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Abstract existentialism in plain language

Sartre & de Beauvoir

Stefaan Van Brabandt

Just try naming a more iconic duo in modern philosophy than Jean-Paul Sartre and Simone de Beauvoir, the king and queen of existentialism. Even outside of that role, the two public intellectuals of twentieth-century Paris have become cult figures. In this fourth part of his introduction to famous philosophers, writer, actor, singer-songwriter and philosopher Stefaan Van Brabandt brings them into the limelight. An accessible reflection on two greats of philosophy whose ideas and lives are intertwined for ever.  

A refined mix of biographical facts and accessible philosophizing about relationships, sex, politics and society.
De Volkskrant

In pointed dialogue, not just the philosophy but the lives and turbulent relationship of the philosophical couple are explored in detail. With humour and without taboos, they look back on their lives, their ideas and their love. What is the significance of existentialism today? Is the feminist battle to which de Beauvoir devoted herself still relevant? What does it mean to be an authentic person? Why are we ‘condemned to be free’ and why did Sartre believe that ‘other people’ were ‘hell’? ‘Sartre and de Beauvoir’ distils the two role models of existentialist philosophy to their essence.

The script by philosopher and director Stefaan Van Brabandt is a strong fabric in which abstract existentialism, expressed in clear language, is interwoven with lives enjoyed to the full, the lives of two lovers in turbulent times.