Douglas Collins draws on a variety of psychoanalytic and socio-historical theories of narcissism to assess Sartre's relationship to the subjects of his biographies, and to compare these with the self-presentation given in Les Mots. His essay provides stimulating textual analysis with an increasingly historical overview, culminating in the provocative suggestion that Sartre's proud proclamation of his own lack of super-ego is misplaced - not only psychologically implausible, but politically misguided.