"The Man Who Lived Underground": Jean-Paul Sartre And the Philosophical Legacy of Richard Wright

Sartre Studies International 17 (2):42-59 (2012)
Is Jean-Paul Sartre to be credited for Richard Wright's existentialist leanings? This essay argues that while there have been noteworthy philosophical exchanges between Jean-Paul Sartre, Simone de Beauvoir, and Richard Wright, we can find evidence of Wright's philosophical and existential leanings before his interactions with Sartre and Beauvoir. In particular, Wright's short story "The Man Who Lived Underground" is analyzed as an existential, or Black existential, project that is published before Wright met Sartre and/or read his scholarship. Existentialist themes that emerge from Wright's short story include flight, guilt, life, death, dread, and freedom. Additionally, it is argued that "The Man Who Lived Underground" offers a reversal of the prototypical allegory of the cave that we find in the Western (ancient Greek) philosophical tradition. The essay takes seriously the significance of the intellectual exchanges between Sartre, Beauvoir, and Wright while also highlighting Wright's own philosophical legacy
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.3167/ssi.2011.170204
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history Request removal from index
Download options
PhilPapers Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy on self-archival     Papers currently archived: 16,667
External links
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library
References found in this work BETA

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles
Jerome Gellman (2009). Jean Paul Sartre: The Mystical Atheist. European Journal for Philosophy of Religion 1 (2):127 - 137.
Jean-Paul Sartre (1999). Fairy Tale. Sartre Studies International 5 (2):1-14.
Lawrence Jackson (2004). Richard Wright and Black Radical Discourse: The Advocacy of Violence. Critical Review of International Social and Political Philosophy 7 (4):200-226.
Debra Bergoffen (2006). Sartre and the Word. Sartre Studies International 12 (2):83-91.
George Cotkin (2003). Existential America. Johns Hopkins University Press.

Monthly downloads

Added to index


Total downloads

17 ( #160,237 of 1,726,249 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

1 ( #369,877 of 1,726,249 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature

Start a new thread
There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.