Simone de Beauvoir
See also: Beauvoir
Simone de Beauvoir is a French Philosophe and écrivaine. It shared the life and the ideas of the philosopher Jean-Paul Sartre and stuck to the combat for the condition of the women.
Simone de Beauvoir is the girl of Georges de Beauvoir, transitory lawyer but actor amateur, and of Francoise Brasseur, young woman resulting from small and old middle-class from Verdun. She sees the day in an apartment cossu Boulevard Raspail and between at the 5 years age to the " Désir" course; , where the girls of good families are provided education for. His/her younger sister Helene (known as Poupette) joined there two years later. As of more the young age, Simone is characterized by its intellectual abilities and shares each year the first place with Elisabeth Lacoin (known as Elisabeth Mabille or Zaza in its autobiography). Zaza quickly becomes his/her best friend even if Simone suffers in silence from the lack from reciprocity. After the First World War his/her grandfather paternal, Gustave de Beauvoir, president of the Bank of the Meuse, fact bankruptcy and is declared bankrupt precipitating all its family in dishonor and the failure. Also the parents of Simone are constrained, for lack of resources, to leave the apartment cossu Raspail boulevard for another apartment, sinks, exiguous and on the sixth floor of another building of the same boulevard (above current restoring " Rotonde"). Georges de Beauvoir, that Simone will describe " later; halfway between the aristocrat and the bourgeois" , hoped to live with the money of its wife. This one will feel guilty all its life, towards her husband, of this absorbed dowry. Simone suffers from it and sees the relations between his/her parents being degraded. All its childhood will be marked by the fact of being a woman: his/her father hoped to have a son to make a polytechnician of it. Moreover, he will repeat in Simone " you have a brain of homme". Impassioned theater (it follows courses of dramatic art) it gave the taste of it to his wife and her children, like that of his love for the literature. For him " the most beautiful trade is that of écrivain". With his wife, it is persuaded that only the studies can leave their daughters the poor condition under which they are.
At fifteen years, the choice of Simone de Beauvoir is already made, it will be a famous writer. It will obtain many diplomas: licenses of literature, Greek, Latin, philosophy, mathematics… but it has especially a revelation for the Philosophie and decides to deepen this matter with the Faculty of Arts of the Université of Paris. It meets other grass intellectuals there, in particular Jean-Paul Sartre which it compares with a genius. A mythical relation will be tied between them, as of this time, that only death will break. It will be its “love necessary” in opposition to the “contingent loves” which they will be brought to know both. Sartre is received first with aggregation with the second attempt, Simone de Beauvoir gaining the second place (the classification being at the time separate between girls and boys).
The death of Zaza this same year plunges it in a great suffering. Simone, raised by a pious mother, lost the faith as of its fourteenth year (according to memories of an arranged young girl ), many years before its aggregation of philosophy, even its departure of the course Désir and mark thus its emancipation with respect to its family.
The teaching one
As of aggregation in 1929, Simone, or rather Castor - nickname taken again by Sartre because “Beauvoir” is close to English beaver (meaning beaver) - becomes professor of philosophy. It is transferred to Marseilles. The prospect to leave Sartre, itself transferred to the Harbor, throws it in the anguish and this last proposes to him to marry it in order to obtain a station in the same college. Although viscéralement attached to Sartre, it disallows the proposal with horror. It is thought wrongly that she refused because the marriage represents for her a tradition middle-class and degrading for the women. She explains in the Age of Enlightenment that she felt that the proposal of Sartre had been made above all to satisfy it, somewhat with back-plate. The following year, she manages to approach Sartre by obtaining a post with Rouen where she becomes acquainted with Colette Audry, teaching in same the college. She becomes very close to certain pupils, in particular Olga Kosakiewitcz and Bianca Lamblin with which she maintains the homosexual relations, the “pact” binding it to Sartre enabling him to know “contingent loves”. She also binds with a pupil of Sartre, “small Bost”, husband-to-be of Olga, who becomes the mistress of Sartre meanwhile. This group of friends called “the small family” remains indéfectible until the death of each one of them, in spite of small estrangements and serious conflicts.
Little before the Second world war, the Sartre-Beauvoir couple is transferred to Paris. Beauvoir sees its first novel Primauté of spiritual the , written between 35 and 37, refused by Gallimard and Grasset (it will appear in 1979 pennies the title When premium spiritual the then Anne or when premium spiritual the ). the guest is published in 1943, it described there, through imaginary characters, his relation between Sartre, Olga and itself. Success is immediate. In same time, returned state education for diversion of minor (she is denounced by the mother of one of these “pupils-amantes”, Nathalie Sorokine), she works for the radio where she organizes emissions devoted to the music through the times. Little before dying, his/her father Georges de Beauvoir called to one of his/her friends while speaking about his daughter: “it makes the wedding in Paris”, thus marking its dislike for the life of Simone.
The committed écrivaine
With Sartre, Raymond Aron, Michel Leiris, Maurice Merleau-Ponty and some intellectuals of left, it founds a newspaper: Modern times the purpose of which is to make known the existentialism through the literature comptemporaine. But it continues its personal work however. After several novels and tests where she speaks about her engagement for the Communisme, the Athéisme and the Existentialisme, she obtains her financial independence and devotes herself completely to her trade of écrivaine. She travels in many countries (E. - U., China, Russia, Cuba,…) where it becomes acquainted with other communist personalities such as Fidel Castro, Che Guevara, Mao Tsé-toung, Richard Wright. With the the United States, it engages a relation impassioned with the American writer Nelson Algren, and sends to him more than 300 letters.
In 1949, it obtains the dedication by publishing the Second Sex . The book is sold with more than 20.000 specimens as of the first week, causes the publication of the contradictory articles of Armand Hoog (against) and Francine Bloch (for) in the review the Nave , and made scandal so much so that the the Vatican puts it at the index. François Mauriac, the enemy of always will write with the Modern times : now, I know all about the vagina of your owner . Beauvoir becomes the figurehead of feminism by describing a company which maintains the woman in a situation of inferiority. Its analysis of the female condition through the myths, civilizations, the religions, the anatomy and the traditions makes scandal, and particularly the chapter where she speaks about maternity and the Avortement, assimilated with a homicide at that time. As for the marriage, she as regards it as a middle-class institution feeling reluctant as the prostitution when the woman is under the domination of her husband and cannot escape from it.
In 1954, it obtains the Prix Goncourt for Mandarins and becomes one of auteures the most read in the world. This novel which treats post-war period clarifies its relation with Nelson Algren, always through imaginary characters. Algren cannot support the bond which links Beauvoir with Sartre, this one not being able to put at it a term, they decide to break.
As from 1958, she undertakes her autobiography where she describes her middle-class medium filled of prejudices and degrading traditions and efforts to leave there in spite its condition woman. She describes also her relation with Sartre by describing it as total success. However, although the relation which links them is always also impassioned, they are not any more one couple with the clean direction of the term, and this for a long time, even if Beauvoir implies the opposite with its readers.
In 1964, it publishes a very soft death which recalls the death of his/her mother. According to Sartre, it is its best written. The topic of archarnement therapeutic and the Euthanasie are evoked there through poignant lines of emotion. In this test of mourning, it is supported by an young girl of which it made knowledge at the same time: Sylvie the Good, a young coed in philosophy. The relation which links the two women is obscure: relation “mother-girl”, “friendly”, or “in love”… Simone de Beauvoir declares In the final analysis in , its fourth autobiographical volume, that this relation is similar to that which earlier linked it in Zaza fifty years. Sylvie the Good becomes her adopted girl and heiress of her literary work and the whole of its goods.
The influence of Beauvoir, associated with Gisele Halimi and Elisabeth Badinter, was decisive to obtain the recognition of the tortures inflicted to the women at the time of the Guerre of Algeria and the right to the Avortement. It is at the origin of the Manifeste of the 343. With Gisele Halimi, it cofondé the movement Choisir, whose role was determining for the legalization of the Voluntary interruption of pregnancy. During all its life, she studied the world in which she lived, by visiting factories and institutions, with the meeting of workers and political top-ranking executives.
After the death of Sartre in 1980, it publishes the Ceremony of the good-byes where it describes the ten last years of her companion with medical details and close friends if believed that it shocks good number of the disciples of the philosopher. This text is followed talks which it recorded, in Rome, in August and September 1974 in which Sartre reconsiders its life and precise certain points of its work. She wants especially to show how this one was handled by Benny Levy to make him recognize some " inclination religieuse" in the Existentialisme whereas the Athéisme was one of the pillars. For Beauvoir, Sartre did not enjoy any more all its intellectual faculties and was not any more able philosophically to fight. She also acknowledged with semi-word how much the attitude adopted girl of Sartre, Arlette Elkaïm-Sartre had been hateful in its connection. She concludes with this sentence: “Its death separates us. My death will not join together us. It is thus; it is already beautiful that our lives could agree so a long time”.
The age coming, after a life of excess out of alcohol and tobacco, it dies out in 1986 in Paris surrounded by his/her adopted girl, Sylvie the Plug Beauvoir and of Claude Lanzmann. Its funeral was as imposing as those of Sartre, and followed by women of the whole world. It is buried with the Cimetière of Montparnasse to Paris, in the 20th division - just on the right of the main entrance boulevard Edgard Quinet- at the sides of Jean-Paul Sartre.
Posthumous worksSylvie the Plug Beauvoir, heiress of the work of Beauvoir represented, annotated and published many writings of her adoptive mother, in particular her correspondence with Sartre, Bost and Algren. This colossal work and which restores the style " perfectly; Beauvoir" raise the curtain on the intimate life of Beauvoir, by revealing without ambiguity its Bisexualité, and its aggravation with respect to certain still alive close relations at the time of the publication, such as his/her sister Helene (who was destroyed by it), and her old amantes.
Burning lawyer of the Existentialisme theorized by her companion Jean-Paul Sartre, it raises questionings in order to find a direction with the life in the nonsense of a world in which we did not choose to be born. Associated with that of Sartre, its work is different from it insofar as it approaches the concrete character of the problems, preferring a direct and uninterrupted reflection on lived.
In the Second Sex , it affirms: One is not born woman, one becomes it (begun again concept suggested by Tertullien): it is the construction of individualities which imposes different roles, kinds, with the people of both Sexe S. Its book raised a true outcry and its author was sometimes calumniated. Rare were those which gave support to him. She however accepted that of Claude Lévi-Strauss which says to him that from the point of view of the Anthropologie, its work was fully acceptable. Great writers as François Mauriac did not include/understand the polemical direction of his precise and clinical writing, and were number of its detractors.
- “If there is no more today of femininity, it that it there of is had forever. ”, the Second Sex (introduction)
- “One is not born woman: it is become… It is the whole of the civilization which works out this intermediate product between the male and the castrato that one describes as female. ”
- “the woman is not victim of any mysterious fate: it should not be concluded that its ovaries condemn it to live eternally with knees. ”
- “the women of today are in the train of détrôner the myth of femininity; they start to affirm their independence concretely; but it is not without sorrow that they succeed in living completely of their condition of human being. ”, the Second Sex (Formation, Introduction)
- “It is by work that the woman mainly crossed the distance which separated it from the male; it is the work which can only guarantee a concrete freedom to him. ”
- “If it is said that the men oppress the women, the husband is indignant, but the fact is that it is the male code, it is the company worked out by the males and in their interest which defined the female condition in a form which is now for the two sexes a source of torments. ”
- “Certain males fear female competition. ”
- “Certain males are scandalized that the loads of femininity are reduced. ”
- “It is necessary that, beyond their natural differentiations, men and women, affirm unambiguous their fraternity. ”
- “In oneself homosexuality is as limiting as heterosexuality: the ideal should be of being able as well to love a woman as a man, imports an human being, without testing neither fear, neither forced, nor obligation. ”
- “To knead the ground, to dig a hole they are activities as original as the pressure, as the coitus: one is mistaken by seeing there only sexual symbols; the hole, the viscous one, the notch, hardness, the integrity are realities first. ”, the Second Sex , the psychoanalytical point of view
- “if one failed to seize in a lived experiment the ambiguous unit of the existence, one will never manage to rebuild it intellectually. By definition a representation could coincide neither with the intimacy of the conscience nor with the opacity of the flesh; even less can it reconcile them; once dissociated these two moments of human reality are opposed and as soon as one is continued, the other is concealed. ”, is it Necessary to burn Sade?
- the Guest (1943)
- the Blood of the others (1945)
- All the men are mortals (1946)
- Mandarins (1954), Prix Goncourt
- the Beautiful Images (1966)
- the broken Woman (1968)
- When premium spiritual the (1979)
- Pyrrhus and Cinéas (1944)
- For a morals of ambiguity (1947)
- Existentialisme and the Wisdom of the nations (1948)
- the Second Sex (1949)
- Privilèges (1955)
- Long walk (1957)
- Old age (1970)
- Necessary to burn Sade? (1972)
- America from day to day (1948)
- Memories of an arranged young girl (1958)
- the Force of the age (1960)
- the Force of the things (1963)
- a very soft death (1964)
- In the final analysis (1972)
- Ceremony of the good-byes (1981)
- useless Mouths (1945)
- the Footbridge Simone-with-Beauvoir in Paris
- Lovers of the Flora
- Helene de Beauvoir, her younger sister
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