Simone de Beauvoir

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Beauvoir, Simone de

(sēmôn` də bōvwär`), 1908–86, French author. A leading exponent of existentialismexistentialism
, any of several philosophic systems, all centered on the individual and his relationship to the universe or to God. Important existentialists of varying and conflicting thought are Søren Kierkegaard, Karl Jaspers, Martin Heidegger, Gabriel Marcel, and Jean-Paul
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, she is closely associated with Jean-Paul SartreSartre, Jean-Paul
, 1905–80, French philosopher, playwright, and novelist. Influenced by German philosophy, particularly that of Heidegger, Sartre was a leading exponent of 20th-century existentialism.
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, with whom she had a life-long relationship. Beauvoir taught philosophy at several colleges until 1943, after which she devoted herself to writing. Her novels All Men Are Mortal (1946, tr. 1955), The Blood of Others (1946, tr. 1948), and The Mandarins (1955, tr. 1956) are interpretations of the existential dilemma. Among her most celebrated works is the profound analysis of the status of women, The Second Sex (1949–50, tr. 1953). This pivotal text was cut by some 15 percent when first translated; an unabridged English translation was finally published in 2010. Beauvoir's study The Marquis de Sade (tr. 1953) is a brilliant, perceptive portrait. Her monumental treatise The Coming of Age (1970, tr. 1972) is an exhaustive historical consideration of the social treatment of the aged in many cultures. Beauvoir's autobiographical writings include Memoirs of a Dutiful Daughter (1958, tr. 1959), The Prime of Life (tr. 1962), Force of Circumstance (1963, tr. 1964), A Very Easy Death (1964, tr. 1966), and All Said and Done (tr. 1974). She also edited Sartre's letters to her (tr. 1994).


See biography by D. Bair (1990); S. de Beauvoir, ed., Quiet Moments in a War: The Letters of Jean-Paul Sartre to Simone de Beauvoir, 1940–1963 (1994); studies by E. Marks (1973), L. Appignanesi (1988), R. Winegarten (1988), K. and E. Fullbrook (1994), and H. Rowley (2005).

de Beauvoir, Simone


Beauvoir, Simone de


Born Jan. 9, 1908, in Paris. French writer.

Beauvoir graduated from the literary faculty at Paris and from 1931 to 1943 taught philosophy in lycées. In her first novel, She Came to Stay (1943), Beauvoir conveys the ideas of existentialism concerning the absurdity of the world and the incomprehensibility of man. In the novel The Blood of Others (1945) the individual personality is counterposed to society from the same viewpoints. However, Beauvoir leads her characters—members of the modern, individualistic intelligentsia—onto the path of social struggle within the ranks of the Resistance. Her novel The Mandarins (1954, Prix Goncourt) reflects more specifically the ideological and political life of postwar France, as well as the vacillations of part of the intelligentsia between bourgeois and communist ideas. She wrote the play The Useless Mouths (1945), the philosophical essay Pyrrhus and Cineas (1944), a book about the spiritual emancipation of women— The Second Sex (1949)—and the travel sketches America Day by Day (1948). In the second and third books of her autobiographical trilogy (the first was entitled Memories of a Dutiful Daughter, 1958), The Prime of Life (1960) and The Force of Circumstance (1963), Beauvoir, in describing her joint activity with J. P. Sartre and her doubts and searches, is essentially critically reexamining the ideas of existentialism.


Djamila Boupacha. Paris, 1962 (Written jointly with G. Halimi.)
La femme rompue. Paris, 1967.
In Russian translation:
Ochen’ legkaia smert’. [Moscow], 1968.
Prelestnye kartinki. [Moscow, 1968.]


Shkunaeva, I. D. Sovremennaia frantsuzskaia literatura. Moscow, 1961.
Evnina, E. M. Sovremennyi frantsuzskii roman. Moscow, 1962.
Gennari, G. Simone de Beauvoir. Paris [1959].
Jeanson, F. Simone de Beauvoir. Paris, [1966].
Julienne-Caffié, S. Simone de Beauvoir [Paris, 1966.] (Contains a bibliography.)
Gagnebin, L. Simone de Beauvoir ou le refus de l’indifférence. Paris, [1968].
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References in periodicals archive ?
Simone de Beauvoir Today: Conversations 1972-1982, trans.
In awarding this distinction, the jury of the Simone de Beauvoir Prize for Women's Freedom "wishes to help galvanize international solidarity, reaffirm women's rights in the world, guarantee the protection of women who are today risking their lives for the struggle, and defend alongside them the ideals of equality and peace", The French Ambassador for Human Rights, Francois Zimeray represented the French Foreign Ministry on this occasion.
Consequently, the charge that philosophical sexism would not benefit the forebears such as Simone de Beauvoir from the point of view of posterity is otiose.
King Kong, a hybrid not between but before male and female, grounds Despentes's reworking of feminism, which owes its punch to an improbable crowd ranging from Simone de Beauvoir to Paris Hilton, as well as to her own experiences as a prostitute, porn reviewer, and punk rocker.
Even the high priestess of feminist literature Simone de Beauvoir had a thing for VAT 69.
SIMONE de Beauvoir, the French feminist writer, described the island of Djerba as one of the most silent places in the world.
He cites Simone de Beauvoir and the Marquis de Sade among many others.
CAROLE SEYMOUR-JONES struggles to find a balance in this dual biography of Simone de Beauvoir and Jean-Paul Sartre between the intellectuals who risked jail for their support of Algerian independence and the couple who made compromises during the Occupation to keep their prestigious positions, then, after the war, exaggerated the extent of their roles in the Resistance.
According to existentialist philosopher Simone de Beauvoir, "Today, however, we are having a hard time living because we are so bent on outwitting death.
Previous winners of the Prix Goncourt award, which is over 100 years old, include Marcel Proust, Simone de Beauvoir and Marguerite Duras.