Jean-Paul Sartre (1905-1980) was a French philosopher, literary critic, playwright and novelist. Known for his open relationship with fellow philosopher and feminist Simone de Beauvoir, Sartre was also one of the prominent figures of existentialism, phenomenology and Marxism, as well as a political activist. In 1964 he received the Nobel Prize in Literature.


1.”Life has no meaning the moment you lose the illusion of being eternal.”

2.”We must act out passion before we can feel it.”

3.”Nothingness haunts being.”

4.”Three o’clock is always too late or too early for anything you want to do.”

5.”God is absence. God is the solitude of man.”

6.”Words are loaded pistols.”

7.”Life begins on the other side of despair.”

8.”Fascism is not defined by the number of its victims, but by the way it kills them.”

9.”Man is not the sum of what he has already, but rather the sum of what he does not yet have, of what he could have.”

10.”Hell is other people.”

11.”Like all dreamers, I mistook disenchantment for truth.”


12.”One always dies too soon — or too late. And yet, life is there, finished: the line is drawn, and it must all be added up. You are nothing other than your life.”

13.”It is certain that we cannot escape anguish, for we are anguish.”

14.”Nothingness lies coiled at the heart of being like a worm.”

15.”We do not know what we want and yet we are responsible for what we are — that is the fact.”

16.”As far as men go, it is not what they are that interests me, but what they can become.”

17.”I know only one Church: it is the society of men.”

18.”I am no longer sure of anything. If I satiate my desires, I sin but I deliver myself from them; if I refuse to satisfy them, they infect the whole soul.”

19.”Everything has been figured out, except how to live.”

20.”Anything, anything would be better than this agony of mind, this creeping pain that gnaws and fumbles and caresses one and never hurts quite enough.”

21.”Time is too large, it can’t be filled up. Everything you plunge into it is stretched and disintegrates.”

22.”I will not be modest. Humble, as much as you like, but not modest. Modesty is the virtue of the lukewarm.”

23.”If a victory is told in detail, one can no longer distinguish it from a defeat.”