culture is in no way directed towards 'des concours difficiles'. Referring to his first notebooks of cuttings, he describes them as follows:

Cétait comme le graphique de son accession à la vie intellectuelle, son ascension vers la culture vraie dont les classes dirigeantes étaient si jalouses. C'était en même temps une sorte de Walhalla qu'il construisait pierre à pierre pour lui. [15]

This suggests the same awareness as had Guéhenno of the bourgeois' need to control access to culture. Incidentally, Poulaille describes his early notebooks as 'une sorte de Walhalla', (referring to a shrine to dead heroes in Scandinavian mythology), which recalls Guéhenno's image of 'cette tombe admirable' of bourgeois culture. But the second sentence stresses that the notebooks are Magneux's own creation, the elements chosen and arranged to suit his own purposes. Later the reader is reminded of Magneux's pleasure in planning and constructing his 'Cahiers': 'll était un bâtisseur'. [16] Magneux's autodidacticism gives him independence, satisfaction and pleasure. His life seems to him to be 'une sorte de féerie, 'une oasis'. But this does not prevent him from recognising the risks of total absorption in 'sa tour d'ivoire' [17] and attempting to redress the balance between what at times can he two quite separate spheres of art and reality.

Journal d'un homine de quarante ans, as stated above, devotes little attention to Guéhenno's methods of study, programme of reading. sources of texts, although it does refer to periods spent in the municipal library. Seul dans la vie à quatorze ans documents all these aspects of autodidacticism fully. Like Guéhenno. Magneux studies at night. After a fourteen hour day at the pharmacy where he works as errand boy and general assistant. he then spends until two or three o'clock in the morning reading, note‑taking, organising his material. Still a child in the eyes of the law, he is unable to borrow from libraries. He relies on buying newspapers, periodicals and second‑hand books from the bookshops he passes while running errands. His main sources are second‑hand booksellers in the Marais, Saint‑Lazare, le boulevard Saint‑Germain and above all in 'L'Odéonie', 'cette mine à ciel ouvert'. [18] Magneux already had his father's collection of books and pamphlets, including works by Reclus, Kropotkin, Zola, Jean Grave, but now he has to build his own library. Initially the process is rather haphazard, depending on chance finds and cross­references from one text to another. Whereas a lycée student might have too much bibliographical guidance, Magneux has to construct his own bibliography. The main source of references is the periodical press with its reviews, extracts and literary supplements. Magneux buys a daily copy of L'Humanité, and regularly buys Comoedia (which he likes for its rich literary content, rather than for its approach), Gil Blas, L'Action française, Les Temps Nouveaux (for its excellent literary supplement), Terre libre (which published extracts from early socialist writers such as Blanqui and Babeuf), La Guerre sociale and l'anarchie (for its translations). Many papers and journals published serialisations of literary works and La Feuille littéraire published each fortnight a complete text by writers including Hugo, Nerval, Upton Sinclair and Tolstoï. Other periodicals such as Le Libertaire, La Calotte, Les Hommes du Jour or Fantasio might be chosen for their cover illustrations by artists such as Delannoy, A.F. Mac or Roubille. The range of material that interested his was wide and included literature, both French and foreign works in translation, socialist and anarchist thought, drawings, art reproductions. songs of the chansonnier tradition. Booksellers who came to know him, such as M. Simon in the avenue Félix‑Faure, or Delesalle in the rue de l'Odéon would advise him, let him browse, or consult reference works, or would offer him 'job lots' of pamphlets, books and reviews, sometimes including runs of a specific review. One example of such a source is a three year run of L'Echo de Paris illustré from the 1880s, which had a column by A. Vallette, 'Chronique des jeunes revues'. These articles together constituted a study of the beginnings of modern poetry which proved invaluable:

il saurait, grâce à elle, vers quels auteurs aller pour perdre le moins de temps possible. Vallette devait être l'un de ses premiers guides dans le labyrinthe littéraire de la poésie moderne, l'un de ceux à qui il devrait le plus de joies.' [19]

A final, important source of full‑length texts was found in the popular editions of classics, in series such as the Petite Bibliothèque nationale, the Petite Bibliotèque universelle or La Nouvelle Bibliothèque populaire, priced between 10 and 40 centimes. [20]

Magneux's project develops its own structure once he begins to record and collate his material. As the scope of his studies takes shape, he becomes progressively more confident and more ambitious. Initially he lists by author and artist, then adding details of works and dates, both those acquired and those to be acquired. He then compiles in the form of Cahiers collections of cuttings, some of the earliest of which are devoted to the chansonniers of Montmartre. [21] The idea for these Cahiers had come from the literary supplements to Les Temps Nouveaux edited by the anarchist Jean Grave. He also develops his cataloguing techniques to produce a comprehensive list of authors and works, comprising a more systematic version of his early lists and bibliographical references taken from his collection of publishers' catalogues. Magneux is shown to have few doubts about how to proceed in his cultural education. He benefits greatly from being in Paris, from his own family background which provided intellectual and artistic stimulus in the period before he was orphaned, and from a few contacts, both of his father's and his own making, with people who share his ideals and serve as models and advisers. Although Magneux's project depends on his own tastes and his own research, he has an ideological framework to refer to. This will have a determining effect on his relationship to culture, as will be seen in the second section of this article.

Sartre's Autodidact can clearly not be discussed in quite the same wayas the first two cases. Journal d'un homme de quarante ans, Caliban parle and Seul dans la vie à quatorze ans function both as autobiographical writings and as témoignages, setting first-hand experience into a specific social and historical context. Caliban and Magneux can be read as the literary counterparts of Guéhenno and Poulaille. It is of no more than anecdotal interest that Sartre based his Autodidact on a figure he remembered from Le Havre. In terms of the text, authenticity is undermined from the outset in the playful 'Avertissement des Éditeurs' and its reference to 'les papiers d'Antoine Roquentin', found by the publishers and published unamended. Since La Nausée is, with a couple of lapses, a first‑person narrative, the Autodidact is only accessible to the reader through Roquentin. That is, the self‑educating man is presented to us by the, apparently, highly educated scholar who is reaching a crisis in his own research. Roquentin does inform the reader of the Autodidact's motives and methods. His aim is to acquire an encyclopaedic knowledge of human achievements in every field. As he comments wistfully to Roquentin: '"il faudrait avoir tout lu"'. [22] He has allowed himself 13 years to read all the books in the municipal library of Bouville and at the time when the novel takes place he has spent seven years and reached the letter 'L'. As Roquentin ironically comments:

il s'instruit dans l'ordre alphabétique. ( . . . ) Il en est aujourd'hui à L. K après J., L. après K. Il est passé brutalement de l'étude des coléoptères à celle de la théorie des quanta, d'un ouvrage sur Tamerlan à un pamphlet catholique contre le darwinisme: pas un instant il ne s'est déconcerté. [23]

The Autodidact's adoption of the alphabetical method, logical in the context of a library catalogue, is symptomatic of his mechanical approach to learning. He can quantify, but he is unable to evaluate the task he is undertaking. Reading in this arbitrary way leaves his mind in a state of chaos, full of undigested, useless knowledge. Looking at Roquentin's collection of photographs, he seizes on one which corresponds to a segment of his own knowledge, but the segment evaporates as he speaks:

'Avez‑vous vu ce Christ en peau de bête qui est à Burgos? Il y a un livre bien curieux, monsieur, sur ces statues en peau de bête et même en peau humaine. Et la Vierge noire? Elle n'est pas à Burgos, elle est à Saragosse? Mais il y en a peut‑être une à Burgos? Les pèlerins l'embrassent, n'est‑ce pas?—je veux dire: celle de Saragosse? Et il y a une empreinte de son pied sur une dalle? Qui est dans un trou? où les mères poussent leurs enfants?' [24]

Even the knowledge which he has had access to has not been made his own. Nor does he feel able to appreciate the culture which he is ingurgitating. He admits to Roquentin that he gains no aesthetic pleasure from painting, sculpture, music, dance:

'Ce qui me désole, ce n'est pas tant d'être privé d'une certaine espèce de jouissance, c'est plutôt que toute une branche de l'activité humaine me soit étrangère. . . Pourtant je suis un homme et des hommes ont fait ces tableaux. . .' [25]

In this admission there is a glimpse of the Autodidact's own recognition that his method (tout lire dans l'ordre alphabétique) will never satisfy his own humanist aims. He may acquire a certain 'savoir', but he will never be initiated into culture. He must remain a cultural voyeur, gaining his pleasures vicariously, as when he watches Roquentin at work: 'L'Autodidacte, qui voit que j'écris, m'observe avec une concupiscence respectueuse'. [26] But it is not only the motives and methods of the Autodidact that are the object of irony in this text. The implications of Roquentin's presentation of the Autodidact will be examined in the second part of the article.

The Relationship with Culture

Throughout his life Guéhenno can be seen to be torn between a sense of the sheer pleasure of being an intellectual and a sense of having compromised himself. At the age of forty he recalls with shame his reaction to the prospect of the call‑up: "'Un homme qui n'était qu'un corps, cela se pouvait tuer peut‑être, mais un homme en qui vivait l'esprit. . . ?"' [27] As (by now) a product of the Ecole Normale Supérieure he was made an officer and given the task of addressing 100 new recruits, encouraging them to serve France well. His assumed eloquence now had to be put at the service of his country. Looking back he realises that he was as guilty as the rest of betraying his intellectual raison d'être: 'Jamais n'avait‑on vu si clairement ce qui se mêle toujours de comédie à la vie intellectuelle'. [28] A few pages later in the text Guéhenno looks back on the immediate post‑war years and the erection of war memorials across France, amongst which the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier served as a particularly potent national symbol:

lls ont fait de ce pauvre mort le grand ordonnateur de la cérémonie sociale, telle qu'ils veulent qu'elle soit réglée, l'idole qui dit toujours oui, chargée de justifier le monde comme il va, comme ils veulent qu'il aille. [29]

Although the parallel is not overtly drawn in the text, Guéhenno's speech to the troops was as much part of the 'cérémonie sociale' as was the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, in that both served to justify France's part in the war and the millions of deaths on both sides. Writing retrospectively Guéhenno recognises the danger of the intellectual investing a total faith in culture, believing it to be pure, rational, uncontaminated by material or temporal concerns. This idealism blinded him to the recognition that a nation has expectations of its cultural elite:

J'ai aimé les idées plus que tout au monde: c'était encore une sorte d'idolátrie, une manière de me faire des dieux, de m'évader d'un univers provisoire, de mettre dans mon jeu l'éternité.

And he adds in a somewhat tentative way which has the same repentant tone as the closing words of Sartre's Les Mots: 'J'espère maintenant etre tout à fait désenivré. Je sais que la dignité ne s'apprend pas dans les livres'. [30]

The stages of alienation which Guéhenno had undergone as he moved away from his class of origin culturally, economically and to some extent ideologically, meant that it was difficult for him to create any real bond with the working class and working‑class values. He writes that on visits home from Paris: 'Je me sentais suspect'. [31] Again, the sense of having changed sides seems stronger than the sense of being a pioneer, opening the way for other working‑class children to gain a full education. His acknowledged flight into the world of ideas and books had had an altruistic side. Back at the Ecole Normale Supérieure, he reaffirms this original purpose: 'j'étais venu ici pour voler le feu et pour l'emporter chez les miens'. [32] Two of Guéhenno's texts from the late 1920s explore this dilemma in more general terms. Must culture necessarily divide class from class? Is the working‑class intellectual not able to act as mediator, enabler? In L'Evangile éternel he writes:

Il est vrai qu'un intellectuel de ce temps, sorti du peuple, fidèle au peuple, éprouve parfois devant lui une tragique impression d'inutilité. Il revenait vers les siens avec un immense désir de servir, il se croyait maître des secrets les plus precieux, un sauveur. et voilà qu'au bord de ce vaste monde populaire il se sent comme une épave rejetée. Les siens ont pour lui d'étranges sourires et c'est à peine si on l'écoute. [33]

Having in earlier years experienced culture as a revered tomb, guarded by the bourgeoisie, or as a temple open only to the initiated elite, now the working‑class intellectual is once more on the outside, an oddity in the eyes of 'Les siens': 'La masse, prévenue par son instinct, devine‑t‑elle en lui quelque monstrueuse singularité? et doit‑il en être forcément ainsi?' [34]

The 1928 text, Caliban parle can be seen as an attempt by Guéhenno to put his culture to the service of his class of origin. In retrospect he has admitted that he adopted the figure of Caliban (from Shakespeare's The Tempest via Renan's Caliban) as a disguise for himself, but that by extension he was writing to give voice to 'le peuple', 'les siens'. Renan's text is one of two philosophical dramas which are conceived as sequels to The Tempest. [35] In Renan's introductory words 'Au Lecteur', the central figures are presented to the reader as:

Prospero, due de Milan, inconnu à tous les historiens;—Caliban, être difforme, à peine dégrossi, en voie de devenir homme;—Ariel, fils de l'air, symbole de l'idéalisme. [36]

Prospero has been restored to his throne, but in the course of the play is dethroned by Caliban, who, having acquired much of Prospero's own learning finds himself at the head of a popular uprising. The links between culture, language and power are clearly drawn. Caliban's relationship with culture passes through three stages. In the pre‑history to the play (the period covered in The Tempest) Caliban was taught language and the powers of reason by Prospero. In Ariel's words:

Peu à peu, grâce au langage et à la raison, tes traits difformes ont pris quelque harmonie; tes doigts palmés se sont détachés les uns des autres; de poisson fétide, tu es devenu homme, et maintenant tu parles presque comme un fils des Aryas. [37]

Caliban's transformation has been from a monstrous fish‑like creature to a human being. But in his new human state, Caliban has learnt to see injustice. He resents language and learning for their oppressive power:

Ces livres d'enfer, ah! je les hais; ils ont été les instruments de mon esclavage. Il faut les prendre, les brûler. Un autre pourrait s'en servir. Guerre aux livres! Ce sont les pires ennemis du peuple. Ceux qui les possédent ont des pouvoirs sur leurs semblables. L'homme qui sait le latin commande aux autres hommes. [38]

Culture has enabled him to acquire self‑consciousness and to revolt, yet his sense of revolt demands the destruction of those symbols of culture. Once he has become the popular leader and seized power the relationship changes once more. The revolutionary moment is short‑lived. A new regime is in place and Caliban is transformed by his experience of power:

J'étais injuste pour Prospero; l'esclavage m'avait aigri. ( . . . ) La propriété est le lest d'une société; je me sens de la sympathie pour les propriétaires. ( . . .) Je favoriserai les artistes. Les hommes de lettres donnent la gloire: je ne les négligerai pas. [39]

At the end of Renan's Caliban, Ariel, the spirit of idealism, resists Prospero's appeal to become his ally once more. He cannot continue to participate in human society: 'Cette vie est forte mais impure. Il me faut de plus chastes baisers'. [40] It is only in the second play which tells of the death of Prospero that a possible future alliance between Caliban and Ariel is suggested by the dying Prospero:

Ariel, tu n'es pas encore placé aussi près que moi de l'infini; cesse de mépriser Caliban. Sans Caliban, point d'histoire. Les grognements de Caliban, l'âpre haine qui le porte à supplanter son maître, sont le principe du mouvement dans l'humanité. [41]

The emphasis of Guéhenno's Caliban parle is on that possibility of an alliance which will not only liberate the oppressed Calibans, but which will also renew culture and open the way for a society based on humanist values. Returning to the subject of Caliban in a text which dates from 1956, Guéhenno recalls what the figure still represented for him:

la misère humaine, l'instinct du bonheur et de la liberté, l'instinct de la raison, l'instinct d'une autre vie, de ce qu'on pourrait, de ce qu'on devrait être et qu'on n'est pas. Caliban, c'est celui qui est encore à la porte de la Cité et qu'on n'y laisse pas entrer. [42]

Rather than seeing Caliban as the monster only humanised as he comes into contact with Prospero's knowledge, Guéhenno argues that Caliban's experience of hardship, his sense of justice and his desire for happiness give him an understanding of fraternity which Prospero lacked. Caliban's desires concern the future rather than the past, change rather than the preservation of the past. To recall once more the image of culture as a guarded tomb, a barrier 'entre nous et l'avenir', the aspiring working class must lead the way past the tomb into the future. In Caliban parle Guéhenno makes the distinction between 'savoir', and 'culture'. 'Savoir' refers to knowledge which has become frozen as doctrine, claimed by those who control it to be absolute and exclusive. 'Culture' should refer to an attitude, a permanent concern with truth and justice, a concern which can be found in people from all social classes. This attitude is relative rather than absolute, because always open to future discoveries or interpretations, and is inclusive rather than exclusive. What emerges from Caliban parle is an attempt to find a way beyond the contradictions which Guéhenno had himself confronted as a working‑class autodidact, and then as a teacher and writer. Just as Caliban feels a need for culture, so culture needs Caliban if it is to play a liberating role in society. Yet the dilemma remains: an individual Caliban may exceptionally find a way of acquiring the education necessary to take part in cultural life, but can he do this without being fundamentally changed in the process? Those contradictions would for Guéhenno only be resolved in a society without class divisions, which would no longer exclude the majority from its cultural life. Until then Caliban will continue to find that culture (savoir) is owned and controlled by the bourgeoisie.

Henry Poulaille's case illustrates an alternative relationship between the autodidact and culture. Poulaille/Magneux is not seeking a way back into the French educational system. His literary persona, Louis Magneux, is embarking on an independent search for culture which takes him far beyond the recognised literary canon of France before World War I. Working on Vallette's column in L'Echo de Paris illustri he cross‑checks the names that interest him in his employer's under‑used set of Larousse:

Le nom cherché n'y figurait pas souvent. Inconnu? Oublié ou dédaigné? ( . . . ) C'est à peine s'il trouvait une dizaine de noms parmi ceux qui étaient venus sous la plume de M. Vallette et dont la mention était justifiée par ce qu'il citait ou disait de l'écrivain . [43]

Magneux realises that literary histories and dictionaries tend to consecrate an author's acceptance into the mainstream and therefore do not cater for his own interest in the new, the unorthodox or the marginal. This persuades him of the need for compiling his own lists which he aims to make as complete as possible, while retaining their individuality:

Il n'en écartait que ce qui revêtait quelque caractère officiel. Et là, une sorte de scrupule le poignait parfois . . . Est‑ce que lui aussi n'était pas injuste, partial dans ses recensions? Alors, il revenait sur certains nom qu'il inscrivait en retrait. [44]

In some respects there are constraints on Magneux's access to culture, the lack of borrowing rights at public libraries being one such obstacle. Other constraints tend to be financial. He feels intimidated by the smarter bookshops that have no second‑hand stock displayed outside and no prices marked on those in the shop‑window. He has to assert himself in order to be taken seriously as a potential customer by the bouquinistes on the quais. However he is able to find his own network of brocanteurs and second-hand book‑sellers to compensate for this and they encourage him and share their knowledge with him.

Magneux's efforts are narrated with a certain amount of irony. There are moments of self‑doubt, signalled by such terms as 'confusément', 'il devinait', 'il avait le sentiment', or 'il les scrutait indécis'. [45] His early attempts at collating and recording are slightly undermined by the use of terms such as 'paperasses', 'bataclan', 'gribouiller', although this use of popular French also serves a more general function of giving the narrative a distinctive focalisation, in keeping with the protagonist's class and ideology. [46] Magneux's early Cahiers are the work of an amateur and as yet fairly unstructured:

Les textes une fois joints, il leur confectionnait un dos après y avoir inclus les pages de cahiers où étaient collés des textes courts, des photos et des notes de sa calligraphie peu lisible. ( . . . ) On eùt ri certainement de voir ces cahiers où tout était mêlé: poésie, théâtre, philosophie, biographie et contes. [47]

But this unprofessionalism is more a reflection of Magneux's age than his status as autodidact. At other times the narrator comments on the young boy's pretentiousness:

C'était, chez le jeune Magneux, un petit côté agaçant, que cette manie qu'il croyait expressive de philosophie transcendante, et c'était en vain que ses rares familiers se moquaient de lui quand il se lançait dans ses exposés qui, déclaraitil, n'étaient que de la stricte logique. [48]

Yet Magneux's cultural life is compared favourably both with that of his peer group whose reading matter is dismissed as: 'un amas d'illustrés de basse classe' [49] and with that of his employer, whose finely bound copies of Bourget, Loti, France, Daudet, Bordeaux and others are kept locked in a glass‑fronted bookcase, inaccessible as the key has been lost. His year's work is presented not as a clumsy floundering in a sea of culture, nor as a process of alienation, but rather as a search for method, a process of self‑discipline and self‑discovery. Nor is Magneux's study purely for himself. As he builds his own library, he is trying to prove a point:

Il voulait démontrer qu'on pouvait constituer une véritable bibliothèque pour très bon marché.
'Et ce ne serait pas difficile de m'imiter', disait‑il. 'Le noyau, composé de bons textes susceptibles d'être réunis très vite, n'atteindrait pas cent cinquante francs'. [50]

Poulaille himself lay great emphasis in his later writings and activities on the need for the working class to give itself the culture it needs. Just as Proudhon and Marcel Martinet, Poulaille wished ultimately to overturn a moribund but oppressive dominant culture. In order to be in a position to do this the proletariat must learn to rely on its own resources, to uncover its own history, its own cultural traditions and crucially, find its own forms of expression. According to Martinet in La Culture proletarienne such a culture must emerge from the workers forming a network of local groups, very much on the model of Pelloutier's Bourses du Travail, serving as a forum for discussion and study, starting with mutual education about work, its organisation, its skills, its social history and its contemporary context. Compared with Martinet's notion of proletarian culture, Magneux's early period of autodidacticism seems individualistic and not especially class-based. Magneux is not studying cooperatively, within a group. But he does establish a number of points of contact independent from the education system with mentors such as Delesalle, M. and Mme Simon (the brocantier and his wife who pass on their knowledge of the chansonniers of Montmartre), Jean Grave, M. Maury, the relief pharmacist who collects scientific works, Ducret and Calandri, two anarchist friends with whom he discusses his reading, and his ex‑school friend Robert Laurent, autodidact and would‑be artist. His dead father who remains an ideological influence is the absent member of the network. So although Magneux studies alone, he is far from operating in a cultural void.

He has been exposed from his childhood onwards to the anarchist debates and anarcho‑syndicalist practices in the early 1900s. It is this influence that ensures that he does not become so involved in his cultural and literary pursuits that he looses touch with social reality in France and abroad. The text intersperses detailed accounts of Magneux's studies with references to reports in the daily press of social unrest or international developments, which remind Magneux of the need to see his intellectual life in perspective: 'Ses lectures l'avaient prédisposé à la révolte. C'est chez les révoltés qu'il chercherait les contacts avec la vie'. [51] And after some false starts he does make contact with anarchist groups.

Many of Poulaille's writings in the inter‑war years encouraged the emergence of a culturally richer working class. His 1930 Nouvel âge littéraire offers a literary history/anthology of proletarian writing. It is in many way a compilation of the notes and documentation which he himself collected in his early years as an autodidact. His journalistic work, in particular in his role as literary editor of the CGT daily paper Le Peuple, was aimed at encouraging the reading habits of the working class. One notable series of articles, 'Entretiens familiers: l'Ecrivain et l'Ouvrier' dealt in the form of somewhat stilted dialogues with the question of how a working‑class person might plan and carry out their own programme of cultural education. [52] As director of the press office at Grasset and the editor of a number of journals, he was also instrumental in helping many working­class autodidacts like himself to have articles, short stories and novels published. In February 1935 he and a group of proletarian writers jointly opened Le Musée du Soir, a meeting place, library and cultural centre which offered the sort of facility which Martinet wished to see to help promote cultural awareness and class consciousness.

The question of the relationship towards culture of Sartre's Autodidact needs to be considered in two stages. The first reading is centred on Roquentin's presentation of the Autodidact. The Autodidact can initially be seen as another of the butts of Roquentin's irony. Like the respectful couple admiring the ceramics in the Bouville museum, or the 'jeune dessinateur' taking part in his first Sunday parade on the rue Tournebride, the Autodidact is mesmerized by the bourgeoisie, their history, their culture, their right to power. These figures, their naively a sign of their chronic bad faith, provide much of the humour in La Nausée. So is the Autodidact a figure of fun? Does his largely unquestioning attitude towards culture serve to highlight Roquentin's anguished, and therefore less naive attitude? Is the Autodidact there to function as a non‑Roquentin?

In his study of sexuality and Sartre, The Perverted Consciousness, Andrew Leak writes of Genet: 'On the one hand, Genet is a 'woman' because women are defined socially as relative beings in the patriarchal society'. [53] The Autodidact is equally a 'relative being', in that he is defined and he defines himself in terms of the culture of the dominant patriarchal society. This relative status is evident both in his behaviour and his treatment by others. He is dehumanised in the text, being likened to an animal: 'L'Autodidact s'est dirigé vers les rayons du mur d'un pas vif; il rapporte deux volumes qu'il pose sur la table, de l'air d'un chien qui a trouvé un os'. [54] He is infantilised and feminised, both at once in the description of him enjoying his afternoon snack:

C'est l'heure de son goûter, il mange d'un air candide du pain et une tablette de Gala Peter. Ses paupières sont baissées et je puis contempler à loisir ses beaux cils recourbés‑des cils de femme. Il dégage une odeur de vieux tabac, à laquelle se mêle, quand il souffle, le doux parfum du chocolat. [55]

His bodily movements and gestures often suggest femininity, as when he invites Roquentin to lunch: 'Il rougit et ses hanches ondoyèrent gracieusement'. [56] Linguistically he functions as a dependent being in that he is heavily reliant on cliches and on quoted authorities. When visiting Roquentin to see the photographs from his travels, he declares: 'Si ce qu'on dit est vrai, les voyages sont la meilleure école. Êtes‑vous de cet avis, monsieur?' [57] He often seeks corroboration from Roquentin, not trusting his own judgement of an authority:

'Peut‑on dire, avec Pascal, que la coutume est une seconde nature?'
Il a planté ses yeux noirs dans les miens, il implore une réponse.
'C'est selon', dis‑je.
Il respire. [58]

And again mixing cliché with a plea for approval: '"On parle de la magie des aventures. Cette expression vous semble‑t‑elle juste?"' [59] When his language does not take the form of a question, it is cautious and qualified, as if every thought hovers in the anticipation of being refuted. Over lunch the Autodidact ventures some personal opinions:

'Monsieur, je me suis une fois risqué à penser que le beau n'était qu'une affaire de goût. N'y a‑t‑il pas des règles différentes pour chaque époque? (. . .)
Il me vient parfois à l'esprit des—je n'ose dire des pensées. C'est très curieux: je suis là, je lis et tout d'un coup, je ne sais d'où cela vient, je suis comme illuminé. ( . . . ) D'abord je n'y prenais garde, puis je me suis résolu à faire l'achat d'un carnet'.
Il s'arrête et me regarde: il attend.
'Ah! Ah!' dis‑je.
'Monsieur, ces maximes sont naturellement provisoires: mon instruction n'est pas finie'. [60]

His position regarding culture, its institutions and its representatives, is that of a supplicant, an outsider seeking approval and (temporary) permission to enter. This relationship extends into his sexuality. Culturally and sexually he is a voyeur. Both pleasures take place in the library:

Il regardait en souriant son voisin de droite, un collégien crasseux qui vient souvent à la bibliothèque. L'autre s'est laissé contempler un moment, puis lui a brusquement tiré la langue en faisant une horrible grimace. L'Autodidacte a rougi ( . . . ). [61]

The Autodidact is allowed to pursue his pleasures in the library until he oversteps his mark and caresses the hand of one of a pair of lycéens who have been provoking him to disgrace himself. The Corsican library assistant and a woman sitting next to Roquentin hurl abuse at this 'monstre', this 'saleté'. The Corsican declares his study to be a sham, a pretext:

'Monsieur. s'instruisait! Monsieur complétait sa culture! Monsieur me dérangeait tout le temps, pour des renseignements ou pour des livres. Vous ne m'en avez jamais fait accroire, vous savez'. [62]

So the Autodidact's sexual and intellectual pleasures, both dependent on the acquiescence of the library and its users are denounced publicly. In the face of the cultural institution and its guardians he was always a trespasser and his expulsion a matter of time.

Roquentin's narrative presents the Autodidact as a relative being through his actions, speech and treatment by others. But Roquentin himself, while overtly expressing some sympathy for him also seems to take on this pattern of judgement of the Autodidact. Roquentin does not present the Autodidact as another pour soi, a consciousness existing in the same state as his own. Seeking refuge from a bout of Nausea, Roquentin goes to the library. The Autodidact greets him warmly, but in his mind, Roquentin is dismissive of him:

En le voyant, j'eus un moment d'espoir: à deux, peut‑être serait‑il plus facile de traverser cette journée. Mais, avec l'Autodidacte, on n'est jamais deux qu'en apparence. [63]

Descriptions of the Autodidact stress his thing‑like appearance, his rigidity: 'Le visage de l'Autodidacte, jaune et dur comme un coing, s'est figé dans un tétanos réprobateur. Je poursuis néanmoins.' [64] The relationship between Roquentin and the Autodidact is marked by ambivalence, shifting as Roquentin experiences successive bouts of Nausea which destabilize and then totally eradicate his Rollebon project. The Autodidact's humanism is vague and not translated into any real social commitment. Yet Roquentin feels threatened by the Autodidact's desire to integrate him into his view of humanity. The Autodidact asks him: "'Peut‑être que vous être misanthrope?"' Roquentin's strong reactions are conveyed in a twenty‑four line passage, before he gives a non­committal one‑line reply. In his thoughts the Autodidact has become an enemy, representative of a confused but powerful ideology:

Il me demande peu de chose, en somme: simplement d'accepter une étiquette. Mais c'est un piège: si je consens l'Autodidacte triomphe, je suis aussitôt tourné, ressaisi, dépassé, car l'humanisme reprend et fond ensemble toutes les attitudes humaines. [65]

But once the Autodidact's disgrace has occurred, Roquentin reverts to a kind of identification with him:

il est de ma race, il a de la bonne volonté. A présent, il est entré dans la solitude—et pour toujours. Tout s'est écroulé d'un coup, ses rêves de culture, ses rêves d'entente avec les hommes. [66]

Rhiannon Goldthorpe, in her study of la Nausée, picks up on the ambivalent presentation of the Autodidact, suggesting that at times he, rather than the vindictive Roquentin expresses fundamental existentialist questions, even when cross‑examining Roquentin about his reasons for writing:

The force of Sartre's own writing remains enigmatic here. Despite its mercilessly satirical tone it implies a form of self‑exposure and, simultaneously, the essaying of tentative ideas under a protective and self‑deriding disguise. [67]

As Goldthorpe points out, the Autodidact's questions, treated with scorn by Roquentin, prefigure those questions which will later form the framework of Qu'est‑ce que la littérature?—'Pourquoi écrire?', 'Pour qui écrit‑on?'. The opposition Roquentin / Autodidact is not clear‑cut. Though initially they may seem to correspond to I'homme cultive (an educated producer of culture) / l'homme non cultive (the outsider desiring culture) the opposition is undermined in the course of the text. Their respective cultural projects—the biography of Rollebon and the alphabetically organised acquisition of culture—both collapse, and Roquentin's final thoughts of writing 'une autre espèce de livre' [68] are extremely tentative. Arguably, these strategies are equally powerless in the face of the absurdity of existence. Can they be seen as any more valid than Bouvard and Pécuchet's projected life of the Duc d'Angoulême, with their two‑week period of research in Caen? Both Roquentin and the Autodidact are caught in the web of bourgeois culture, one struggling to get out, the other struggling to get in. As the opposition between the two is subtly eroded, a certain parallelism emerges. Both are marginal, isolated figures, and neither has an alternative ideological position from which to challenge the culture of Bouville.

Concluding comments

Each of the three cases can be related in some way to the image cited at the beginning of this article of culture as a guarded tomb, or culture as a temple to which only initiés are admitted. The culture of the dominant class is a potent means of self‑justication, demonstrating the rightfulness of power structures and the naturalness and necessity of bourgeois ideology. Access to education is one indicator of a society's exercise of power and the care with which it guards its cultural dominance. Autodidacticism is in itself neither a reaffirmation of that cultural dominance, nor a challenge to it, but it can become either.

As practical strategies the three examples differ in the extent to which they reproduce the existing cultural values of the bourgeoisie. Sartre's Autodidact seems initially to be the most parasitic of the three. His resources—the municipal library—and his method—unselective and alpabetical consumption—offer the image of someone doubly enslaved, economically and culturally. He is no more than a respectful visitor to the tomb, and destined to be excluded because of his perceived cultural and sexual deviance. Guéhenno's own route to culture was also largely dependent on established cultural practices. If Guéhenno has been allowed across the guarded space, it is as an exceptional individual. Caliban represents a whole class, still excluded. Magneux's strategy is to pursue culture independently from the traditional framework. His ideological difference from the bourgeoisie makes him critical of mainstream culture and aware of the existence of alternative culture. To continue the analogy, Magneux is not intimidated by the tomb and its guards, but regards it as no more than the remains of one culture which is there to be superseded.

Culture is strongly desired by all the autodidacts discussed here. But that desire has differing ideological consequences. For Guéhenno as an autodidact in his teens, culture was desired as 'une fuite' and 'une conquête. In the 1930s he retained his desire for culture but recognised the dangers of assimilation into the cultural (and ideological) establishment. His texts of the late 1920s and 1930s call for a change of the class participation in culture. In the mid‑1930s this view coincided with the new mood of collaboration between a progressively‑minded bourgeoisie and the working class which could, it was hoped, not only bring about 'la culture humaine' but perhaps more urgently, counter the threat of fascism. Guéhenno's 'solution' to the isolation and possible class betrayal of autodidacts from the working class is the construction of a future culture which will be enlarged, humanisied and integrative, a cultural renewal rather than a rejection of bourgeois culture. Poulaille / Magneux's desire is rather for a culture of one's own, not one owned by the bourgeoisie. Autodidacticism is a positive cultural strategy as it can take place out of the cultural mainstream. The question of participation is relevant here too, but it is not posed in terms of the state provision of education or of other cultural facilities. Poulaille offers a model of working‑class autodidacticism which has as a medium‑term aim the affirmation of not only cultural but also ideological difference. His working‑class autodidacts reject the monolithic status of bourgeois culture and ultimately aim to overturn a moribund dominant culture. But a cultural challenge alone would be inadequate. Only if combined with some widespread class‑based political action can this type of autodidacticism be other than marginal as the instrument of cultural change. Finally, while Roquentin initially seems to present the Autodidact's desire for culture as a state of utter dependence on bourgeois culture and its institutions, the text moves beyond an exposure of that culture and its ideological function to destabilise Roquentin's own position of cultural (and narrating) authority. The loss of faith in culture which is played out in Sartre's text leaves the reader in a state of chronic uncertainty. Guéhenno and Poulaille have also lost faith in a certain form of bourgeois culture, but in their writings the autodidact's desire is a sign of hope.

University of Nottingham            Rosemary Chapman


[1] J. Guéhenno, Entre le passé et l'avenir (Paris: Grasset, 1979) p. 266. [—> main text]

[2] D. Borne, Histoire de la société française depuis 1945 (Paris: Armand Colin, 1988) pp. 151‑2. [—> main text]

[3] Ibid., p. 152. [—> main text]

[4] J.-P. Sartre, La Nausée (Paris: Folio, 1972) p. 170. For Contat and Rybalka's comments on this reference: J.‑P. Sartre, Oeuvres romanesques (Paris: Gallimard, 1981) pp. 1781‑2. In their view there was no particular animosity behind this little dig. [—> main text]

[5] J.‑P. Sartre, La Nausée (Paris: Folio, 1972) p. 16. [—> main text]

[6] J.‑P. Sartre, Oeuvres romanesques (Paris: Gallimard, 1981) p. 1726. [—> main text]

[7] J. Guéhenno, Journal d'un homme de quarante ans (Paris: Grasset, 1934) p. 103. [—> main text]

[8] Ibid., p. 56. [—> main text]

[9] Ibid., p. 98. [—> main text]

[10] Ibid., p. 99. [—> main text]

[11] Ibid., p. 100. [—> main text]

[12] Ibid., p. 102. [—> main text]

[13] H. Poulaille, Seul dans la vie à quatorze ans (Paris: Stock, 1980) p. 42. [—> main text]

[14] Ibid., p. 24. [—> main text]

[15] Ibid., p. 163. [—> main text]

[16] Ibid., p. 213. [—> main text]

[17] Ibid., p. 223. [—> main text]

[18] Ibid., p. 44. [—> main text]

[19] Ibid., p. 131. [—> main text]

[20] For further details of these cheap editions see Chapter 23 of Seul dans la vie à quatorze ans. [—> main text]

[21] These Cahiers are an early version of the writings on literature, the arts and popular traditions which will become an important part of Poulaille's journalistic writing. [—> main text]

[22] J.-P. Sartre, La Nausée (Paris: Folio. 1972) p. 56. [—> main text]

[23] Ibid., p 50. [—> main text]

[24] Ibid., pp. 55‑6. [—> main text]

[25] Ibid., p. 154. [—> main text]

[26] Ibid., p. 49. [—> main text]

[27] J. Guéhenno, Journal d'un homme de quarante ans (Paris: Grasset, 1934) p. 166. [—> main text]

[28] Ibid., p. 172. [—> main text]

[29] Ibid., p. 212. [—> main text]

[30] Ibid., p. 237. Sartre refers in Les Mots to his idealistic conception of literature as 'une névrose', 'une longue, amère et douce folie', (J.‑P. Sartre, Les Mots (Paris: Folio, 1964) p. 212; p. 211). [—> main text]

[31] Ibid., p. 131. [—> main text]

[32] Ibid., p. 132. [—> main text]

[33] J. Guéhenno, L'Evangile éternel (Paris: Grasset, 1927) p. 220. [—> main text]

[34] Ibid. [—> main text]

[35] The two plays are Caliban, 1878, and L'Eau de Jouvence, 1880. [—> main text]

[36] E. Renan, Drames Philosophiques (Paris: Calmann‑Lévy, 1928) p. 3. [—> main text]

[37] Ibid., p. 13. [—> main text]

[38] Ibid., p. 56. [—> main text]

[39] Ibid., pp. 64‑6. [—> main text]

[40] Ibid., p. 102. [—> main text]

[41] Ibid., p. 244. [—> main text]

[42] J. Guéhenno, Caliban et Prospero (suivi d'autres essais) (Paris: Gallimard, 1969) p. 28. [—> main text]

[43] H. Poulaille, Seul dans la vie à quatorze ans (Paris: Stock, 1980) p. 132. [—> main text]

[44] Ibid., p. 133. [—> main text]

[45] Ibid., p. 117. [—> main text]

[46] Ibid., p. 22, p. 200, p. 23. [—> main text]

[47] Ibid., p. 162. [—> main text]

[48] Ibid., p. 108. [—> main text]

[49] Ibid., p. 169. [—> main text]

[50] Ibid., p. 212. [—> main text]

[51] Ibid., p. 224. [—> main text]

[52] This series appeared in Le Peuple between March 1926 and February 1927. Most of the articles were subsequently incorporated into the text of Nouvel âge littéraire (Paris: Valois, 1930). [—> main text]

[53] A. Leak, The Perverted Consciousness: Sexuality and Sartre (Basingstoke: Macmillan, 1989) p. 107. [—> main text]

[54] J.‑P. Sartre, La Nausée (Paris: Folio, 1972) p. 49. [—> main text]

[55] Ibid., p. 50. [—> main text]

[56] Ibid., p. 110. [—> main text]

[57] Ibid., p. 55. [—> main text]

[58] Ibid., p. 56. [—> main text]

[59] Ibid., p. 57. [—> main text]

[60] Ibid., p. 155. [—> main text]

[61] Ibid., p. 61. [—> main text]

[62] Ibid., p. 231. [—> main text]

[63] Ibid, p. 110. [—> main text]

[64] Ibid., p. 169. [—> main text]

[65] Ibid., p. 167. [—> main text]

[66] Ibid., p. 224. [—> main text]

[67] R. Goldthorpe, La Nausée (London: Harper Collins, Unwin Critical Library, 1991) p. 181. [—> main text]

[68] J.‑P. Sartre, La Nausée (Paris: Folio, 1972) p. 247. [—> main text]

SOURCE: Chapman, Rosemary. "Autodidacticism and the Desire for Culture", Nottingham French Studies, vol. 31, no. 2, Autumn 1992, pp. 84-101.

©1992, 2003 Rosemary Chapman. All rights reserved. Published by The Autodidact Project with permission of Rosemary Chapman and Nottingham French Studies.

Home Page | Site Map | What's New | Coming Attractions | Book News
Bibliography | Mini-Bibliographies | Study Guides | Special Sections
My Writings | Other Authors' Texts | Philosophical Quotations
Blogs | Images & Sounds | External Links

CONTACT Ralph Dumain

Uploaded 14 May 2003

Site ©1999-2009 Ralph Dumain