Jean-Paul Sartre, b. 1905 d. 1980
Photograph by Ida Kar

Happy birthday (posthumously) to iconic literary man Jean-Paul Sartre, master of existential thought, prolific writer and long time companion of Simone de Beauvoir who today would be turning 107. In NAUSEA, Sartre wrote:

“This is what I thought: for the most banal even to become an adventure, you must (and this is enough) begin to recount it. This is what fools people: a man is always a teller of tales, he sees everything that happens to him through them; and he tries to live his own life as if he were telling a story. But you have to choose: live or tell.”

For us, as writers, we feel conflicted. Choosing to live or tell seems somewhat impossible as we live to tell and tell to live and live to live in some sort of “chicken vs. egg” tangled web of messiness. We feel that in living, the writer continues to experience more of life, which broadens the mind and drives creativity. By doing so, the writing becomes stronger, more varied, and more true. But we also need to write, we are compelled to write. It is what wakes us up in the middle of the night, what we dream, what we do. What say you, readers and writers? Tell us what is true for you.