Hallucinogenic drug made Jean-Paul Sartre 'fall in love' with lobsters
London, November 22 : A new book has revealed that European thinker Jean-Paul Sartre used to have hallucinations of lobsters, which once even chased him down the Champs Elysées.
New York professor John Gerassi's book sheds light on the conversation between him and the French philosopher about mescaline, a powerful hallucinogenic drug.
"Yeah, after I took mescaline I started seeing crabs around me all the time," Timesonline quoted Sartre as telling Gerassi in the book.
He added: "They followed me in the streets, into class ... I would wake up in the morning and say, 'Good morning, my little ones, how did you sleep?' I would say, 'Okay guys, we're going into class now . . . ' and they would be there, around my desk, absolutely still, until the bell rang."
The tome reveals Sartre, who popularized existentialism, experimented with mescaline to an extent that he almost became a lunatic.
He said: "I began to think I was going crazy."
However, Sartre ultimately stopped seeing the lobsters.
He told Gerassi: "The crabs stayed with me until the day I simply decided that they bored me and I wouldn't pay attention to them.
Sartre quit drugs before his death in 1980, but he had a strange fondness to the imaginary lobsters.
He said: "The crabs were mine. I had got used to them. I would have liked my crabs to come back.
"We call them crabs because of my [Altona] play but they were really lobsters. And you know, I've never said this before, but sometimes I miss them ... I remember how they used to sit there on my leg."
The book will be published later this month.
22 November 2009