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This Is Not the Real Me

From: Philosophy and Literature
Volume 17, Number 1, April 1993
pp. 1-15 | 10.1353/phl.1993.0082

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This Is Not the Real Me
Francis Sparshott
Victoria College, University of Toronto


1. James Thurber, The Thurber Carnival (New York: Harper and Brothers, 1945), p. 337. First published in Men, Women and Dogs.

2. Jean-Paul Sartre, Being and Nothingness, trans. Hazel Barnes (New York: Washington Square Press, 1966), pp. 113-14.

3. Jean Genet, The Balcony (New York: Grove Press, 1966).

4. On the other hand, the late W. C. Kneale told the following anecdote of H. A. Prichard and Gilbert Ryle, who met at Magdalen College at one of those functions where strawberries and cream are served. Prichard was explaining to Ryle that the self was immortal. "Do you mean that I was alive 2000 years ago?" asked Ryle. "Well, yes," said Prichard, surprised that so elementary a point needed making. "Well, what was I doing?" "I don't know," Prichard replied, not unreasonably. "And were you alive 2000 years ago?" "Of course!" "Well, what were you doing?" "I don't remember." At this point a glow of sudden comprehension spread over Prichard's face. "Oh," he said, prodding Ryle gently in the abdomen with the handle of his teaspoon, "I don't mean that; I mean the real Ryle."

5. Sartre, Being and Nothingness, part 1, chapter 2.

6. R. M. Hare, The Language of Morals (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1952), p. 1.

7. Aristotle, Nicomachean Ethics, book 2, chapter 1.

8. Sartre, Being and Nothingness, part 1, chapter 1, §5.

9. Sartre dramatizes this aspect of the human condition, ignored in the popular view of his theory, in his film script The Chips Are Down (New York: Lear, 1947).

10. Jean-Paul Sartre, Nausea (New York: New Directions, 1964), p. 37ff.

11. David Novitz, "Art, Narrative, and Human Nature," PHILOSOPHY AND LITERATURE 13 (1989): 57-74.

12. Francis Sparshott, "Preservation, Projection, and Presence," in Essays on Aesthetics, ed. John Fisher (Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 1983), pp. 131-46.

13. The novels in Joyce Cary's first trilogy are Herself Surprised (1941), To Be a Pilgrim (1942), and The Horse's Mouth (1944); in his second trilogy, Prisoner of Grace (1952), Except the Lord (1953), and Not Honour More (1954)—all published in London by Michael Joseph. In the Carfax edition of his novels (same publisher, 1951-1966), Cary supplied prefaces that implied the fictional truth of an "impersonal" narrative different from those stated or implied by his narrators. See in general, Hazard Adams, Joyce Cary's Trilogies (Tallahassee: University Presses of Florida, 1983).