Discovering Gallant’s Interview with Sartre

In interviews about her days as a journalist for the Montreal Standard, Mavis Gallant often mentioned the time she interviewed the French writer and philosopher of Existentialism, Jean-Paul Sartre.

Interested in reading the interview, we tried to locate it in collections of Gallant’s writing and in bibliographies of her journalism. It was nowhere to be found.

We therefore plunged deep into the newspaper archives: in our case, badly microfilmed reels of the entire run of the Montreal Standard on loan from the University of Alberta.

And we found the interview. As far as we know, we are the first to have found and published it since it first came out in the March 16 1946 news section of the paper.

There is no byline, and Gallant misremembered the date it appeared (as 1947), but the article matches the details of her recollection, as well as her distinctive style of dry humour.

Listen more for the story of our discovery.

References

Cloutier, Yvan. “Sartre à Montréal en 1946: une censure en crise.” Voix et Images, vol. 23, n° 2, (68) 1998, p. 266-280.

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