On the Charlottenberg evening, when one of the guests asked a question about the future of freedom, Sartre talked about the play of new art forms, about the American novel, Dos Passos, jazz and contemporary cinema. One of those invited summed up our impression in these words: the writer seemed to him like a South American peasant working his way forwards with a machete through the thicket of confusing contemporary phenomena. But what falls down, I put in, is quite fortuitous. “Oh yes,” said the other, and the parrots as they flew away displayed the most beautiful wing colours. “Only Sartre,” added a third person, “does not see himself as a parrot, but as a prophet.”

Joachim Fest, “Not Me: Memoirs of a German Childhood”.


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