Hay Player

Sarah Bakewell talks to Francine Stock

At the Existentialist Café: Freedom, Being & Apricot Cocktails

Hay Festival 2016, 

Three young friends meet over apricot cocktails at the Bec-de-Gaz bar on the rue Montparnasse. They are Jean-Paul Sartre, Simone de Beauvoir and Raymond Aron. Aron opens their eyes to a radical new way of thinking. Pointing to his drink, he says, “You can make philosophy out of this cocktail”. The author of How To Live: A Life of Montaigne tells the story of modern existentialism as one of passionate encounters between people, minds and ideas. Weaving biography and thought, Bakewell takes us to the heart of a philosophy about life that also changed lives, and tackled the biggest questions of all: what we are and how we are to live.

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