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Meaning and Myth in the Study of Lives

Meaning and Myth in the Study of Lives
A Sartrean Perspective

Stuart L. Charmé

208 pages | 6 x 9
Cloth 1984 | ISBN 9780812279085 | $79.95s | Outside the Americas £64.00
Ebook 2015 | ISBN 9781512801132 | Buy from Combined Academic Publishers £64.00
An Anniversary Collection volume

"A humanistic and interdisciplinary study in the best sense and a very fine, intelligent book indeed."—James Olney, Louisiana State University
This book explores major theoretical issues in the study of an individual life through its focus on Jean-Paul Sartre. Sartre's quest for an "existential psychoanalysis" led him to develop what he called "true novels" in the landmark studies of Flaubert and others. In clarifying Sartre's philosophical ideas in relation to the analysis of the self, Stuart L. Charme examines the attraction/repulsion of Freudian concepts and explores parallels to Erikson's ego psychology. Certain "mythic" qualities in religious biography and autobiography are seen as central to Sartre, who presents lives—including his own—as normative models.

The book concludes by making a provocative link between the modern preoccupation with self-analysis in biography and autobiography and a fundamental religious need that was once fulfilled by primitive myth.

Stuart L. Charmé is Professor of Religion at Rutgers University, Camden.

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