Paul Nizan

1905 (Tours, France) – 1940 (Audruicq)

Nizan is today remembered best for his politically-engaged fiction. Sartre and he met at school, later becoming constant companions. Aron became a friend when studying at the École Nationale Supérieure. Guterman was a colleague in the ‘Philosophes’ group of marxist intellectuals, founded by Lefebvre, for one of whose works Nizan wrote a foreword. Aragon and Rolland were friends as well as colleagues, and Malraux particularly close. Sartre was responsible for rescuing Nizan’s reputation a decade after he’d been accused of treachery by his communist allies (including Lefebvre). It was Nizan’s suggestion that led Lévi-Strauss to São Paulo, where he taught philosophy.