Abstract from “Thematic relationships between Sartre’s No Exit and Clouzot’s Le Corbeau” essay by Toby Woollaston – 2011

With reference to his 1944 play No Exit Jean-Paul Sartre stated that “Hell is other people”, a concept that appears to permeate the “ordinary French town” depicted in Le Corbeau (1943). I will examine the extent to which Le Corbeau shares its themes and ideas with Jean Paul Sartre’s literary and existential play. This will raise several questions that I aim to address. Can Le Corbeau be read as an existential text? Despite its accusations, can it be read as a work detached from the political agendas into which it was born? Is it a work that epitomises Rolande Barthes écriture, rendering it a product of its time, or, does its existential nature (if indeed it has one) make it timeless and therefore adhere to Sartre’s binary model?

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