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The Childhood of a Leader: From Jean-Paul Sartre to Robert Pattinson

14 August 2016 12:19 PM, PDT | | See recent CultureCatch news »

If actor-turned-director Brady Corbet’s post-World-War-i saga, The Childhood of a Leader, did little more than send American readers to Jean-Paul Sartre’s lesser known short story of the same name, one would be thanking the cinematic gods for its appearance.

The final story in his Sartre’s 1939 collection, The Wall, “The Childhood of a Leader” chronicles the life of Lucien from his rebellious potty training days as a lovely, long-haired tot, son of a rich industrialist, to his transformation into anti-Semitic murderer. There goes Holden Caulfield but for the grace of God.

When we first meet Lucien, with his lustrous blond curls and attired in a blue angel’s costume, he is mistaken by his mother’s consorts as a girl.

“What’s your name? Jacqueline, Lucienne, Margot?”

The embarrassed boy blushes and sets the record right, but “[h]e was no longer quite sure about not being a little »

- Brandon Judell

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2016 | 2013

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