Autograph manuscript.c.1952 Stock Code: 129308
NotesAn unpublished fragment from Sartre's unfinished novel, La Dernière Chance, the final volume of his projected tetralogy, Les Chemins de la liberté (Roads of Freedom). Two chapters had appeared in Les Temps modernes in 1949 under the title Drôle d'amitié (Strange Friendship), but Sartre dropped the work in 1952. A version of the novel, reconstructed with Sartre's permission from the published chapters and some fragments found in the manuscript of the previous novel in the sequence, was published in the Pleiades edition of Œuvres romanesques (1981). At that time the editors, George H. Bauer and Michel Contat, noted the existence of an extensive manuscript sold in France in 1959, which they had been unable to consult. It seems likely that the present fragment derives from that larger manuscript.
La Dernière Chance remains something of an enigma, and is a source of controversy among Sartre scholars. "The fourth part of Roads of Freedom is undoubtedly the most talked about of all Sartre's unpublished works" (Bauer & Contat, p. 203). In his review of the first English translation for the Philosopher's Magazine, Sartre scholar Gary Cox considered the novel to be "of huge importance for the moral, political and philosophical ideas it contains and for what it reveals about Sartre's post-war intellectual dilemmas" (Issue 49, 2010). The present fragment, comprising of plot notes and sections of dialogue, continues themes from the earlier novels, and includes a scene where Brunet and Schneider prepare their escape attempt from the prison camp.
15 leaves of hole-punched papier quadrillé, manuscript to 19 sides, a total of around 2,200 words, and oddly 7 diagrams apparently related to origami folds. Housed in a dark blue cloth flat-back box with chemise by the Chelsea Bindery.
Paper overall toned, margins browned and a little brittle with a few very minor nicks and creases, else very good.
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