Thursday 8 February 2024

Sartre, that word 'diaspora', Links and References


Jean-Paul Sartre and that word, 'diaspora':  movement in time and space

Very pleased to be able to contribute, on Thursday February 8 2024, to the series of on-line seminars ‘Repositioning Ireland’s Place in the World: Old Configurations, New Realities’, part of the G.I.S EIRE research network, organised by Grainne O'Keeffe Vigneron, University of Rennes, and Anne Groutel, University of Paris 1...

Below, some of my notes...

I see this presentation as an exploration of interdisciplinary methods - of interdisciplinary problems and interdisciplinary solutions...

I assume no knowledge of the texts explored.

My very brief paper covers research areas where we have vast amounts of original source material, and vast amounts of further research and comment.  I give here only enough to track the train of thought...

My approach is personal and discursive.  The obvious links to the general guides and sources are easily available elsewhere.

But...  If you think that there are places where you would like to see more here, I am happy to revisit this blog entry and fatten it up.

In my other working lives we have recurring problems when people try to link on small devices to long web addresses, URLs.  So, here I have also given the TinyURL, when that seemed sensible.

 

1.

The main texts under consideration are...

The original Gallimard edition of Jean-Paul Sartre, L'être et le néant: essai d'ontologie phénoménologique, 1943, translated as Being and Nothingness.

The Hazel Barnes translation...

Sartre, Jean-Paul, and Hazel E. Barnes. Being and Nothingness: An Essay on Phenomenological Ontology. Edited by Hazel E. Barnes. Philosophical Library, 1956.

and the new Sarah Richmond translation...

Sartre, Jean-Paul. Being and Nothingness: An Essay in Phenomenological Ontology. Edited by Sarah Richmond. London: Routledge, 2018.

We also need to be aware of Sartre, Jean-Paul, Réflexions sur la question juive,1945/1946 - translated as Portrait of the Anti-Semite, London, 1948, and Anti-Semite and Jew, New York, 1948.

And the Hazel Barnes' autobiography...

Barnes, Hazel E. The Story I Tell Myself: A Venture in Existentialist Autobiography. University of Chicago Press, 1998.


2.

The 2 background articles by Patrick O'Sullivan are...

O’Sullivan, Patrick. “Developing Irish Diaspora Studies: A Personal View.” New Hibernia Review 7, no. 1 (2003): 130–48.

https://www.mediafire.com/file/c760ub1xoac22cp/2003%252C_O%2527Sullivan%252C_Developing_Irish_Diaspora_Studies.pdf/file

Tiny URL

http://tinyurl.com/bdhkzj9s

O’Sullivan, Patrick. “On First Looking into Mercier’s The Irish Comic Tradition.” New Hibernia Review 8, no. 4 (2004): 152–57.

https://www.mediafire.com/file/pdv44q6atlon2tw/2004%252C_O%2527Sullivan%252C_On_First_Looking_into_Mercier%2527s_The_Irish_Comic_Tradition.pdf/file

Tiny URL

http://tinyurl.com/yd2x5h4k

There are a number of notes on blog, here at Fiddler's Dog, which consider further my approach to Irish Diaspora Studies - most recently this one...

https://fiddlersdog.blogspot.com/2024/01/visiting-professor-of-irish-diaspora.html

See also

Greenslade, Liam. “White Skins, White Masks: Psychological Distress among the Irish in Britain.” In The Irish in the New Communities, edited by Patrick O’Sullivan, 2:201–25. The Irish World Wide. London & Washington: Leicester University Press, 1992.

Which can be found here on my archive

https://www.mediafire.com/file/u1fra5u07609k3z/IWW2-9%252C_Greenslade%252C_White_skin%252C_white_masks.pdf/file

TinyURL

http://tinyurl.com/bdfpr4um

 

3.

That word 'diaspora'...

The 3 editions of Robin Cohen's book show the debate expanding over time...

Cohen, Robin. Global Diasporas. London: UCL Press, 1997.

Cohen, Robin, Global Diasporas: An Introduction edition 2, illustrated, revised Publisher Routledge, 2008

Cohen, Robin. Global Diasporas An Introduction 25TH ANNIVERSARY EDITION. Routledge, Taylor & Francis Group, 2022. .

see also...

Dufoix, Stéphane, and William Rodarmor. Diasporas. 1st ed. University of California Press, 2008.

Dufoix, Stéphane. “Des Usages Antiques de Diaspora Aux Enjeux Conceptuels Contemporains.” Pallas, no. 89 (November 7, 2012): 17–33.

Kenny, Kevin. Diaspora: A Very Short Introduction. Oxford: Oxford Univ. Press, 2013.

and see...

Fitzgerald, Patrick, and Brian Lambkin. Migration in Irish History, 1607-2007. Palgrave Macmillan, 2008, pages 275-276,

We can start thinking about diaspora as a 'type of consciousness' with Steven Vertovec - for example...

Vertovec, Steven. “Conceiving and Researching Transnationalism.” Ethnic and Racial Studies 22, no. 2 (1999): 447–62.

What is often forgotten are the obvious links between the word 'diaspora', now a word in so many languages, and the English word 'broadcast'.

I have put that photograph of a farmer in Perthshire at the top of this page, to remind me not to forget...


4.

This is the Perseus project at Tufts University

https://www.perseus.tufts.edu/hopper/

This link takes you directly to the paragraph in Thucydides, The Peloponnesian War, cited by Kevin Kenny.

https://www.perseus.tufts.edu/hopper/text?doc=Perseus%3Atext%3A1999.01.0200%3Abook%3D2%3Achapter%3D27

Tiny URL

http://tinyurl.com/5n8t5ufj

(Irish history specialists will notice that if, in that paragraph from Thucydides, we replace the word 'Athens' with the word 'England', and replace 'Aegina' with 'Ireland', the paragraph still makes sense - and becomes a summary of the history of these islands...)

Note that you can use the Perseus web site to explore all the uses and variants of the word 'speiro', including '(dia)speiro'...

This is Herodotus, Histories...

https://www.perseus.tufts.edu/hopper/text?doc=Perseus%3Atext%3A1999.01.0126%3Abook%3D7%3Achapter%3D91

Tiny URL

http://tinyurl.com/4xkzemxn

There is, of course, a huge debate - and a fascinating, but delicately poised, research literature.  See, for example...

Thompson, Thomas L, and Philippe Wajdenbaum. The Bible and Hellenism: Greek Influence on Jewish and Early Christian Literature. Edited by Thomas L Thompson and Philippe Wajdenbaum. Abingdon: Routledge, 2014.


5.

Black Swans...

The examples I should reference properly include...

Spicer, Edward H. “The Yaqui Indians of Arizona.” Kiva 5, no. 6 (1940): 21–24.

Which helps us find...

Calloway, C G. The Western Abenakis of Vermont, 1600-1800: War, Migration, and the Survival of an Indian People. The Civilization of the American Indian Series. University of Oklahoma Press, 1994

And see...

Lavelle, Michael. “Nationality and the Irish Abroad.” In Irish Man - Irish Nation Lectures on Some Aspects of Irish Nationality Delivered Before the Columban League, Maynooth, During 1946. Dublin: Mercier Press, 1947.


6.

This is a source for that G. K. Chesterton quote - but you will find it all over the place...

https://chesterton.wordpress.com/category/the-common-man/

'Philosophy is merely thought that has been thought out. It is often a great bore.

But man has no alternative, except between being influenced by thought that has been thought out and being influenced by thought that has not been thought out.'

(Here in Bradford, Yorkshire, the revived Bradford Irish Society is considering a project about the Right Reverend Monsignor John O'Connor, 1870–1952, Chesterton's friend, often considered the model for Chesterton's detective, Father Brown.  The Reverend O’Connor’s final parish was St Cuthbert's, Bradford – St. Cuthbert’s Church is a few yards from my home.)

On my blog is a brief note which also engages with the habits of the philosophical method...

https://fiddlersdog.blogspot.com/2022/06/a-shipowner-was-about-to-send-to-sea.html

As an example of thinking about this academic area - I remember liking the work of David Concepción...

Concepción, David W. “Reading Philosophy with Background Knowledge and Metacognition.” Teaching Philosophy 27, no. 4 (2004): 351–68.

 

7.

Reputation of Sartre...  Well...  Where to begin...

The key text for me is the brief mention in...

Magee, Bryan. The Great Philosophers: An Introduction to Western Philosophy. Oxford Paperbacks. Oxford University Press, 2000, pages 275-6

Originally published 1987, and based on a television series...

I see that the original television interview is available on YouTube...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H4_Tsjmqxak&t=2432s

...key moment, at 37 minutes onwards, when the interviewee says that Heidegger described Being and Nothingness as 'muck', 'Dreck'...  And Magee says '...It is difficult to believe that Sartre will survive as a philosopher...'

See also

Manser, Anthony R. “Sartre and Le Néant.” Philosophy 36, no. 137 (1961): 177–87.

I will look at Hazel Barnes' comments on Sartre, and my own difficulties with Sartre...

 

8.

This is the web site of the Delancey Street Foundation, San Francisco, USA...

 https://www.delanceystreetfoundation.org/wwa.php

'We are a community where people with nowhere to turn, turn their lives around.

Delancey Street is the country's leading residential self-help organization for former substance abusers, ex-convicts, homeless and others who have hit bottom...' 

and this link takes you to the restaurant...

https://www.delanceystreetfoundation.org/enterrestaurant.php

'Delancey Street Restaurant is a key training school of the Delancey Street Foundation, the country's largest self-help residential organization for people who have hit bottom to completely rebuild their lives. Like the immigrants who came through Ellis Island to Delancey Street on New York's Lower East Side at the turn of the century to start new lives, newcomers to Delancey Street Foundation are "immigrants" of all races, all ages, all backgrounds, who come together in this community of last resort...'

 

9.

I look briefly at the renewed interest in Réflexions sur la question juive, Anti-Semite and Jew...

Let me note the helpful work of Stuart Charmé...

Charmé, Stuart Z. Authentically Jewish: Identity, Culture, and the Struggle for Recognition. Rutgers University Press, 2022.

 

10.

Songs

We have recorded, and have released, one of my Sartre songs...  This is Pierre, on YouTube...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hb5zeD6G3Ko

But you will find it on every music streaming platform.  Worth listening to on one of the better quality platforms, to hear the detail of the arrangement.

This is the link to the discussion on my blog...

http://fiddlersdog.blogspot.com/2024/01/pierre-sung-by-shannon-marie-harney.html

The important point here is that we have an explanation for the Duke of Wellington's appearance, or non-appearance, in Sartre's Being and Nothingness...

 

Patrick O'Sullivan

Visiting Professor of Irish Diaspora Studies

London Metropolitan University

February 8 2024


PS

Below my own outline, which became my road map through this research material...

Patrick O’Sullivan 

Jean-Paul Sartre and that word, 'diaspora':  movement in time and space

 OUTLINE January 11 2024

‘In the Ancient world, the term “diaspora” referred to the profound cohesion and dispersion of the Jewish people.  We can make use of this word…’

Sartre, J.-P. (2018) Being and Nothingness: An Essay in Phenomenological Ontology, Translated by Sarah Richmond. London: Routledge, page 201.

On page 172 of the original Gallimard edition of L'être et le néant: essai d'ontologie phénoménologique, 1943, Being and Nothingness, Jean-Paul Sartre becomes preoccupied with a new word, ‘diaspora’.  In my 1969 copy of the 1956 Hazel Barnes translation of Being and Nothingness the word first appears on page 136.  In the new 2018 translation, by Sarah Richmond, it is page 201.  The word ‘diaspora’ is there in Sartre’s thought for a further 80 pages – then disappears.

These uses of the word ‘diaspora’ by Sartre have not been much noticed.  The word does not appear in the standard works on Sartre.  And the name ‘Sartre’ does not appear in the standard works on Diaspora.  The word ‘diaspora’ does appear in Sarah Richmond’s index to her translation.

In this paper, I outline the place of Sartre in my own personal history, and in the history of my generation - and in my thinking as I developed Irish Diaspora Studies.  Through an interdisciplinary approach to the study of Sartre, I suggest a method behind a reading of Being and Nothingness (philosophy as genre).  I look briefly at the light thrown by that reading on a later work, Réflexions sur la question juive,1945/1946 - translated as Portrait of the Anti-Semite, London, 1948, and Anti-Semite and Jew, New York, 1948.  And I look at the few brief mentions of Sartre’s interest in the word 'diaspora’ that I have been able to find. 

I end with a summary of Sartre’s notion of ‘diaspora’, drawn from the book, Being and Nothingness.  The form of words that Sartre uses - ‘reflection is a diasporic phenomenon’ – seems to anticipate later developments in diaspora theorising.  The interdisciplinary approach would question any simple overlap – this paper thus becomes an exploration of interdisciplinary processes.  At the very least, Sartre’s use of the word ’diaspora’ must have a place in the history of uses of that disputed word.

This paper takes its place in the series of on-line seminars ‘Repositioning Ireland’s Place in the World: Old Configurations, New Realities’, part of the G.I.S EIRE research network, organised by Grainne O'Keeffe Vigneron, University of Rennes, and Anne Groutel, University of Paris 1.

 

Patrick O’Sullivan January 11 2024

© Patrick O’Sullivan 2024

Visiting Professor of Irish Diaspora Studies, London Metropolitan University

 

 

Jean-Paul Sartre, page 172 of the original Gallimard edition of L'être et le néant: essai d'ontologie phénoménologique, 1943, Being and Nothingness...

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