I admire [Samuel] Beckett, but I am totally against him. He seeks no improvement.

What did Jean-Paul Sartre mean by:

I admire [Samuel] Beckett, but I am totally against him. He seeks no improvement.


This quote reflects a philosophical disagreement between two intellectual giants of the 20th century. Essentially, Sartre is saying that he respects Beckett as a thinker and writer, but fundamentally disagrees with his worldview. Beckett, known for his absurdist play "Waiting for Godot," often depicted life as meaningless and absurd. He did not believe in the idea of progress or improvement in the human condition, which is what Sartre is referring to in the quote.

On the other hand, Sartre, a prominent existentialist, believed that individuals have the freedom and responsibility to shape their own lives and give them meaning. He valued the concept of personal growth and improvement, and saw it as a fundamental part of human nature. This is why he says he is "totally against" Beckett – because Beckett’s work rejects the idea of seeking improvement.

In today’s world, this idea can be applied in the context of personal development and societal progress. Many people, like Sartre, believe in the power of self-improvement and personal growth. They believe that individuals can and should strive to better themselves, and that this is a meaningful and worthwhile pursuit.

However, there are also those who share Beckett’s more pessimistic view. They may see the world as inherently chaotic and absurd, and believe that attempts at improvement or progress are ultimately futile.

In the end, whether one agrees with Sartre or Beckett may come down to personal worldview. But the debate between them serves as a reminder that the pursuit of improvement and progress is not universally accepted, and that there are different ways of interpreting and making sense of the world.

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