Besides being 'Tax Day',
and now and forever the day of the Boston Marathon bombing,
it is also the anniversary of the death of Jean Paul Sartre
in 1980 at the age of 74.
A French existentialist philosopher, writer and activist,
(born June 21st, 1905)
he is known for so many different literary, political and philosophical works,
I won't even try to name them all.
What I did not know about him
(and one of the things I love about blogging--the learning aspect)
is that in his early years, he was a serious prankster.
And in later life, an anarchist.
In 1927, he and some of his school friends
set up a media prank involving Charles Lindbergh's name
after his famous New York-Paris flight.
Newspapers carried the word that Lindbergh was to be awarded an honorary degree
from Sartre's Ecole Normale.
Thousands of spectators, including the media, flocked to witness history,
only to learn later they were fooled by
a Lindbergh look-alike.
Two years later, Sartre met the woman who would become his lifelong partner,
Simone de Beauvoir.
Their list of lovers is a rather sordid tale
including another tidbit I didn't know: that of de Beauvoir losing her teaching license for seducing, and sharing, students with Sartre.
She turned down Sartre's proposals of marriage on more than one occasion.
And died April 14th, 1986.
It is here,
at the Cimetiere de Montparnasse,
that they lie together for eternity.
(Photos copyright: Kirsten Steen)