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In a 1956 review of Wright’s novel The Outsider, Asrul Sani recalls his personal encounters with Wright one year earlier and restates his admiration for him as a true artist. However, his review is critical of Wright’s 1953 novel, because in Asrul’s judgment Wright is so fixated on advancing intellectual arguments about the human condition in The Outsider that he loses touch with his emotional attachments to the African American condition, which is the source of his talent as a writer. Asrul believes that this is the result of Wright’s interest in the philosophy of existentialism, which he has come to know through his personal friendship with Jean-Paul Sartre and Simone de Beauvoir. For Wright as an artist, Asrul Sani sees this turn to intellectualism as a serious failure of judgment.

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