The Jean-Paul Sartre Cookbook: Philosopher Ponders Making Omelets in Long Lost Diary Entries

sartre food

In 1987, Marty Smith published a spoof called The Jean-Paul Sartre Cookbook in a Portland, Oregon alternative newspaper called the Free Agent. Later, in 1993, it was republished in the Utne Reader. And it starts with this premise:

We have been lucky to discover several previously lost diaries of French philosopher Jean-Paul Sartre stuck in between the cushions of our office sofa. These diaries reveal a young Sartre obsessed not with the void, but with food. Apparently Sartre, before discovering philosophy, had hoped to write “a cookbook that will put to rest all notions of flavor forever.” The diaries are excerpted here for your perusal.

Now for a couple of my favorite entries:

October 3

Spoke with Camus today about my cookbook. Though he has never actually eaten, he gave me much encouragement. I rushed home immediately to begin work. How excited I am! I have begun my formula for a Denver omelet.

October 6

I have realized that the traditional omelet form (eggs and cheese) is bourgeois. Today I tried making one out of a cigarette, some coffee, and four tiny stones. I fed it to Malraux, who puked. I am encouraged, but my journey is still long.

November 23

Ran into some opposition at the restaurant. Some of the patrons complained that my breakfast special (a page out of Remembrance of Things Past and a blowtorch with which to set it on fire) did not satisfy their hunger. As if their hunger was of any consequence! “But we’re starving,” they say. So what? They’re going to die eventually anyway. They make me want to puke. I have quit the job. It is stupid for Jean-Paul Sartre to sling hash. I have enough money to continue my work for a little while.

November 26

Today I made a Black Forest cake out of five pounds of cherries and a live beaver, challenging the very definition of the word “cake.” I was very pleased. Malraux said he admired it greatly, but could not stay for dessert. Still, I feel that this may be my most profound achievement yet, and have resolved to enter it in the Betty Crocker Bake-Off.

The diary entries continue here. And it just so happens that The New Yorker later found Sartre’s long lost blog. You can read that online too.

Related Content:

Jean-Paul Sartre Breaks Down the Bad Faith of Intellectuals

Walter Kaufmann’s Lectures on Nietzsche, Kierkegaard and Sartre (1960)

Sartre, Heidegger, Nietzsche: Three Philosophers in Three Hours



Make knowledge free & open. Share our posts with friends on Facebook, Twitter and other social media platforms:

by | Permalink | Comments (2) |

Choose a comment platform

Comments (2)
You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.
  1. James Reynolds says . . . | July 26, 2013 / 4:33 am

    hahaha that’s cool.

    http://stayyoungforever.org/

  2. Jimi says . . . | August 2, 2013 / 5:11 am

    I thought the Jean Paul Sartre cookbook was “Beans and Nothingness”

Add a comment

Loading Facebook Comments ...
Quantcast