First edition of Réflexions sur la question juive,
the text by Sartre that “was like breaking and entering into
the framed silence of the time” (Shmuel Trigano).
One of 120 numbered copies from
the leading copies, as new,
preserved in its publisher’s wrappers, as issued.
Sartre, Jean-Paul. Réflexions sur la question juive.
Paris, Paul Morihien, 1946.
16mo [186 x 120 mm] of 199 pp.
In wrappers, printed cover, untrimmed copy. Publisher’s wrappers.
First edition of Réflexions sur la question juive, the text by Sartre that “was like breaking and entering into the framed silence of the time”. (Shmuel Trigano)
One of 120 numbered copies from the leading copies, printed on Lafuma pur fil.
Our copy bears number 83.
“The Réflexions sur la question juive marks an important moment. It is the closest text to the war. It was like breaking and entering into the framed silence of the time.” (Shmuel Trigano)
“This essay first and foremost targets antisemitism, since Sartre declares that Jews are created by antisemitism: “si le Juif n’existait pas, l’antisémite l’inventerait”. Only a radical modification of society can destroy antisemitism.” (Dictionnaire des œuvres)
“How to act against antisemitism ?”, asks Sartre who, during the summer of 1939, gave an interview on that topic to Arnold Mandel for the Revue juive de Genève.
As understanding about the extermination of the Jews during the war slowly grows, Sartre very early on dedicates a study on European antisemitism. Between October 1944 and November 1946, he writes his Réflexions sur la question juive; it is a war account, an applied existentialist essay and a phenomenological description.
As he tells Benny Lévy, “The Question Juive is a declaration of war against anti-Semites.”
His Réflexions follows the path of four individuals: the anti-Semitic, the democrat, the inauthentic Jew and the authentic Jew, and has two targets: on one hand, antisemitism, of which he makes a devastating portrait; and on the other hand, the democrat who pretends to solve the problem through assimilation.
Anguished by his empty life, the anti-Semitic convinces himself that “he has always had a place in the world, that it was waiting for him and that he has, by tradition, the right to take it. Antisemitism, in one word, is the fear of the human condition”; “this sentence, ‘I hate Jews”, is usually made while in a group; by saying it, one binds oneself to a tradition, a community : the good-for-nothings.”
Confronted with antisemitism, Sartre goes on, what is the situation of French Jews?
The book is a call to arms, a bold and powerful warning cry. Sartre says: “No French person will be free until all Jews can benefit entirely from their given rights. No French person will be safe if one Jew, in France and in the world, still fears for his life.” (Aliocha Wald Lasowski)
One of 120 numbered copy from the leading copies, on Lafuma pur fil, as new, preserved in its publisher’s wrappers, as issued.
Rare and sought-after by bibliophiles in this beautiful condition.