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Signed book, First edition

Jean-Paul SARTRE & (Simone de BEAUVOIR) & Fernando SABINO & Rubem BRAGA Furacão Sôbre Cuba

Jean-Paul SARTRE & (Simone de BEAUVOIR) & Fernando SABINO & Rubem BRAGA

Furacão Sôbre Cuba

Editôra do autor, Rio de Janeiro 1960, 14x20,5cm, broché.


Editôra do autor | Rio de Janeiro 1960 | 14 x 20.5 cm | original wrappers
 

The rare first edition in Portuguese of this important political text by Jean-Paul Sartre, written in Cuba in 1960. The text was not published in France except in the form of articles in France-Soir, before first appearing in its complete form in 2008 in the journal Les Temps Modernes. Both a reportage on Castro and a fierce critique of American policy during Batista's dictatorial rule, this essay on the Cuban revolution is preceded by an unpublished preface by Sartre and followed by articles by the Brazilian thinkers Fernando Sabino and Rubem Braga.
 
Autograph inscription signed by Jean-Paul Sartre to Georges Raillard, with the signature of Simone de Beauvoir above.
Spine skilfully restored, one small repair to lower margin of title.
 
It was at the invitation of Carlos Franqui, then editor of the Revolucion newspaper, that Sartre and de Beauvoir travelled to Cuba from February to March 1960. Fourteen months after the revolution, these two thinkers accompanied Castro on a tour of the island. Out of this voyage and their numerous encounters along the way – notably including Che Guevara – came this long, politically heavily engaged, reportage, entitled Ouragan sur le sucre [Storm over the Sugar Cane], later divided into a series of sixteen articles published in France-Soir from 28 June to 15 July 1960 with the idea of raising awareness of the recent Cuban revolution among the broader public, following the fall of Fulgencio Batista. In 2008, almost half a century later, the review Les Temps Modernes finally published, in a single issue, this stinging essay by Sartre, adding the author's unpublished contemporary notes written at the time with a view to a French edition. This never saw the light of day, no doubt because at the same time in France there was another popular fight for liberty that occupied the philosopher's attention: Algerian Independence.
Incidentally, it was with the intention of joining these two struggles that Sartre and Beauvoir accepted, in September 1960, an invitation to the Congrès des Critiques in Recife, Brazil. They touched only briefly on Brazilian literature, using this trip as a pulpit for bringing together the Algerian War and the Cuban Revolution, as de Beauvoir notes in La Force des Choses II [Force of Circumstance, vol. II].
 
Very quickly, the visit to Brazil by these two key figures of the French intellectual left took on a highly politicized bent and in press conferences, Sartre focussed on the Cuban Revolution as a response to the situation in Algeria, since “the most important phenomenon of the century is the liberation of the colonized peoples.”
Affirming that Latin America and Brazil in particular were to play an essential role in countering the politics of great power blocks, in favor of this new form of Communism founded on the quest for peace and not power, Sartre galvanized a number of intellectuals.
 
Among them was the noted future literary and art critic Georges Raillard, then a young professor at the University of Rio, and his wife Alice – a translator – who decided, together with some of the major figures of the Brazilian intelligentsia to leave a mark of this historic visit by Sartre who, by his constant conflation of the situation in Cuba and in Algeria seemed to carry a message of hope for a universal Revolution.
Bringing together a number of great writers, like Jorge Amado, a close friend of the Raillards, and Fernando Sabino and Rubem Braga, this group of young intellectuals decided to publish a previously entirely unpublished work by Sartre for the South American continent before the latter's return to France.
In a matter of weeks, a Brazilian publisher managed this impressive feat and soon this Storm over Cuba (Furacão Sôbre Cuba) created another in the French bookshop in São Paulo, which saw “the most chaotic book signings: more than fifteen hundred people turned up at the bookshop. Sartre was signing books for hours and people begged de Beauvoir, too, to include her name beside her partner's...” (Annie Cohen-Solal, Sartre, 1985)
 
With this elegant manuscript Sartre recognized the paternity of his burnt offering, made exclusively to a Brazilian audience, but it was most likely only to the participants of this major political act and publishing feat that he gave personalized inscriptions, like this one to George and Alice Raillard. This is also the only copy inscribed by name of this rare work that we have come across.
 
This work thus presents the complete text from the couple's visit to Cuba, but also contains an editorial foreword and an unpublished preface by the author. This was a chance for Sartre to reformulate his parallel between France – a Colonial power – and Cuba, a colonisad land, and also to bring together the situation of Cuba and that of Brasil: “E, apesar de tôdas as características que distinguem um pais do outro, acabei compreendo que falar aos brasileiros sôbre a ilha rebelde cubana era falar dêmes proprios.” (“And despite all the characteristics that differentiate these two countries, I ended up realizing that talking to Brazilians about the rebel island of Cuba was to talk to them of their own country, too.” Jean-Paul Sartre highlights the importance of spreading out the principles of the Cuban Revolution to the whole of Latin America and thus predicts with his words the imminent and tragic career of Che.
This text, which was very successful in Brazil and was even reprinted, nonetheless remained secret in France. The reasons for this silence were probably political: on the 6 September 1960, at the same time as the publication of Furacão Sôbre Cuba, Vérité-Liberté published the famous Manifeste des 121, denouncing the violence and injustice of the Algerian war, and which Sartre also signed. Sartre presumably soon realized the limits and dangers of Castro's policy and preferred to concentrate his political writings on specifically French problems.
 
Though his visit was followed by a number of intellectuals visiting Cuba, drawn by the charismatic figure of Castro, Sartre never returned to either Cuba or Brazil. All that was left of his engagement in the Cuban question was a few forgotten articles in France Soir and this Brazilian publication, more or less unknown in France.
 
On the 22 May 1971, Sartre put an end once and for all to his links with “El Commandante” by signing, with sixty or so other thinkers, an open letter in Le Monde showing their support for the Cuban poet Heberto Padilla and their “shame and anger” at Fidel.
 
An exceedingly rare copy of this unique work, inscribed to one of the very few Frenchmen who took part in the short but intense international revolutionary adventure of the philosopher from St Germain-des-Prés.

3 800 €

Réf : 67586

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