The word crime} derived from the Latin crimen the dictionaries tell us, is associated with the scream (le cri) provoked by an act that affronts standards of decency and cries out for revenge. Inhering in it are the important meanings of 'accusation' and 'reproach', which reveal the source of the concept of crime to be exterior to the perpetrator and thus a judgment that originates from an external body of conventions or laws that condemn certain acts. Given such a definition and, as well, the emphasis in Sartrean thought upon the absolute responsibility of the individual for all acts (in spite of any extrinsic system or code or any circumstances impending upon a situation), it is curious that a term such as crime should appear as frequently as it does to describe a variety of actions with decidedly ambiguous moral implications in his plays. Les Mouches is a pertinent case in point. Whereas a signifier such as libre often denotes a privileged Sartrean significance and the author seems to devalue other inherent meanings in favor of it (an apparent attempt to limit the polysemous nature of the sign), the opposite is true of the signifier crime, which floats erratically from context to context, drifting in a process of seemingly limitless semiosis, as if the author has purposely blurred and diluted the sign in order to render it utterly empty and meaningless. *Neophilologus, (Groningen: WoIters, 1992), vo!. 75, pp. 529-538.