Seeking Sartre’s Style. Stylistic inroads into Les Chemins de la Liberte

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This study looks at Jean Sartre’s trilogy through the interdisciplinary angle of philosophy and linguistics. Moving from the conventional study of prose narrative, this book provides a rewarding understanding and appreciation of Sartre’s use of language in Les Chemins de la liberté. With the application of various stylistic procedures, practical examples of textual analysis are given and act as a useful tool for students of stylistics.


“… an immensely useful work for any scholar interested in Sartre’s use of language. Firmly grounded in current linguistic, stylistic, pragmatic and cognitive-linguistic analytical practice, it provides a wide-ranging analysis of Sartre’s style in Les Chemins de la liberté. In each of the five chapters, Silvester produces a focused study of a key stylistic area, from close readings of the power dynamics of conversational exchanges to a mapping of the metaphorical networks in the trilogy as a whole. The relevance of the linguistic data and analysis to current debate on Sartre’s philosophy of language and his own language use is clearly set out. Silvester demonstrates there that there is much of interest to say, not only on the stylistically marked Le Sursis, but on all three novels in the Trilogy. “ – Teresa Bridgeman, Senior Lecturer, Bristol University

“…interdisciplinary in conception, combining in an original and quite bold way, linguistics, literary analysis and philosophy….. carries out a systematic stylistic analysis of the novels, while addressing issues of philosophical significance…..will give the reader a lucid understanding of the function and effects of different linguistic markers. It deals in an interesting way with the relationship between Sartre’s notions of consciousness and narration…..Silvester’s grasp of Sartre’s philosophy, as well as of a range of linguistic methodologies and philosophical approaches make this a well-researched and intellectually exciting work.” – Dr. Rosemary Chapman, Senior Lecturer, University of Nottingham

“…brings to light Sartre as a brilliant theorician of language. Her study is not only competent and original, it is scholarly….her linguistic analysis is thorough and always grounded in demonstrated facts supported by close statistical examinations. Silvester’s study in fact rediscovers an important dimension of Sartre’s talent that was too often passed over in the past….her study should inspire many to return to Sartre’s works and reexamine their total value, the combination of Sartre’s talent as a writer and philosopher, and subtle stylist.” – Prof. Guy Mermier, University of Michigan

Table of Contents

Table of Contents:
1. Introduction
2. Narrative Paths
3. Conversational Courses
4. Parallel Tracks (analysis and interpretation; graphology; phonetics/metrics; syntax; lexis; semantics)
5. Associative Avenues (universals and nouns; parts and wholes; associative figures in La mort dans l’âme)
6. Metaphoric Channels
7. Conclusion
Appendices; Bibliography; Index

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