Crime of Passion

Two twenty. I finished reading the Sartre play, Dirty Hands. My gut response is that it is rather sexist. Or does it just comment that an idea is more important than a passion? The hero, Hugo, kills a man out of jealousy over his wife. He thinks it would have been better if he had killed him on a principle. So in the end he invites passive suicide to vindicate his murder of the other man. It is more complex than that. But what if Sara Teasdale had a little argument with Sartre? To her, a breath of ecstasy is far superior to dying for something intellectual. And again I think Sartre was being sexist, or maybe cold and impassive. Of the two, Sartre and Teasdale, who is more fully alive? And Byron and Joyce might criticize Sartre as well. This is my gut reaction to the play. The playwright is heartless and numb from the neck down. And yet it’s still my kind of play: cerebral and full of ideas. It seems a little odd that the first observation I would make is how unromantic Sartre is in this play. It stuck out like a sore thumb. He considers a passion like jealousy something petty, or “a goddamn waste.” Is he right about that? Are political ideals more important than romantic love, if you have to choose one or the other?

2 thoughts on “Crime of Passion

  1. My choice would be romantic love! But, having said that, jealousy could be a petty thing to lose the night’s sleep on, provided it has no basis! But if it has, then it is no more petty, it is just pointless… wastage of energy. Chuck it and move out… if you know what i mean! This, what I said could completely be out of context from the play… sorry about that! 😁 Just my view, in general!!


  2. No worries. My post didn’t give you many details to work with. I didn’t think it was a very good play, else maybe I would have written more about it. Sartre isn’t exactly Arthur Miller or Henrik Ibsen.

    Have a good night! My day is just beginning over here on the Pacific Coast. I live about 60 miles inland from the ocean. I should get over to the Coast again one of these days!


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