On November 1, 1946, Sartre delivered a lecture entitled “The Writer’s Responsibility” for the inaugural general conference of UNESCO at the Sorbonne. In view of the auspicious nature of this founding symposium, he concludes with a litany of recommendations that he believes should guide the writer in our day:
To create a positive theory of liberation and freedom;
To put himself in a position to condemn violence from the viewpoint of oppressed men and classes;
To establish a true relationship of ends and means;
To immediately reject, in his own name – which, of course, will not prevent it – any violent means of establishing a regime;
Finally, to devote his thoughts without respite, day in, day out, to the problem of the end and the means; or, alternatively, the problem of the relation between ethics and politics.
Underscoring the timeliness of these remarks, he adds: “That is the problem … of the present age, and it is our problem, it belongs to us writers. That is our responsibility, not eternal but contemporary.”