Rejected Nobel Prize. Jean Paul Sartre, a French author, received world-wide recognition when he refused the 1964 Nobel Prize in Literature. According to the Nobel Prize formal statement, during a sidewalk interview with a reporter, "He said he always refused official distinctions and did not want to be institutionalized. He also told the press he rejected the Nobel Prize for fear that it would limit the impact of his writing. He also expressed regrets that circumstances had given his decision 'the appearance of a scandal'." He received 16 nominations for the Nobel candidacy. The attempt to award him the Nobel Prize was "for his work which, rich in ideas and filled with the spirit of freedom and the quest for truth, has exerted a far-reaching influence on our age." He is commonly considered the father of Existentialist philosophy, besides being a journalist, novelist, playwright, and biographer. Born into a middle-class family with a Catholic father and an Alsatian Protestant mother, who was first cousin of 1952 Nobel Prize laureate Albert Schweitzer. It was Schweitzer with whom he learned to appreciate literature. He suffered with limitations, being cross-eyed and having Asperger's syndrome, a developmental problem. After moving from Alsace to Paris, Sartre graduated in Philosophy at the École Normale Supérieure in 1929. While at college, he began to associate frequently with groups of intellectuals and students of agnostic orientation. However, the fundamental turning point in his career took place in Berlin where he met and associated in 1933 with thinkers such as Edmund Husserl and Martin Heidegger. His philosophical thought therefore had a deviation from the classic path of Existentialism interpreted in a metaphysical key. He conceived "Being" as a pragmatic entity linked to the existence of man beyond which there was nothing. This line of thinking brought him significantly closer to Marxism and politically to left parties as well as to a practicing atheism. Philosophy historians claim that this path was also influenced by Simone de Beauvoir, who became his life partner. During his career, he was always engaged in the struggle for human rights, which on several occasions risked compromising his daily freedom. However, during World War II, his notoriety and intellectual honest were recognized by parties and ideologues opposed to him, while being a prisoner of war as a French soldier from June of 1940 until March of 1941 in a Nazi camp. While in the camp, he studied and wrote "Being and Nothingness," which was published in 1943. After released as a civilian, he published numerous newspapers that were "outlawed" by the Nazi Party. His close colleague, Jean Paul Sartre, was a supporter of Royal Socialism practiced in the Soviet Union after a 1954 trip, yet after the 1956 X Congress of the Soviet Communist Party, he moved away from this ideology, which broke their friendship. The alternative was support, albeit discontinuous, for the French Communist Party. His literary and philosophical activity includes works such as "Nausea" in 1938, "The Wall" in 1939, the popular essay "Age of Reason" in 1945, "Dirty Hands" in 1948, a play "The Condemned of Altona " in 1959, and "Critique of Dialectical Reason" in 1960 with the second part published posthumously. Two of his biographies are "Baudelaire" in 1947 and "Saint Genet, Actor and Martyr" in 1952. He was a prolific author with dozens of his works of his being translated into English. He died after a painful physical decline due to pulmonary edema resulting from fluid overload related to renal failure. Considered "coram populi" as the glory of France, the Presidency of the Republic proposed burial in the Pantheon, which was refused by his family. He and his beloved Simone de Beauvoir, who died six years later, were buried together. His writings are not as popular with the general public in the 21st century, yet he will be remembered as the talented author who refused the Nobel Prize in Literature.
Bio by: Lucy & Chris