The Roads to Freedom
The Roads to Freedom (French: Les chemins de la liberté) is a series of novels by Jean-Paul Sartre. Intended as a tetralogy, it was left incomplete, with only three of the planned four volumes published.
The three published novels revolve around Mathieu, a Socialist teacher of philosophy, and a group of his friends. The trilogy includes: L'âge de raison (The Age of Reason), Le sursis (which is generally translated as The Reprieve but could cover a number of semantic fields from 'deferment' to 'amnesty'), and La mort dans l'âme (Troubled Sleep, originally translated by Gerard Hopkins as Iron in the Soul, Hamish Hamilton, 1950). The trilogy was to be followed by a fourth novel, La dernière chance (i.e. The Last Chance); however, Sartre would never finish it: two chapters were published in 1949 in Sartre's magazine Les Temps modernes under the title Drôle d'amitié. The last part of The Last Chance was later reconstructed and published in 1981 (see section below).
The novels were written largely in response to the events of World War II and the Nazi occupation of France, and express certain significant shifts in Sartre's philosophical position towards 'engagement' (commitment) in both life and literature, finding their resolution in the extended essay L'existentialisme est un humanisme (Existentialism is a Form of Humanism).
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Les Chemins de la liberté
date of publication: 1945