Jean-Paul Sartre

1905 (Paris) – 1980 (Paris)

Sartre met Nizan and Aron at school, later salvaging Nizan’s reputation. He met Lévi-Strauss, Merleau-Ponty, Weil, Canguilhem and Hyppolite as a student: also de Beauvoir, becoming her famously lifelong intellectual and amatory (but not exclusive) partner. He, de Beauvoir and Merleau-Ponty founded a resistance group in WWII, which Gide and Malraux failed to support. He was dismissive of Bataille’s writings, and enjoyed swapping filthy stories with Camus (before they fell out). He wrote a foreword for Fanon, praised Genet, disputed marxism with Althusser, and suggested the faithful communist Arago go to Cuba.