Jean-Paul Sartre was the original self-help guru

Jean Paul

Long before I read French philosopher Jean-Paul Sartre, I had a clear idea of who he was. Or who I thought he was. I knew all about the turtleneck-wearing, chain-cigarette-smoking, moody sort of soul, with a melancholy philosophy to match. After I opened his books, though, it became clear to me that this brooding reputation didn’t match the reality. His words, to me, didn’t read like those of a poet in crisis, but like something that would not look out of place in a self-help book.

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