The Story I Tell Myself a Venture in Existentialist Autobiography
- List Price: $32.00
- Binding: Hardcover
- Publisher: Univ of Chicago Pr
- Publish date: 07/01/1997
- ISBN: 9780226037325
- ISBN10: 0226037320
The Story I Tell Myself is an engrossing account of one woman's psychological liberation from a false sense of what she wanted to be, and the gradual development of a personal philosophy she was willing to live by. Barnes came of age in the era between Virginia Woolf and Betty Friedan, when women were beginning to break away from traditional patterns but primarily as exceptions and only within limits. She recounts how she came to undertake the translation of Sartre, and the subsequent battles with publishers and some hostile critics. Taking to heart Sartre's belief that an individual is both the product and the unique expression of his or her period, Barnes describes how she made Existentialism her own -- introducing it in writing, in speaking, and in a television series.
Overall, the account of her struggle for self-understanding shows a person so authentic in the Sartrean sense that readers cannot help but admire her. Barnes embraced a philosophy that the world initially thought scandalous and became intimately involved with a movement that left an indelible mark on a changing century. Her story transcends the personaldetails of her life and stands as an important and rare document in the intellectual history of our times.
"I admire this book and read it with unflagging interest. We have few enough of such accounts, and this one is therefore particularly valuable as well as readable and engrossing". -- Carolyn Heilbrun, Author of The Last Gift Before Time: Life Beyond Sixty