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Dyrud, J.E. (1984). Sartre and Psychoanalysis—What We can Learn from a Lover's Quarrel. Contemp. Psychoanal., 20:230-243.

(1984). Contemporary Psychoanalysis, 20:230-243

Sartre and Psychoanalysis—What We can Learn from a Lover's Quarrel

Jarl E. Dyrud, M.D.

TODAY I'M GOING TO TALK ABOUT Jean Paul Sartre and this may seem strange, because he is no longer popular; not even controversial any more. But still I may be able to persuade you that his concept of "the true novel" is very relevant today to our view of psychoanalysis as a dialectical process in which the analyst and patient engage in the joint development of a narrative of the analysand's life. I think of Sartre as providing extra-analytic confirmation of this view.

What I really need to do is to remind you about Sartre, because we all know a lot about him, or at least we did at one time. He was a rebel long before the day in 1934 when he walked into his first class as a professor at Le Havre wearing a sport jacket, a black shirt and no tie. He was the self-conscious conscience of the left. He was always pro-communist but this position worked well only during the Spanish Civil War and during the Resistance. After the war he had to protest—against the Russian concentration camps, against the execution of the Rosenbergs in America, against the Russian crushing of the Hungarian uprising, against the French behavior in Algeria and so on and on. He wrote too much to remember, but we can remember that he took passionate positions on almost everything. Some people think that he worked out a sick philosophy starting with a book called "La Nausée" in 1938, but he has truly much more to offer us than that.

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