From his first publications in the 1930s, to his last in the 1970s, Sartre's work has always defied neat generic boundaries between literature and philosophy, fiction and non-fiction, or, indeed, biography and literary theory or history. The novel La Nausee, for example, was described as a 'factum sur la contingence' (Oeuvres romanesques, p. 1660), L'Etre et le neant has the paradoxical aim of being an essay of 'phenomenological ontology', and L'Idiot de la famille was referred to by Sartre as a 'roman vrai'. Even the apparently more clear-cut publications such as plays or autobiography turn out, on closer examination, to contain elements of parody or pastiche, or to constitute, at very least, ironic pieces of writing which contest our usual assumptions about the nature of the genre. As readers of the 1990s we probably do not feel threatened by such transgressions of traditional demarcations, and may, in true postmodern fashion, accept that no text can be neatly cut off from all others, that 'quotation' (direct or allusive) pervades even (or especially?) the most 'original' writing, and that intertextual reference is no respecter of outmoded divisions between genres or indeed disciplines.